Numerous Formosan rock-monkey in Kaohsiung
Formosan rock-monkeys are unique to Taiwan. And the most famous habitat is in Shoushan National Nature Park in Kaohsiung. The park is located on a mountain locally called "Chai-Shan", just near Sizihwan Bay. You could spend a half day for ecology tour on the mountain and enjoy the warm welcome ceremony from these monkeys.
- National/State Park
Gold Ecological Museum
The Gold Ecological Museum is at Jinguashih, which is a 10-15 minute bus ride away from Jiufen.
The gold museum is spread out over a sprawling area and consists of several buildings and attractions. First, you enter a building that takes you through the gold mining history of the area with well-labelled exhibits in English and Chinese.
The grounds of the museum also contain a Japanese Crown Prince chalet. Apparently, the Japanese crown prince used to holiday here. You can walk around the modest grounds of the chalet, and look at the chalet from the outside.
Another attraction in the gold museum is the underground gold mine walk. Here, you put on a safety helmet, and follow a guide, who will take you into the Benshan fifth tunnel, which was a real gold mine in the past. In the mine, wax figurines and voice recordings recreate actual mine working conditions and helps bring history to life. In there, you can alsoi see actual gold streaks on the walls. Be careful when walking through the mine, because it is slippery from all that ground water seeping through the roof.
The sprawling grounds of the museum also means that you can take a picnic there and just have fun.
You can also try the food that gold miners ate in the past; the lunchboxes are on sale at the cafe at the gold museum.
On my way home
I visited my friend who lives at GuGung in Taichung, and it's famous for hiking path and hot spring. When I took bus to downhill, I found the bus is crowede beyond my imagination!! It was an early morning on Monday, and I saw more and more people (esp. the old) get on the bus and quiet excited like children. Some are going to The association for the old and others are going to the market. It overturned my thoughts about this line. Before I always wonder how the bus company make profit through this line, and now I understand.
I took the bus from Gugang to Donshi, transfer another line to FongYuan and took the third bus to Taichung, the fourth bus to home. the traffic is not convinient even for the local.
- Road Trip
Go to Chih Hsing tan beach in Hualien
Chih Hsing Tan is a beach that, instead of sand, is formed of millions and trillions of pebbles which have unique and intricate markings on them. It is a nice place for a picnic. And you don't even have to bring your own food because there are push cart vendors there selling from ice cream to cappucino to stuffed sausages.
This is a place more frequented by asian visitors but will recommend westerners to go. Probably becoz pple there do not speak english much but you can either take a day tour from the local agencies. I have seen individual tourists going around with one tour guide, but dont know what is the charges. But if going with the tour group, they will most probably include 1 more tourist spot but lunch or dinner will not be provided.
You can take the mrt to central taipei mrt station where the railway station is located. There are several trains available but the latest one is called Zi Qiang Hao which costs slightly more but is faster than other trains. Jiu Fen is 4 railway stops away and u need to take a cab or local bus up the mountain (12 minutes or more). Jiu Fen is at the mountain area so is cooling and different from the taipei city area. Has lots of small shops, teashops, pottery etc (a bit commercialised). Taxi trip is NT$150 to go up and NT$150 to come down. But for NT$600, the taxi driver can take you to scenic areas around the mountain including to their main activity area and down the mountain. Will recommend spending half a day there. The taxi driver we used gave us a name card. Taxi tours telephone no. is 0936-457-183 . For a stay at Jiu Fen can call 0937-867-743 or 0916-671-044 (local nos.). Information is correct as at Jun 04.
- Family Travel