Thanks to many films depicting the beauty of Jiufen, the reputation of Jiufen is internationally renowned. People around the world would travel to Jiufen to appreciate the beauty and culture of Jiufen. If you never come to Jiufen before, here we make a detailed introduction. After reading this article, you will know that why Jiufen is one of the most historical spots you must visit once in Taiwan.
It is said that long time ago there were only nine families in Jiufen. Before the roads on land were built, all materials were transported via ships. Thus a habit was formed that nine pieces of same object were purchased at one time for reservation. Hence, the place was called Jiufen.
Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese era in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Jiufen then turned into the center of gold mining. The village once was gold city of Asia and called “little Shanghai” or “little Hong Kong”. However, with the decline of gold mining activities, Jiufen fades.
After years, several movies chose to shoot here and some of the movies won international acknowledgement that made Jiufen become a well known spot again. For example, the film “A City of Sadness” has won the first prize in Venice Film Festival and awakened people’s memory of Jiufen. It seems that the prosperous old streets, buildings, mines and the glamorous gold digging days are flashing before our eyes. The animation “Spirited Away: Always with me-2001” that made by Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese well-known anime master, also took Jiufen as one of the important scene in the film. Now, there are many unique teahouses in Jiufen. These teahouses are best stops during visit to this mountain village. Also, there is beautiful ocean view of Keelung outer sea. (Content Resource: Tourism Bureau, Republic of China (Taiwan))
The most prosperous shopping district is Jiufen Old Street. It goes through most of the village. Along the street are shops vending the most famous country snack of Jiufen, yam dish and various local dishes. There are some historical items well reserved. The Jiufen Torch Festival began every July when Jiufen was struck by a plague and locals prayed to bring fortune to the town. Residents will raise red torch lanterns that join with white street lanterns to create what appears to be a large golden dragon snaking through the alleyways of the town, creating an incredible scene and continuing ancient customs.
The trip to Jiufen is full of fun and delights. Jiufen has many accommodation places provided by local residents. If you were not in a hurry, you may want to pick a nice inn and stay for the starlight and fishing lights at night. People who come to Jiufen not only can enjoy the amazing view, experience Taiwanese culture, but release their stress.
Don’t forget to try some taro when you visit Jiufen. It’s the most famous dish in Jiufen. Taro is one kind of dessert. The taro is made by tapioca flour mix with taro paste or sweet potato paste. The paste will be rubbed into spherical shape. After boiled, they will become chewy. We always have the taro with sweet soup, sometimes with red beans. The best season to have this dish will be winter because the hot sweet soup can get you warm.
SPOTS YOU CAN VISIT NEAR JIUFEN
The Gold Museum is located in the mountainous town of (Jinguashi) in Ruifang Township, New Taipei City. Jinguashi, a beautiful coastal mining town along with Jiufen, is also one of the attractive destinations in Northern Taiwan. With plenty of historical, humanities and natural heritage, the park is the first ecology museum in Taiwan. It lays special emphasis on heritage preservation, sustainable development; old buildings reuse as well as localized operations aimed at promoting regional development. In addition to enjoying the unique geological and natural sights here, visitors will have better understanding of the mining history and community culture of Jingua Rock (Jinguashi) in the museum. There are some special experiences for visitors. You can pretend that you are a miner in a tunnel with a cart. Also, you can touch a huge real gold in the museum. It’s quite interesting.
(Content Resource: Tourism Bureau, Republic of China (Taiwan))
There is a mountain with breathtaking view in Jinguashi near Jiufen. Teatop Mountain has a cute name due to its image. It’s said that the trail of Teatop Mt. can be seen as one of the most beautiful and difficult trails in Taiwan. There is a free entry located at the backside of the Jinguashi Gold Museum. If you are a mountain enthusiast or a hiker who want to challenge him/herself, take Teatop Mt. as your bonus goal when you travel to Jiufen. The amazing view on the top of the mountain will definitely satisfy you. People who have once reached the top said that the beautiful scenery made them feel like they are in a heaven where is filled with wonderful paintings. After reaching the end of the trail, many hikers choose to continue along to the next peak at Banpingshan(半平山).
#Remains of the 13 Levels(十三層遺址)
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If you like ruined series of attractions, then this place must be on your list, Remains of the 13 Levels. Dubbed as “the Thirteen Levels”, the old copper refinery is also called “the Potala Palace of Mountain Mines” as it looks like a beautiful abandoned palace far away. Remains of the 13 Levels was once a refinery that processed ore to produce blister copper during the Japanese occupation. At one time, the output was so large that it won the reputation of “Asia’s No. 1 Precious Metal Mine”. It’s hard to imagine that how glorious it once was, just like the Pompeii in Italy. Though it became a ruined building, you can indeed understand the history of Jinguashi and experience the atmosphere of vicissitudes.