I have been back…to Taiwan…for a week. While I have not finished writing about all stories about my three months in Taiwan in 2016, I cannot resist my nostalgia for Taipei and decided to book round ticket to Taiwan for a week. Thanks to the new visa policy, I was not required to apply visa but only submit online application for visa exempt entry this time. I flew to Taichung first, staying there for 2 days before traveling by train to Taipei. I flew back to Hanoi from Taipei.
I arrived in Taichung International Airport in the late afternoon after spending 3 hours traveling. When I caught a bus from the airport to the city center and watched the scene on the way, all of the best memories of mine in Taiwan came across my mine, making me feel that it was just like a dream. Here I come back again, earlier than I expected. It is just like meeting the one you love so much after a long time getting apart. Such feeling was even stronger when I sat on the train from Hsinchu to Taipei three days after. When it was announced that the next stop would be Taipei Main Station, I can’t help feeling moved. Taipei or Taiwan should be an irreplaceable part of my life. In this trip coming back to Taiwan, apart from visiting my favorite places in the good old days, I spared some time visiting new places in both Taichung and Taipei. In this post, I am writing about my day trip to The Fugueijiao Lighthouse (富貴角燈塔) and Laomei Green Reef (老梅石槽).
This time when I was in Taipei, I decided to stay in a hostel right next to Shilin Night Market within a few minutes of walk to Jiantan MRT. Though Shilin Night Market is among very famous destinations for foreigners in Taipei, I was not so happy about the location this time due to some personal reasons. First, I prefer to stay in a place which is more local. For example, last time when I stayed in Taipei in my last days in Taiwan in 2016, I stayed in a hostel in Da’an District, near Liuzhangli MRT. I was very happy for not to see a lot of foreign tourists when I was there. Second, Jiantan MRT is a little bit far in the north. Though it is a very ideal place for a basic tourist to visit main destinations in Taipei or New Taipei, i.e. Tamsui, Beitou, Yangmingshan National Park, National Palace Museum, or the West area of Taipei, it is quite far from the East area, or the center, i.e. MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing/Zhongxiao Xinsheng, the places I was familiar with during my three months in Taipei and it took me a long way across the city to reach my beloved NCCU in Wenshan District.
However, I cannot complain that much as given my limited budget, I did not have many choices. Fairly speaking, I still recommended Fun Taipei Hostel as a nice place to stay if you prefer a nice yet low-cost place to stay in Taipei.
Coming back to the story of my day trip, I have long been interested in a trip to the Northern Coast. However, when I was in Taipei in 2016, as I stayed in Wenshan District, which lies in the south of Taipei, it was not always ideal to go to discover a place in the Northern Coast. This time, as I stayed in Shilin, a trip to the Northern Coast was easier. I got up early in the morning, traveling to MRT Tamsui to catch a bus to Laomei Station. When I found my way to Laomei Green Reef, I got to know two young Taiwanese friends, Wendy, 23 years old, a nurse working in Taoyuan, and Zong, 20 years old, Wendy’s cousin. We first walked to Laomei Green Reef. Laomei Green Reef is a famous check-in place for Taiwanese young people for its beautiful algae-covered rocks. The best time to visit Laomei Green Reef is from March to May every year. However, it is still a good choice for ones who just want to escape the hustle bustle of the city and love watching the ocean. After taking several cool photos in Laomei Green Reef, as Wendy and Zong suggested, we walked to the nearby ShimenKite Park (風箏公園) with nothing but a replica of dinosaur bone. However, I really loved the scenes on the way. Wendy and Zong were just like my cousins in Vietnam, who loved taking good photos for checking-in purposes on Instagram and Facebook. It was so interesting to have conversation in Chineses with them on the way, especially after nearly one week having only short conversation with the salesgirls in 7-11. We then found our way to Fuguejiao Lighthouse. Due to our lack of information, we walked back to the bus stop just to take bus to Fuguejiao Lighthouse, which lies only two stops away from the Laomei bus stop while we actually could walk there. However, the view on my random walk was still worth. Fuguejiao Lighthouse was among 19 lighthouses in Taiwan. This lighthouse, built in the Japanese era, lies at the northernmost place of Taiwan. When we walked there, the wind was very hard. Wendy and Zong decided to take a rest on a pavilion on the way to the light house while I decided to walk to the lighthouse. It was very windy this day and I just thought that I was almost blown up when standing on the lighthouse. It was Wednesday, however, there were several tourists like me, Wendy, and Zong visiting there. I saw a lot of old people coming there to take exercise. What I love about Taiwan so much is the government’s commitment to providing public spaces of good quality for its people. Taiwanese people have a lot of seaside parks or public trails for hiking, unlike in Vietnam, where the beaches or the seaside places are often sold to the private companies. On our way out of the Park, Wendy and Zong wanted to go to the restroom and we found out Laomei Maze (老梅迷宮). Actually, when we were still at Laomei Green Reef, Wendy and Zong already mentioned about their intention of finding the Laomei Maze. However, if they did not go to the restroom, they could not find the Maze as there was no sign about the Maze. Wendy and Zong were very excited about this discovery. They walked around to find a good corner to have good photos. To make the photo shoot better, I decided to lend them my selfie stick (I just felt like a big sister who was responsible to make my little cousins happier. :P).
A better version of the Laomei Maze on Instagram, though 😛
Or Laomei Green Reef at its best time of the year:
Here is my guide for a day trip to these places:
- First take the red MRT line to reach MRT Tamsui, getting out by Exit 1.
- Walk across the street to the bus stop in front of McDonald and wait for Bus No. 862, 863, 865 and 867. Be prepared that it would be a long trip as the bus would stop at around 52 stops before reaching Fuguei Cape Lighthouse Station.
- Follow the guidance on the way to the Fugueijiao Lighthouse. You will have first to come across the road to then find a bridge to lead you back to the seaside. You will find the Fugueijiao Park. The direction to Laomei Green Reef is also provided there.
- And if you really want to take photos at the Laomei Maze, don’t forget to follow the direction for the WC :P. The Maze is on the way there.
Wish you a nice getaway with beautiful pictures taken there.
For information about places to visit in the Northern Coast of Taiwan, you may visit this website: