Backpacking in Taiwan is easier than any other cities in East Asia. It has an outstanding transportation system, like Japan and South Korea. Its rail system is extended to its suburbs and countryside. Never mind the people who barely speak or understand English. You can download a mobile language translation app and show it to them if you want to ask for direction.
Northern Taiwan features magnificent natural and heritage wonders.
The old Pingxi line of the Taiwan rail system was a thriving mining industry area. Aside from its vintage rails, Shifen takes pride in its world-renowned sky lantern festival. If you have been seeing photos of hundreds or thousands of sky lanterns lit and flying in the air, then those were probably taken in Taiwan. A day pass is worth 64NTD and you can get on and off the train in any way you desire.
I never thought the sky lanterns would be as almost as tall as me. Every colour on each side signifies something from love to wealth to aspirations. The four-coloured sky lantern is worth 150NTD. Somebody acts as the stand-by assistant to ignite the fire and warm the air inside the lantern. At the station and vicinities, there are other attractions including the Shifen Waterfalls and bamboo rolls (with wishes written on them). Wooden stamps are on sale, too.
The night market in Keelung City would probably be your best too, if you are after gastronomic satisfaction. Sushi, noodles, sausages, seafoods, and pretty almost everything is sold at the streets at affordable prices. For instance, a piece of sushi or maki is pegged at 10NTD. Nine pieces of siomai is priced at 100NTD. A small bucket of fried crabs, shrimps and squid is also 100NTD. For dry goods, however, Shilin night market in Taipei City is still incomparable.
Yehliu Geopark features rock formations like the Queen’s Head (maybe patterned after mummified Egyptian queens, Nefertini perhaps), mushrooms, tofu, bird. It gets extremely hot in the park as it is located at the coast. When you include this in your itinerary, a bus ride from Keelung City is 50NTD. Be sure to check the bus number. A signboard is installed inside the bus, so don’t worry about getting off at the wrong station. But be sure to make friends with the driver, so you can ask if you are already near or still far.