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Getting Lost in Jiufen

Jiufen is one of the places you can visit as a day trip from the bustling city of Taipei. It was my last full day in the country, so I decided to go and explore this part of Taiwan.

Wandering in Jiufen

Jiufen used to be a gold mining town and the locals and their government did their best to preserve some of the structures and atmosphere of the area. It felt that way in some part for me; but I can't help but notice how commercialized some things are. The shops, food stalls and the general chaos reminded me of some other Asian old towns, but that thought didn't spoil my time. I had a blast walking through alleys and getting lost in the zigzagging streets.

It was a bit cloudy but that didn't dampen my spirit; there wer egreat overlooking views of the surrounding mountains and cost from the town. There were plenty of locals (probably tourists as well) coming and going.

I wasn't able to capture the exact place, but Jiufen is also the location of one of my favorite animated movies, Spirited Away.

The narrow streets of the old town are reminiscent of many of the 'old towns' in different parts of Asia, especially those with a substantial Chinese population and influence.

Jiufen is also a good place to go on a food trip; there were plenty of food stalls and small restaurants lining the streets or in narrow alleys. This is the perfect place to try local delicacies or shop for local products.

I didn't have much time to go around Jiufen since my flight was on the same night I went. You can spend the night here and see the streets light up at night with colorful red lanterns (as seen on photos at night). Maybe I'd return to this quaint old town when I get the chance to return to Taipei.

How to get to Jiufen from Taipei

Go to Taipei Main Station, buy a train take bound for Riufang Station, the ticket costs around TWD60/way. At the station go outside and look for the bus station for bus #788, this will take you within a few minutes walk of Jiufen Old Street; the fare costs around TWD20/way. Read my budget and itinerary for Taipei for more information about my trip.

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