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”?
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?
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..
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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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: