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Jiufen

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

Understand

Until the 1950's, Jiufen was a prosperous gold mining town. The town went into sharp decline when mining was discontinued. The 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 tourist destination for Taipeites eager to relive scenes from the past. It has provided the setting for several period movies. For example, its downtown was used as a model in the anime movie - Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki.

Get in

By train

From Taipei, take the train north to Ruifang Station. From Ruifang take the Keelung Transit bus from the bus stops in front of the train station to Jiufen. Be sure to line up across the road to go to Jiufen and Jinguashi. The bus trip is roughly 15 minutes. Not all buses are equipped to show the correct driving direction or have bilingual signs.

By bus

From Taipei, take the Jiufen bus no. 1062 (bus company is 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. Cost: 87 NT$ (make sure to have the exact change or an easycard.) The journey takes a little more than 1 hour. There are great views of the valleys below on the left hand side of the bus as it ascends to Jiufen.

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

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.

Get out

From Jiufen, you can wait in front the pavilion next to 7-11 at Jishan Street entrance. NT21 Currently, the Taipei Municipal Council is having a tourism campaign. Visitors only need to have a receipt (統一發票) to enter free of charge. Campaign until 31st December 2009.

Related Information



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