Taiwan is a tourist destination that offers an endless list of attractions to explore. Recently, I had the opportunity to embark on a one-day tour of the Jinshan and Wanli districts in the New Taipei City and I would like to share with you my experiences in this blog.
In case you are wondering, New Taipei City is just located in Taipei. It was originally known as Taipei County but it took on a new name in 2010. Jinshan and Wanli districts are situated along the scenic northern coast of Taiwan.
Singaporeans should be rather familiar with the two districts, especially the Wanli district that is home to the famous “Queen’s Head” （女王头） at the Yehliu Geopark. In this post, I will list the top attractions at these two districts and the recommended accommodation for your trip.
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No. 1 Yehliu Geopark 【野柳地质公园】
I was here about three years ago and took the photos below. This place brings back fond memories as I went there with my family. I still remember daddy sweating so much as we went in June. Nonetheless, we were amazed by the fascinating rock formations.
It is a must to try the sea urchins over here. I don’t usually eat such things but they are really finger-licking good. ❤
Estimated duration of stay: 2 hours
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 5pm (Note: Opening hours are extended for the months of May to September from 7.30am to 6pm and till 6.30pm for weekends)
Admisssion fee: NTD80 for tourists (free entry for children below 115cm)
Address: No.167-1, Kantung Rd., Yehliu Village, Wanli District, New Taipei City
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No. 2 Jinbaoli Old Street 【金包里老街】
Jinbaoli Old Street is also known as Jinshan Old Street. It is said to be the oldest street in Jinshan district, with its history dating back to the Qing Dynasty.
The shops here open pretty early. Most of the shops are ready for business by 10am and close around 7pm so do plan your trip around these hours. 🙂
Jinbaoli Old Street is known for the famous duck meat stall located right in front of the Guang An Temple 广安宫庙. Countless tourists make a trip to Jinbaoli Old Street just for this duck meat and because of it, the boss managed to expand his business empire. He now owns a few stops within the area. I was there around 10.30am and these shops were already crowded with people.
The duck meat looks really good right? Heard from many foodies that the meat is very tender. Yum Yum.
There was another shop along the street that caught my attention. It is called 绿岛冰菓店(Lüdao Ice Shop). However, this shop does not sell ice. It is known for its noodles and a boss who is highly insistent on how his noodles should be eaten. My local tour guide, Wayne told me that the boss does not allow customers to add extra condiments to the noodles he has prepared. Nonetheless, this shop remains highly popular among the locals.
When you are at Jinbaoli Old Street, you should also try Jinshan’s local specialty, the sweet potato. They come in different forms and I especially like the sweet potato chips. They are packed nicely in ziplock bags and look decent as souvenirs from Taiwan. Most importantly, they taste great too! I regretted buying only one packet. How I wish I could return to Jinbaoli and buy more. (It costs NTD100 per pack, which is around SGD4.)
Estimated duration of stay: 1.5 hours
Address: Jinbaoli St., Jinshan District, New Taipei City 208
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No. 3 Juming Museum 【朱铭美术馆】
Juming Museum was established in 2004 by a famous Taiwan sculptor, Ju Ming aka Ju Chuan-tai. His art works are highly acclaimed, especially in Asia. (Note: Ju Ming’s art installation ‘Living World’ is a permanent outdoor exhibit at the National Museum of Singapore.) I love his creations and have always wanted to visit his art gallery. Little did I know that he has established a museum and it is located right in Jinshan District.
If you think that this museum would just be another typical museum with art pieces well-protected behind glass displays, you are absolutely wrong. Apparently, Juming Museum does not fall into this stereotype. In fact, this museum not only has art galleries but also consists of vast open areas, interactive zones and even man-made lakes. I am full of admiration towards Ju Ming for all the hard work that went behind making this museum such a success and yes, it is totally worth the admission fee.
I spent about 2 hours in this museum and left with full admiration towards Juming. It is a place highly worth visiting, trust me.
Estimated duration of stay: 2 – 3 hours
Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm from May to October and 10am to 5pm from November to April (Note: Juming Museum is closed on Mondays.)
Admission fee: NTD250 (SGD10.80) for adults and NTD220 (SGD9.50) for students and senior citizens. Admission is free for children under the age of 6 or below 115cm.
Address: No.2, Xishihu, Jinshan District, New Taipei City
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No. 4 Teresa Teng Memorial Park 【邓丽君纪念公园】
Jinshan District is also home to the tomb of the legendary Chinese singer, Teresa Teng whose early death shocked many in the Chinese community. Her resting place is situated right at the scenic Jinbaoshan where fans around the world visit the cemetery to pay their respects to the singer.
