Klook Review: Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen (Jiufen, Shifen Old Street, and Shifen Waterfall)

Klook Review: Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen (Jiufen, Shifen Old Street, and Shifen Waterfall)
Comfortable ride

Since we were staying at the Orange Hotel in Ximending, we opted to take the Klook Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen. Although there are blogs which do mention on how to get to to Jiufen and Shifen using the TRA train system, this day trip is definitely worth it for the convenience and effort saved navigating on our own on public transportation.

We selected the 9:30am shuttle and enjoyed all 3 activities at Jiufen, Shifen Old Street, and Shifen Waterfall. The pickup point was easy to find and the time allotted to each location is sufficient for first timers.

When we arrived at the pickup location, which was at a bakery, there was already quite a few people. There were about 30 people in the group and only one tour guide. To keep track of the people our tour guide, Alex, assigned us group numbers to easy identification and accountability. We were group number 13.

Klook Review: Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen (Jiufen, Shifen Old Street, and Shifen Waterfall)
Boarding the bus

The shuttle is more a bus which could probably accommodate 40 passengers, but it was clean and comfortable. There was even (limited) Wi-Fi on-board the bus, and we were given bottles of complimentary water. Once we were all accounted for, we made our way to the first stop of the day – Jiufen.

Our guide, Alex, was friendly and tried to get the group engaged. Unfortunately, most people in the group were introverts and stuck to their own groups, so his enthusiasm was met with a somewhat cold reception. If you were a solo traveler and wanted to make friends that day it would have been almost impossible. Anyways, the ride was smooth, and we were given a brief history of Taiwan: how it was originally known as “Formosa” before its current name, and a brief history of Jiufen.


Jiufen
 Jiufen

The name of the town originated from the (initial) only 9 families living there before the gold rush (it used to be a gold mining site), hence it was called Jiufen, Jiu meaning 9.

After World War II, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination which stands as a nostalgic site which celebrates Taiwanese history and culture. Alex also shared how the locals would stay overnight and play mahjong / hang out for a leisurely weekend.

While most visitors to Jiufen visit the town during a day trip, many also enjoy staying overnight at one of Jiufen's many boutique hotels and B&Bs, called minsu (民宿) in Taiwan. As there is a limited quantity of guesthouses and hotels in Jiufen, early reservation is highly recommended.

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Although we had only about 1 hour and 20 minutes to explore, we did manage to eat quite a lot of food and shop within that time span, as well as take photos and explore a little. Of course, to truly explore the unique town adequately in all its unique alleyways and try out the activities like tea tasting overlooking the sea, at least half a day would be needed.

[Read all about our adventure at JiuFen Old Street (九份老街) here]

It started raining by the time we left Jiufen for the Shifen Waterfall, but fortunately the rain was intermittent and not that heavy. But thanks to the (intermittent) rain (it was typhoon season), the waterfall had ample of water to have an impressive fall. Otherwise, during summer, according the DramaQueen’s friend, the waterfall is usually quite small and unimpressive.



Shifen Waterfall (十分大瀑布)
Shifen Waterfall (十分大瀑布)
Shifen Waterfall (十分大瀑布)

The Shifen Waterfall is a 40 meters high waterfall which is regarded as the most scenic in all of Taiwan. It is about 30 minutes away from Shifen Old Street by walking along either side of the tracks in the northeast direction.

[Read more about our Shifen Waterfall experience here]



Shifen Old Street (十分老街)
Shifen Old Street (十分老街)

The last stop of the day was Shifen Old Street (十分老街), which is a collection of around the Shifen railway station area; the railway station tracks runs straight through the village. Unlike Jiufen, which was a gold mining site, Shifen was built for the transportation of coal during the Japanese occupation.

One of the most famous activity here is the releasing sky lanterns with your wishes written on them. As Klook has a special arrangement with one of the shops, for those who want to enjoy the discount and release the lanterns, Alex helped the group (whoever who was interested) to make the booking and we got a little discount in return.

Shifen Old Street (十分老街)
Meanings of the colors

For those who are interested in writing your wishes on the sky lanterns and releasing, them, you will be spoiled for choice as there are countless of shops offering the same service.

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I’m glad we joined the day tour because if we had gone on our own, not only would we have been at a loss over which shop to choose, we might also be a little intimidated as some of the shops had very persuasive staff and to get the crowd of customers moving along; it was a little bit chaotic and quite boisterous. 

[Read more about our Shifen Old Street (十分老街) experience here]

Conclusion: With a tour guide to lead you and some commentaries along the way, it is the perfect for solo travelers or small groups, and especially for those who want a hassle-free mode of transportation. It is pretty much like a day trip a local tour agency can offer, except that it is easily obtainable online at your convenience.

At the end of the tour, there is an option to give some tips to the guide to show some appreciation. It  is something that is totally up to you (and your budget). I am not really in the habit of giving tips but for the effort that our guide, Alex had put in, he definitely deserved the tips he received that day. Highly recommended for a hassle-free tour that is not only affordable but enjoyable as well. 
Do note that this review is only that of the Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen using Klook, and not on all options and activities that are available on Klook. When booking, please conduct your own research before booking anything. If you are interested in seeing what deals you can snag, do visit Klook!

If you are not yet a member at Klook, sign up here and get S$4.30 off your first transaction! 😊
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Tip: If you want to see what promo codes there are for Klook, you can check out TravelBytez Promo Codes. Do take note of the validity of the promo codes. Happy Travels!




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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.

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