We had a very enjoyable travel experience with James as our English speaking tour guide who helped with taking many photos of us in the key scenic locations, food recommendations (xiaolongbao, stuffed chicken wing, oolong tea, sausage with garlic) and explained the detailed history of the small towns.
We started our tour with a hotel pick up, then headed to Jiufen early to beat the many bus tour crowds. As it was the May long weekend, the popular sites were very busy, which made having a private guide a lot easier to navigate the small laneways, visit the tea-house and didn't have to wait for others. Having a private car, allowed more flexibility with drop off/pick up, and James made it very convenient for us to be collected in his car when the rain started to pour down.
We then travelled to Shifen waterfall, walked the path and lit a sky lantern before taking the scenic train. Overall enjoyed the full day experience and would recommend it to other travellers who want to have a richer personalised travel experience.