When I was there, I saw an uncle holding a huge bunch of joss sticks. He introduced the singer to me and told me that her original name is 邓丽筠(yun) instead of what she is commonly known as, 邓丽君(jun). The uncle is very friendly. Apparently, he is a big fan of Teresa and has been standing by her tomb for many years. He also welcomed me to take photos of the memorial park.
It is such a pity that Teresa Teng departed this world early else, she would have produced even more Chinese classics. If you are a fan of Teresa Teng, you should definitely make a trip to this serene cemetery and pay tribute to this diva.
Estimated duration of stay: 0.5 hours
No admission fee is required.
Address: No. 18, Xishihu, Xihu Village, Jinbaoshan, Jinshan District, New Taipei City
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Recommended Accommodation – Jin Yong Quan Spa Hotspring Resort 【金湧泉温泉会馆】
With so many attractions in the Jinshan and Wanli Districts at the New Taipei City, you know that you should just stay there for a night to rest and recharge. Coincidentally, Wanli district is a popular area for hot springs due to the quality of the spring water in this area. It is home to many large hot spring resorts and one famous resort in the district is the Jin Yong Quan Hotspring Resort.
I stayed at Jin Yong Quan Spa Hotspring Resort for a night. As I had a pretty tight schedule, I explored the outdoor hot springs at around 9.30pm and spent more than an hour there. This amazing resort has a gigantic outdoor hot spring area that is as big as a water theme park. There is a huge pool for adults to swim, a paddling pool for kids, indoor hot spring for men and women, and many other individual hot spring pools.
(Photo courtesy of taiwantravelmap.com)
While I was enjoying their hot spring pools, I spotted quite a few Korean ajummas and ajusshis too! They were like me, happily hopping from one pool to another. One thing to note is that the water here comes from underground seabed and contains mild sulfuric content. However, the smell is not strong at all so don’t worry about smelling like a rotten egg after the hot spring experience.
One of the pools that I strongly recommend is the Ginseng Hot Spring Pool (人参汤). As a self-proclaimed health freak, I love the herbal smell of ginseng. The temperature of the pool is around 38 degree celsius, making it really comfortable on a cool, windy night.
The other pool that I really love is the Milk Hot Spring Pool (牛奶汤). The water here has a slightly thicker texture as compared to other pools. I soaked inside the pool for about 15 mins and when I left, my skin felt really soft and smooth. How I wish I could just go there every day! ❤
There was a very friendly Taiwanese who agreed to be my model. It is pretty obvious that she is enjoying herself too! 🙂
There are also other pools with essences like Rose, Lavender, Peppermint etc. They do have a hydrotherapy pool as well. Hot springs are said to bring about many health benefits which include relieving rheumatism and body aches, improving blood circulation, smoother skin and improved quality of sleep.
The next morning, I woke up to the sound of little birds chirping outside my window. What a lovely start to the day! ❤
I would recommend Jin Yong Quan Spa Hotspring Resort to families and couples. After all, you wouldn’t have such a wonderful opportunity to enjoy hot springs in Singapore. How I wish I could just stay here forever. I love hot springs. ❤
You can conveniently book for a stay at the resort online via their website. Prices for the standard rooms go as low as NTD3170 for weekdays (SGD138) and NTD4230 for weekends (SGD184), and it includes complimentary unlimited usage of the outdoor hot springs and pools. It was a great experience for me staying at the resort and being able to travel to the attractions above. Proud to say, it is another achievement unlocked. 🙂
金湧泉温泉会馆很适合全家大小和情侣哦。最重要的是，你在新加坡没有办法享受到温泉呢！你可以通过网站直接订房。一晚住宿介于周日NTD3170 (SGD138)至周末NTD4230 (SGD184)，这也包括了户外温泉区的入门票。
Address: No.213-3, Wanlijiatou, Wanli Township, New Taipei City
www.jyq-hotel.com (Hotel booking can be done at this website)
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All in all, I love the old town charms of the Jinshan and Wanli districts. The people are warm and hospitable. The lifestyle over here is also significantly slower than Taipei city, which is just a stone’s throw away. I must stress that this is a perfect place for a short getaway out of a bustling city for you to just take a step back and enjoy the natural scenery and the therapeutic hot springs that it has to offer.
Next up, I will be sharing with you about Tamsui or Danshui, another district within the New Taipei City. Stay tuned to this blog for more. ❤
Thanks to the New Taipei City Tourism Board for extending the invitation to my blog, Follow My Wanders. Proud to be the official Singapore blogger for the event in Taiwan, “Have fun in New Taipei City”.