Begin your private tour at 9am with hotel pickup by your guide in Taipei. You’ll be transferred by air-conditioned vehicle to Yehliu National Geopark, less than one hour away. Yehliu – situated in one of the most remarkable geological coastal areas in northern Taiwan – is well known for its rocky promontory overlooking the bay.
Admire magnificent scenic views of this phenomenal natural environment shaped over time by wind and waves. You’ll enjoy many photo ops as you explore the large rocks dubbed with imaginative names such as Queen’s Head; many of the boulders are named by the locals for their resemblance to everyday objects.
After stopping for a delicious seafood lunch at the fishing harbor, your guide will take you to Jiufen, situated in the hills overlooking a small harbor on Taiwan’s northeastern coast. Once a prosperous town famous for its gold mining industry, Jiufen was abandoned by the 1970s and nearly forgotten, but is now a mecca for artists and writers as well as the inspiration for films like A City of Sadness and Spirited Away.
Follow your guide down narrow cobbled streets past stone walls and tea houses that provide a picture of the town during Japanese occupation. If you would like to try the local fare (own expense), Jiufen Old Street offers plentiful food stalls as well as souvenirs and tea shops that stretch through the entire town. Walk down the long, narrow street that brims with traditional crafts and delicious snacks such as sweet taro balls, rice cakes and grilled squid.
Next, your guide will take you to see old houses in Jiufen’s residential area and explore an old narrow pathway where mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. Then, visit the restored Shengping Theater House, the first movie theater in northern Taiwan, originally built for the mineworkers' after-hours entertainment. Admire authentic details such as the ticket office, seats and stage, as well as vintage movie posters and defunct equipment.
Your guide will share tales about Spirited Away, which won the 2002 Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and point out some of the signature locations from the movie. Hear about the director, Hayao Miyazaki, who was inspired by the scenic beauty of Jiufen on a long visit to Taiwan and used the town’s scenery as a backdrop for the Japanese film.
When your private tour of Jiufen ends around 5pm, your guide will drop you off at your hotel in Taipei.