Jiufen

A view from Jiufen

Jiufen (九份; Jiǔfèn), historically spelled Chiufen and alternately spelled Jioufen, is a small town in Northern Taiwan.

Understand

Jiufen was a prosperous gold mining town until the digging stopped in the 1950s. It then went into sharp decline. However, its quaint streets, tea houses and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean saved it from becoming yet another anonymous mining ghost town. Jiufen is now a popular escape from the capital for those eager to relive scenes from the past. It has provided the setting for several period movies, including Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness, which won the Golden Lion award at the 1989 Venice Film Festival.

Get in

By train

From Taipei, take the train north to Ruifang. Then take the Keelung Transit bus (15 min) to Jiufen. Buses to Jiufen and Jinguashi leave from a stop a little way from the train station: turn left on the busy street right in front of the train station, stay on the right hand side of the street and keep walking straight until you pass a police station. The bus stop heading to Jiufen and Jinguashi is located a little past the police station. Not all buses show the correct route information or have bilingual signs.

By bus

From Taipei, take the Jiufen bus no. 1062 (1 hr, NT$102, bus company Keelung Bus) from the Adventist Hospital bus stop on Bade Road, east of the intersection with Fuxing Road. Alternatively, take the same bus from Songshan station or Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station Exit #1 (make a U-Turn at the top of the exit and turn left at the intersection without crossing it). Make sure to have the exact fare or an easycard. There are great views of the valleys below on the left hand side of the bus as it ascends to Jiufen. On days when the bus is likely to be crowded, it is important to get on at Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station, because the bus will fill up there and not accept other passengers elsewhere.

Get around

The town of Jiufen is built into the side of the hills slightly inland from the Pacific Ocean coastline. The main area of interest to visitors are the town's historic commercial district which is covered by two pedestrian streets: Jishan Street (基山街, which runs along the ridge line), and Shuchi (Shuqi) Street (豎崎路, which runs up and down the slope of the hill). The area is small enough to cover on foot.

See

Jiufen

Do

Hiking

Eat

There are numerous things to eat in Jiufen. Fishball soup, yuyuan (taro balls), dumplings served hot or cold with sweet bean, and mochi are all widely available. The sheer number of restaurants can be a little overwhelming though. Grandma Lai's Yuyuan (賴阿婆芋圓) at No.143, Jishan Street, is the most famous one for its taro balls.

Drink

Jiufen boasts numerous teahouses that offer great views over the Pacific Ocean.

Sleep

The town does not have any hotels, but there are several small guest houses that are identifiable by characters "住宿" ("lodging"). Most tourists, however, stay in Taipei or Keelung and just visit Jiufen for a day trip.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, September 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.