The trip truly made me realise that this interesting city has so much to offer and sadly it is always overlooked by most travelers coming to Taiwan. If you want to know some basic information about the city, simply visit my first post as I have poured a lot there.
Those who have read my first post, don’t go away as I am about to spill more here. Ready to get enticed? Grab your pen and notebook now!
Whether you are into nature, history, scenic landscape or local culture, New Taipei City has a wide variety of attractions that are ready to delight you. I first thought that New Taipei City is just a place for city dwellers where you can only see shopping malls and skyscraper buildings. In fact, it is more than that!
Here are some places you can visit while exploring New Taipei City (Ruifang District):
Note: For your travel convenience, I highly recommend you to rent a car or motorbike and go for a road trip if you wish to explore all these places within Ruifang District.
1. Shancheng Art Center and Exhibition Gallery
If you are an art enthusiasts and currently in the look of some creative inspirations, Shancheng Art Center is definitely a place to visit. This interesting art center is located on Jinguashi coast and surrounded with lush green mountain and breathtaking sea views.
Built by the Japanese, this building initially serves as a movie theater before it turned to an art center, which is founded 8 years ago by Arnold Lin, who is the owner of a culture-creative themed shop, restaurant and hostels, together with various local artists. This center showcases various kind of artworks personally made by the highly-talented local artists.
Nice to know: The artists use art as a medium for them to rekindle the glory days of “Gold Mountain” in Jinguashi, a town that is famous for gold and copper mines.
One of the art pieces that caught my attention was these carefully-crafted wood bells with its background stories that truly captivate me. The artist created this wood bell during the past time when mining was actively done here. Since mining is a risky job, they will ring the bell after work – to tell others that they are safe.
Visitors are more than welcome to purchase any of the wood bell and customized it based on their creativity. Besides, you can see other artworks like home furniture, paintings and some locally-made organic skincare products.
Address: No. 155-8, Dongding Rd., Ruifang District, New Taipei City.
Hours: 09:30 – 17:30 (Tue – Sun); Closed on Mondays.
2. Yin Yang Sea
From the art center, I was able to gaze at some amazing views. Simply look down to the Yin Yang Sea and witness the beautiful mixture of yellow and blue colour on the water, which I have been told that it is due to the result of mining activities happened here. It is interestingly strange!
In case you guys are wondering why it is named Yin Yang Sea, it is because of the two colours resemble the ancient Chinese principle of Yin and Yang that highlights the concept of duality. It is beautiful to see yet dangerous to touch. Do not ever wish to get into the water as it contains highly concentrated heavy metal ions.
I managed to take a few shots of the view, truly breathtaking!
3. Gold Waterfall
Heading up to the top of Teapot Mountain? Along the way, be sure to drop by and see Golden Waterfall. It is located near the Gold Ecological Park. Why is it called as ‘Gold Waterfall’?
This waterfall got its name as being a part of gold mine area. The vibrant gold-colour water occurred as a result of the interesting combination of regular rainfall and the abundance of heavy metal elements placed in the riverbed.
Great spot for photography. The waterfall is indeed a peaceful and scenic sight – such an interesting natural geographical site!
4. Teapot Mountain
Any adventure junkies right here?
Please raise your hand up! In New Taipei City, you could also do an outdoor activity, which is hike up to the top of Teapot Mountain (one of the famous hiking areas here). I saw many of the visitors (mostly middle aged) opt for a full hike.
If you have plenty of time, do it. I wish I have ample time here to go for the full hike. According to various articles, the full hike (11km) will take approximately 5-6 hours but that depending on one’s physical stamina.
These are blogs that you can read about the Teapot Mountain full-hike experience:
What if you are too lazy to hike or running short of time?
You can drive up to the higher part of the mountain. There will be a limit for car to access. Then, you might need to do a short hike up to the top.
Don’t worry. The sweat and a-little-bit of pain (if you are not an outdoor person) will soon be washed away when you witness the gorgeous panoramic view from top, which you could see some of the major attractions around here. Trust me!
Address: Jinguashi Geological Park.
5. About Café
After conquering Teapot Mountain, it is time to fill up your hungry tummy. There are plenty of dining options nearby the area. I dined at About Café, which is located around 10-15-minute drive from Shancheng Art Center.
Steven, who was with me during the trip, told “We have arrived”. I asked him “Where is it?” and he said “Here, that building”.
I see nothing but a building that completely look like a workshop or something. I don’t see any characteristics of a café or restaurant. I was blown away as soon as I stepped in the café. It was real, guys!
About Café is one of the coolest café I have ever entered. There were bicycle, mini boat and other outdoor items hanged on the ceiling and wall. It gave me some sort of like a workshop vibe, which is super cool!
This café serves myriad menus. I had a plain rice, omelet cooked with scampi and baby tomato as well as grilled fish. Besides that, free Wi-Fi connection provided for diners to enjoy (simply ask the staff for password).
If you have time, go and check it out!
6. Jioufen Old Street
I like to see local stuffs like food, clothes, souvenirs and snacks. If you are just like me, don’t forget to put Jioufen Old Street in your itinerary. Visiting this street is like stepping into Taiwan during the olden days. Some even say you will feel like in Hong Kong. Is it true? I don’t know because I’ve never been there before.
Stroll around the street to see various shops lining up selling many kind of things food such as glutinous rice cake, rice balls, stinky tofu and other snacks. For Muslim travelers, again, there is nothing much you can eat here but it is great to take a look around.
Not only food, there are many quaint little shops selling clothes and souvenirs (I mean cool souvenirs to bring back). Also, don’t forget to try their milky tea plus pearl. It’s a must!
1. Come during weekdays to avoid crowd.
2. If you are driving, there are parking lots nearby the street cost around NT$ 100 – 200 (RM28) for 2 hours. Just pay and the people will help to park your car. It is safe.
3. Spend at least 3 to 4 hours if you wish to explore this old street thoroughly. It is worth it!