Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day Five Itinerary for Taiwan Trip 2014: Engaging a Driver for the Day!



Breakfast on my fifth day in Taiwan was fuss-free as we just grabbed two packs of sandwiches and two bottles of mineral water from one of the stalls opposite CityInn hotel

Why so rushed?! Because we woke up a bit too late and our friendly Mr Xu, appointed Mandarin / Hokkien speaking chauffeur for our day trip to the outskirts of Taipei city, was already waiting for us outside the hotel at 8.30am! 

It wasn't a good day with an overcast sky and the occasional rain. I am only comforted by the fact that it wasn't bad enough for photo-taking; albeit with a few inconveniences. 

After around an hour of drive, we came upon the scenic ocean road of Taiwan. This picture obviously didn't do justice to what we actually saw with our naked eyes! 

The appearance of this beautifully patterned rock meant we were pretty near to our first destination; Yeliu Geopark! Mr Xu explained that the pattern arose due to the metal content within the rock, resulting in rust due to oxidisation. 

Honestly, i regretted not recording down what he said since the information he dispensed during the road trip was really educational. Oh well, i am pushing the blame to the sleeping bug in me that was only partially awaken then! 

I was, however, more curious with this large piece of rock by the sea; the surface was so smooth yet walking on it wasn't as slippery as expected.

With typhoons being an annual menace to Taiwan, precautions (like the placements of those ugly looking phallic shaped structures) must be taken to prevent the shoreline from being decimated and resulting in injury / death.

Yeliu Geopark! Mr Xu gave us a lot of flexibility to plan our itinerary and i thought it makes perfect sense for everyone to visit the geological park first thing in the morning. With minimal shelter on a hot day, the afternoon sun would likely be damaging to one's health and skin! For more information, click here

Drove past a cemetery while on our way to Jiufen Old Street. Mr Xu, like many friends, was curious on our interest in the dead but did suggest a few places we can visit in the future!

It took us close to an hour to reach the old street which was high up on the mountains.

More tombs!! I cannot imagine the price just to be buried there; they commanded an extraordinary view that would have been expensive private property back in Singapore.

For my comprehensive post on Jiufen old street, please visit it here

Gold Waterfall, a fifteen minutes drive from Jiufen, was next in the queue! We were given the option to check out the gold museum although we eventually decided to give it a miss after recollecting Kon's advice that there was nothing much that would interest us except for the heaviest gold bar in the whole world! 

On the nearby Yin Yang Sea (陰陽海), King Kong Mountain (黑金刚大山) & Remains of the Thirteen Levels (十三層遺址), do check out my post here

Nowhere in Asia did i remember ever seeing so many plots of cemeteries and i am referring to only one day! Unlike the boring tombs in Singapore, those in Taiwan featured way more designs and structures and from a far distance, do look like small little houses! 

Keelung night market - absolutely the right place for one to starve himself / herself so that he / she can save the stomach for an incredibly amount of food found in the market! For more review, especially on the food we had, click here

Another hour was spent on travelling to Shifen! It was indeed quite a tight itinerary and for those keen in a more relaxed pace should consider only Yeliu Geopark, Jiufen Old Street and Pingxi (includes Shifen). My blog post on releasing the lanterns in Shifen can be read here

We were exhausted but it seemed a bit too early to turn in for the night at 8.30pm. Hence, we made a trip down to Shida Night Market! Sadly, the market wasn't as vibrant as we thought (maybe because it was already quite late when we reached at around 9.30pm).

Managed to get a packet of salted water chicken to eat back in the hotel though. 

Drinks were required and what's better than a big bottle of yogurt drink (that tasted like yakult) that cost us only NT$89 (S$3.70) for close to 1.8 liters! 

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Details on Engaging a Private Chauffeur
I was supposed to engage Mr Mickey Yang, an English speaking chauffeur who is immensely popular with Singaporeans but he was already booked. Sensing my helplessness, he personally recommended his friend, Mr Xu, who turned out to be a nice, chatty chap who took great care of us in that twelve hours!! 

His rates were as follows (subject to change): NT$3000 for 1-2 persons, NT$3300 for 3-4 persons, NT$3500 for 5 persons and NT$4000 for 6 persons! Do note that he doesn't speak English and you are free to call him at the above number. You may also SMS him at http://www.afreesms.com/intl/taiwan and let him have your details; date of engagement, the number of persons and the places you would like to visit. 

Like many cabs in Taiwan, Mr Xu drove a Toyota Wish to bring us around. Please also keep in mind that he only covers Taipei and the surrounding New Taipei vicinity.  


For an overview of my 9 Days, 8 Nights Taiwan Trip [Cingjing (清境) - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - Taichung (臺中) - Taipei (臺 北)], click HERE.

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:47 PM

    hi!

    I know this may be a damn stupid question but..Can Mr Xu reply to AFreeSms? If not how may I communicate with him?

    Thank you hehe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not stupid at all; haha. i was supposed to engage the famous meeky yang but he wasn't available and passed my number to his friend, Mr Xu. Not long after, Mr Xu actually called from Taiwan!

      Delete
  2. Can i have mickey hp no? Thks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo, i don't have his number but you may find his contact via his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/yang.meeky/about.

      Delete
  3. Wowww! Didn't know Meeky is so popular among Singaporean tourists haha but I must really commend Meeky for his great service! I took his car when I went in Mar this year. He was really friendly and took us around for 12hours and even brought us to scenic places around New Taipei City which weren't in our itinerary. Really beautiful and so happy with it! He's really a nice guy. He also recommended different places to us to visit and food to eat. I must also say he's quite a great photographer ���� I also tried to contact and book him for my upcoming Oct-Nov trip but unfortunately he's already fully booked! ���� so he did the same thing too, he introduced Mr Xu to us. At first I was worry and really skeptical about it cos well, Meeky set the bar too high but now that I have read from your post, I think I can proceed to contact him. Haha thank you so so much! and you take really pretty pictures too ��������

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks, Amanda! just an amateur photographer! Haha. hope you would enjoy Mr Xu's company! p.s. don't talk politics with him although he can share loads of insights! lol.

      Delete

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