DestinationsAsiaGet Lost in Jiufen, the Fairyland in the Real World
Get Lost in Jiufen, the Fairyland in the Real World

Get Lost in Jiufen, the Fairyland in the Real World

Yes, I am telling the truth. There is literally a land whose landscapes to intangible values can make us say “wow” at first glance. What I wanna talk about is Jiufen Old Street of Taipei, Taiwan.

In this post, let me tell you all of the interesting things about this wonderful village that I collected from my recent journey.

First, Why the Village Called “Jiufen”?

Jiufen village with view from the above

From the local tour guide, I’ve learned that the name “Jiufen” originated from the way this little city was formed. Jiufen’s history started from 9 households living in this area for such a long time ago. After that, when Taiwanese people were informed that there was gold under this land, people scrambled to come to the land in order to dig gold. From there, they settled down. And the area became popular till nowadays via the unique and antique old infrastructures have taken through many years.

How to Go to Jiufen Old Street from Taipei?

Direction from Taipei Main Station to Jiufen Old Street

Jiufen Old Street is located in the North of Taiwan, about 50 mins driving from Taipei. Except for this, there is no way for you to go directly to Jiufen. Or you can take the metro going to Songshan Station from Taipei Main Station, then take bus no. 1062 to travel to Jiufen. This will cost you about NT$100 and 1h15′ to go.

Some people will tell you to take the metro to Riufang. Then, catching a bus from the station to the old street. Anyway, you can use Google Maps to find the best direction from your location to Jiufen.

The whole village is special because it lies on the back of the mountain. Thus, if you want to explore Jiufen, you need to climb a set of stairs before reaching the land. But trust me, it’s worth it!

From the Hazy Beauty Comes From Old Houses..

The iconic old houses at Jiufen village

Since the village was constructed on the mountain, it is crucial to build houses and infrastructures carefully and firmly to make sure these buildings could stay against natural changes. The special thing is, all of the houses are made of granite, which is a super-strong material used in construction. Also, on each of the houses’ roofs, people paint on a special black herbal oil to protect roofs from extreme weather.

taken beautiful picture at Jiufen Old Street

Furthermore, Jiufen village attracts lots of tourists with its hazy beauty that comes from the unique, antique architecture. At the village, you will have a chance to look at rows of houses built in Chinese style, mingling with a couple of Japanese-style houses. Just note that Taiwan used to be a colonial area of Japan. All of those combinations will make you feel that you get lost in a fairytale world.

There is a main road which runs through the village. It is called “Tachizaki”. It’s a narrow granite road with steps, surrounded by houses on both sides. Roaming on this road, you can enjoy the atmosphere, and the village views with rows of black roofs running in lines. This will absolutely satisfy those people who are addicted to taking photos.

To the Finest Local Foods You Have Ever Tasted..

Besides the main road, there are other two roads which cut Tachizaki road horizontally, called “Light” road and “Jinshan” road, respectively. These two roads have many tea shops, bakeries, food stalls, gold mining museums, Jiufen folk art galleries, etc. that you can explore. While choosing cute souvenirs, you could let your stomach be full of stunning traditional food such as taro sweet soup, cakes made from sweet potato, Taiwanese sausage, etc. Especially, you shouldn’t miss the Taro and Sweet Potato Balls Dessert, one of the iconic dishes here. They make it’s pretty fresh and tasty that you can even feel your body refreshed. One of the masterpieces of Taiwanese cuisine!

And Places of Interest That Make Jiufen Become Famous

From the best of my knowledge, Jiufen is not only engaging with beautiful old houses but an ideal place as a background for a number of movies. Hence, I’m gonna share 4 places, in which 3 of them used to be backgrounds for movies. Another is the best place for people who are in love with tea.

1. In 1989, the movie “A City of Sadness” was filmed in Jiufen. Soon after the premiere, the movie brought fame to this land. It made the village one of the top tourist attractions in Taiwan. People can find the nostalgic feelings of the movie via coffee shops, souvenir ones in there.

