When a Taiwanese is asked where to go in Taipei, you must get the answer—Jiufen. Jiufen, this small town now becomes a MUST-GO tourist spot in Taiwan for the foreigners, especially Japanese and Korean. Maybe you have been there before not only once, but don’t turn the page that urgently, as now we are going to introduce Jiufen in detail, which may make you wanna visit this small town once again.
What To Know About Jiufen
Located in Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Jiufen is a quiet historical small town. Jiufen in Chinese literally means “nine pieces”. The reason is that, long time ago, there were only nine families living in the small town, hence only nine pieces of daily necessities had to be shipped here. And then during the Japanese occupation, Jiufen gathered lots of people for gold-mining, and this brought up the Jiufen’s bright period. Nowadays, for both locals and foreigners, Jiufen becomes a popular attraction, where blends a rich historical culture and a stunning scene of mountains and sea together. Moreover, this small town is also a famous shooting spot of films, such as A City of Sadness (1989) and Spirited Away (2001).
Where To Take Photos In Jiufen
Oh, we have to say, Jiufen is absolutely a perfect place to take a large number of beautiful photos for both portrait photography and landscape photography.
First, Jiufen faces the ocean and is backed with the mountains. Therefore, you could easily catch a whole view of sea and hills with your camera wherever you are in the small town. Besides, there’s something magical to tell you. If you pay attention, you could find not a few kittens taking a stroll along Jiufen’s alley. Capture their images if you walk quietly enough as a cat!
In addition to nature, the ancient alley in Jiufen is the must not miss. Strike lots of poses and act like you’re a main character in the old movie! And don’t forget the Shengping theater, the oldest theater around Taiwan. Not only could it be visited, but there are also old films showing here on weekends.
There’s a small mask exhibition house here. You could visit the house only if you’re brave enough because the masks here are mostly the ghosts’ faces, somewhat terrifying.
What To Buy In Jiufen
Buy some souvenirs for your friends and family is a must. I promise you could find many memorable things even in the small town like Jiufen. For example, the lovely traditional toys which will remind many locals’ of their childhoods, such as bamboo dragonfly and Kendama. Buy one as a keepsake as you will absolutely think of Jiufen whenever you see them in the future.
If you’re a tea lover, how lucky you are! Because there’re many teahouses here in the alleys. Take a small break and experience the Taiwanese tea culture here.
What To Eat In Jiufen
Along the alley in Jiufen, there are lots of street vendors selling snacks. The most famous one is the chewy taro balls, with lots of kinds of flavors such as taro, sweet potato, and matcha. You could eat them with either shaved ice or hot sweet soup. Another special we want to share with you is Herbal Cake, one of the most local snack in Taiwan. With sliced radish or red beans, the herbal cake tastes chewy and has a unique flavor. In addition to the two things above, red yeast Taiwanese meatballs, chicken rolls, fish balls and soup noodles are also worthy of a try.
How To Head To Jiufen
Here I provide you two ways of transportation:
- Take the 1062 bus, directly heading to Jiufen and JinGuaShih, at MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing station. I advise you to prepare some motion sickness medicine as the passing roads are mainly rough and meandering, lasting 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Take a train to Ruifang Station and make a transfer to the bus.
Are you familiar with Jiufen more than before after reading the blog? Jiufen is really a great choice for one day trip because it is just next to Taipei City and easy to arrive. Immersed yourself in the ancient and authentic atmosphere of the small town to your heart’s content!