Our long awaited couple trip!
Being the parents of 2 children, we really needed some quality time for just the two of us.
So we arranged a trip to Tainan and experienced a tour by bus holding hands together, just like a decade ago when we were falling in love.
It brought back many wonderful memories!
After living in Taiwan for almost 14 years,
Andi loves the culture, language and especially the beautiful views of Taiwan.
So this article is mostly written from Andi’s perspective.
I have to say the transportation for tourist in Taiwan has become more and more convenient, especially for foreigners.
I can highly recommend the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle we took during this trip.
This shuttle bus is a must know to all foreigners for its convenience!
Taiwan Tourist Shuttle is designed for traveling through cities in Taiwan from spot to spot, from Taiwan Railway and THSR to
Taiwanese famous tourist attractions nearby, and it is available throughout Taiwan!
If you don’t want a long distance drive or traveling with a tour group, taking Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus is the best choice for arranging
your own traveling plan! It’s also energy saving and reducing carbon emissions!
Beside transportation tickets, Taiwan Tourist Shuttle has also published packages which can be bought on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle website.
All of the websites come with English translations to simplify the booking process for foreigners!
You can also easily buy the transportation tickets from ibon machines in convenient stores!
Select 【訂票/取票/訂房】on ibon machines, there’s an option for Taiwan Tourist Shuttle, click it and you’ll see the routes for each city.
Print the payment slip out and make the payment at the counter then you can receive the tickets!
Our 台灣好行–關子嶺線二日卷 tickets for this trip were purchased at an ibon kiosk in the 7-11.
The Guanzihling route offers 1 day and 2 day transportation tickets.
The bus of Guanzihling route is only available on weekends and national holidays.
The Guanzihling route starts from THSR Chiayi Station:
Chiayi High Speed Railway Station➜Nanjing Train Station➜Houbi Train Station➜Baihe Bus Station➜Xiancaopu➜Baoquan bridge➜Guanzihling
There’s a row of bus stops at gate 2 of Chiayi High Speed Railway Station,
the bus station of Taiwan Tourist Shuttle is at the 3rd stop.
There’re timetables of each route on the bus stop signs!
Show the ticket when you get on board, the driver will then write the traveling date on it.
You can get on buses of this route by showing the ticket, so remember to keep it.
There’s a large shuttle bus and mini bus in service for Taiwan Tourist Shuttle.
There’s also information of how to board the bus and a price list on the bus!
We left Chiayi High Speed Railway Station and arrived at Houbi Train Station.
Both stops for boarding and getting off the bus are across the Houbi Train Station.
憑台灣好行套票租單車，一台腳踏車一天 120 元
After arriving at Houbi Train station, we rented bicycles at the Cozy Bike Rental right beside the train station.
With the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Ticket, the bike rental is only 120 per day For 1 bike.
Riding by bike to Jingliao Old Street
The view of the countryside is amazing as we are passing the green country road.
We passed by the catholic church in Houbi on our way, the constructure is rather unique!
It’s approximately a 15 minutes ride from Houbi Train Station to Jingliao Old Street by bicycle.
Soon we arrived at the nostalgic and historical Jingliao Old Street
Jingliao Old Street was a station between Guguandau Tainan County to Zhuluo County in the past.
The old street was once very prosperous,
although it has been through the changes of time, lots of the buildings are still very well preserved.
Strolling in Jingliao Old Street feels like going back into the past,
there you can enjoy the unique nostalgic atmosphere of the old street!
Houbi district is well known for its awarded rice,
and the “Wumile community” is currently a very popular agricutural tourism village.
You must try the local cuisine coming to the Jingliao Old Street
This is the famous FuGueiShiTang reaping rice.
During the harvest season back then, farmers would prepare “reaping rice” for the neighbors that assisted them with the harvesting.
已有 80 年歷史的合興冰果室是必吃的台南後壁美食，整間店復古氛圍，
There’s a famous Hesing Ices and Fruits Shop with a history of over 80 years in the old street as well.
It offers delicacies such as banana shaved ice,
which is both vintage and cheap.
It’s really quite necessary to have a bowl of shaved ice to cool you down in the blistering heat of South Taiwan.
After Jingliao Old Street,
we went back to Houbi Train Station and took the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus to Guanzihling.
From Houbi Train Station to Baoquan Bridge.
Baoquan Bridge is the stop before Guanzihling main station,
this station is just outside the hotel that we stayed in Guanzihling, it’s only a 1 minute walk away.