Jiufen old street with vendors selling local stuffs
Jiufen Old Street with shops selling local things

2. 12 years later, Jiufen had international prestige after the anime “Spirited Away”, filmed by Japanese director Mizayaki. Many parts of the village, which were used as the background in the anime, attract a lot of tourists to take photos.

3. If you are a fan of tea, having a hot cup of tea on Earless Teapot mountain while eating traditional Taiwanese cookies, overseeing the rest of the village from above will definitely satisfy your hobby.

A Mei Tea House at Jiufen Old Street, Taipei, Taiwan

4. Another ideal place that you guys should pay a visit to is Amei Tea House. Visiting and checking this place is the must-do thing that young people prefer to do when visiting Jiufen. The tea shop is famous as it is the signature image of Jiufen on Google. Additionally, it was a place where the movie “On Air” was filmed in the village. This shop will cater to you a set of hot teapots with two or three dishes of local cookies. You can enjoy them while snapping tons of photos in such a “hot” destination in Jiufen. A set of hot teapots costs about $15 for each.


I don’t know what to say to sum up everything, actually. But let’s get lost in Jiufen, and we will all enjoy the best travel moments of that fairyland. Have a great trip!

Ngoc Dao, The Broad Life's contributor

Ngoc Dao
Jiufen Contributor
Having itchy feet at a very young age is a motivation for me to escape from a hustle and bustle life, go to more lands to learn more new things, meet more strangers and share these wonderful experiences with more people who have the same hobby.

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The Broad Life's Pinterest Board - Jiufen 'the Fairyland'
visit jiufen the 'fairyland' - The Broad Life's Pinterest Board

I hope you love Jiufen village and plan to visit it after reading this post. Here are some posts of other stunning destinations in Taiwan that I believe you will love reading too:

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Chavonne Harvey

    Jiufen sounds like a terrific place to visit. I like the photos of the different types of foods, I’m curious about the Century Egg. I remember watching the movie “Spirited Away”, pretty cool that parts of Jiufen were used in the movie. I appreciate the traveling planning resources too.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah the place is so beautiful that I would love to spend there days if it wasn’t heavy wind and rain at that moment.
      Glad that you like the post and the planning resources!

  • Serene

    I had never even heard of Jiufen Old Street before! Now I must see it for myself.

  • Kendall

    Wow, the food looks incredible. I’d love to plan a visit there.

  • Lisa

    “Jiufen history started from 9 households lived in this area for such a long time ago.” can you recall when this was? I’m such a history geek, sorry 😀

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Actually it was the story I heard from the local. I’m not sure about its exactly time. Sorry!

  • The JOYOUS Living | Influencer (@thejoyousliving)

    what a beautiful town. i had never heard of spirited away. is it popular in the states? i wonder if many americans know about this fairytale city. and is the photo under the tea blurb a view from the tea house? joy

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah Spirited Away is quite well-known with kids in Vietnam. I’m not so sure about other countries. But this place is truly beautiful with so many corners as in a fairytale. You should come to enjoy it

  • littlemisadvencha

    Taipei is next on my bucket list! I will try to include this one on my list. <3

  • Lavern Moore

    I learned so much about Jiufen Old Street of Taipei, Taiwan through this post and I’m ready to visit!

  • katrina Kroeplin

    those pics are amazing. i would love to go there someday. i’m sure everyone had a blast.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      You too will have a blast when visiting there. It will be so much fun and things to explore

  • Lily

    Wow looks like a fun place to visit. So many places to explore!

  • World of Faz

    This is perfect… this is booked marked as I really want to visit Taiwan even more now.

  • Elisha F

    It’s so gorgeous! I’ve never been to that part of the world. It would be a dream come true for me.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Put it on top of your bucket list, and I’m sure you will come there one day 😉

  • Lisa Rios

    The street food looks amazing, and I love tat shot with the steps!

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