Day trips from Taipei

Having been to Taipei several times now, I decided to explore the countryside a little bit more. Here are some day trip options even though I chose to stay over night at Jiu Fen to make the trip a bit more relaxing and to avoid large groups of tourists:

  1. Jiu Fen and Jing Gua Shi – Jiufen is a mountain town east of Taipei. It’s known for the narrow alleyways of its old town, packed with teahouses, street-food shacks and souvenir shops. It is also known as the back drop for the movie Spirited Away! Don’t forget to try Grandma Lai’s famous mochi type dessert opposite the post office along the old street.Close by, the Gold Mine Museum in Jing Gua Shi traces the town’s history as a mining hub during the Japanese-era gold rush. Be sure to check out the golden waterfall too which you will surprisingly find just by the main road.

    You can easily take a public bus from Rui Fang station to Jiu Fen and from Jiu Fen to Jing Gua Shi.

  2. Jing Tong to Ping Xi to Shi Fen to Rui Fang – Buy a day pass or use your easy card to access the Ping Xi line train that connects all these must see villages. This area is rich in history and is famous for the sky lantern experience. I chose to do the sky lantern at Ping Xi station instead of the famous Shi Fen one because of the number of tourists! Releasing a sky lantern starts from 150NT depending on the number of colours you want on your latern as each color represents a different meaning (this matters to some people). Shifen is also known for it’s waterfall so be sure to check that out (closes at 4:30pm) – photo in my Taipei blog post.
  3. Ying Ge is famous for the production of porcelain and an abundance of art studios and shops. It was good fun learning to make pottery! Note that it take’s about a month for it to be fired and colored so it might be useful to have a Taiwan friend help you pick this up as I’m not sure that they do international deliveries. It cost 150NT to make and an additional 150NT for the firing process etc.

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. People always compare Melbourne and Sydney but it’s really up to you to decide which city your prefer as they both have pros and cons. Melbourne is known for being more artsy but you could get four seasons in one day! Here is a list of things to do in the city, a few eating recommendations and near by road trips you can do too.

  1. Adelphi Hotel rooftop pool (glass bottom)
  2. Aga The French Patisserie
  3. Art Centre Melbourne
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  4. Australian Centre for Moving Image
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  5. Ballarat day trip known for its Gold!
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  6. Bendigo Day Trip
  7. Brighton Beach for the famous colourful beach huts20180623_164239
  8. Carlton Gardens where you’ll find Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building
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  9. Chadstone shopping centre with 550 shops, free shuttle available
  10. China Town
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  11. Cycle Merri Creek Trail
  12. Dandenongs Day trip (puffing billy railway)
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  13. Day trip to Yarra Valley with Autopia Tours
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  14. Degraves street for cafes
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  15. Eat at Hawker Chan (Singaporean food)
  16. Etihad Stadium
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  17. Eureka Tower 88 floor observation deck
  18. Federation Square
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  19. Flag Staff Garden
  20. Flinders Street station
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  21. Forum Theatre
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  22. Geelong day trip
  23. Get a bird’s eye view from the balcony of Hamer Hall2F232308-EBE0-4D05-8C4F-EF343265EB6D
  24. Grampians

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    On the way to Balconies Lookout Point
  25. Great Ocean Road

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    Gibson Steps Beach
  26. Hanging Rock – Macedon Ranges ( I would highly recommend Hanging Rock Llama Walking Tours hosted by Mark, be sure to book ahead)850D80D9-FE42-481F-9AFF-C3A022CE306E
  27. Heide Museum of Modern Art
  28. Hopetoun Tea Rooms – always fully booked
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  29. Hosier Lane and Centre Place for street art
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  30. Immigration Museum
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  31. Luna Park
  32. Lune Croissanterie, always sells out
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  33. Melbourne Museum
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  34. Melbourne Zoo
  35. Mornington Peninsula day trip with Bunyip Tours which will include either the hot springs or Sorrento and Port Sea in the morning followed by the Enchanted Adventure Gardens in the afternoon

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    Arthur’s Seat View Point
  36. National Gallery Victoria
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  37. Nicholas building (shopping)
  38. Old Melborne Gaol
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  39. Old Treasury Building (really good free museum)4E60113F-7576-48E9-9B62-E71BDAA82C8F
  40. Parliament House
  41. Philip Island day trip, they come out after sunset
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  42. Pidapipo Gelato (try the Nutella one)
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  43. Port Campbell (part of Great Ocean Road trip)
  44. Princes Bridge
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  45. Queen Victoria Market
  46. Royal Botanic Gardens
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  47. Royal Exhibition Building
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  48. Sofitel Hotel toilets for a view!
  49. Sorrento and Port Sea
  50. South Melbourne Market
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  51. St Kilda where you can also see Penguins for free
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  52. St Paul’s Cathedral
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  53. State library
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  54. Take the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento
  55. Take the free city loop tain
  56. The Block Arcade
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  57. The Star – their ferris wheel for great views from up top
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  58. Town Hall
  59. Waterfront city/New Quay
  60. Yarra River