The hotel we stayed in Guanzihling was Yosemite Hot Spring Resort
“Yosemite Hot Spring Resort” is located in the headstream of the spring in the Guanzihling hot spring area;
it reflects the green Dadong mountain with its simplistic building style.
Each room has its own private SPA pool.
This hotel is a family hot spring hotel with fair prices.
Taiwan Tourist Shuttle also offers a package for transportation and lodging with the hotel!
比較特別的是飯店將溫泉 SPA 水療池設置於頂樓，
The hotel built the SPA,
hot spring and hydrotherapy pool on the rooftop for tourists to overlook the beautiful view while enjoying the volcanic mud spring!
We left our luggage in the hotel and took a stroll to the Guanzihling hot spring area.
Strolling from Baoquan Bridge across the hotel to the Guanzihling spring old street
And then climbed the stairs upwards
Overlooking the view of Guanzihling
There’s the Huo Wangye spring and Huo Wangye temple here.
Then we took on the hero’s slope
The hero‘s slope was built for wounded soldiers to rehabilitate during Japanese colonial period, running up the stairs is very helpful for rehabilitation!
The hero slope had almost 300 stairs, but the lower part was cut off, leaving “only” 243 stairs left.
So don’t forget to count them when you are here already 😉
Upward the hero’s slope are Lingding Park and Wu Jin-huai square
There are some other spots such as Erjiewan scenic overlook→Spring Valley scenic overlook→ New Hero’s Slope
Take a stroll here and stop by the sceneries,
you can discover the history with the guide map
Going back to the hotel restaurant to enjoy the savory fish head casserole
You gotta enjoy the volcanic mud spring if you come to Guanzihling,
for this is what Guanzihling is famous for!
The volcanic mud spring of Guanzihling is black and muddy,
with subterranean strata slurry and minerals,
making it an alkaline carbonated spring!
It’s interesting how the skin feels tender and smooth like just being exfoliated after soaking in the mud spring,
no wonder it’s known as the most natural spot for skin care!
After enjoying breakfast the next morning, we bathed in the mud spring again before checking out.
Then we took the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus to the Baihe Bus Station.
抵達白河轉運站後轉乘公車黃 11 乘車（白河站－東山站）前往東山老街
After arriving at Baihe Bus Station, we transferred to bus Yellow 11 to Dongshan Old Street.
The shifts of bus Yellow 11 aren’t much, and it would have taken a while before the next one.
So we chose to take a taxi to the famous Dongshan Old Street for a trip to temples and delicacies.
There’s a famous Dongshan Bixuansi temple in Dongshan.
They have a tradition of greeting Buddha on January 10th of the lunar calendar for over a hundred years.
Besides the religious culture, the architecture and design of the temple might also be fascinating to foreigners as well.
What makes this temple different is there’re two white elephants in front while most temples got stone lions at the entrance.
This is referring to the Puxian Buddha’s image of doing charity while riding a white elephant, quite enchanting!
We walked to the Dongshan Old Street after visiting Dongshan Bixuansi temple.
Jhongxing Road is downtown of Dongshan, lots of famous foods are found around here.
Such as the very famous Dongshan duck head, crispy fried spareribs, Taiwanese meatball,
tapioca balls, soybean pudding, oyster omelet, fish heads and many more.
We ate Dongshan meatballs, Timeham Dongshan crispy fried spareribs
Rihsi Pearl Tapioca & Tofu Pudding
And the must-try Langi Yatou duck heads
This is literally a local queuing delicacy,
people are already queuing up before they start to sell at 1pm.
Braising before frying is a unique culinary technic of Langi Yatou duck heads
The braised sauce covers the crispy duck skin like smoked honey making it even tastier.
Don’t forget to have a coffee at the Dong Shan Coffee Museum,
you can also get souvenirs about coffee here!
離開東山老街後我們搭乘公車黃 11 乘車折返回白河站
There’re countless delicacies here in Dongshan Old Street, you may savor many Taiwanese snacks and street foods here!
We took the bus Yellow 11 to Baihe Bus Station after our visit to Dongshan Old Street,
then we transferred to Guanzihling route of the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus to Chiayi
High Speed Railway Station!
What a perfect and relaxing Tainan trip!
It’s really convenient to have shuttle buses taking you to the major tourist attractions without having to drive by yourself!
I’m already planning on the next bus trip.
For more information, check out the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle website.