I’ve always heard about this place and seen photos online. I wasn’t really that excited about the place but it did made me curious. The day that I was to see the old town of Jiufen came in a bit interesting for me. I originally wanted to see Shifen to fly a paper lantern, but the weather wasn’t agreeing. So when I saw this girl on Couchsurfing looking for companions to Jiufen, I message her up to meet. After a few hours she responded on where we can meet up. I was like “Thank you God! you actually are going to make this birthday memorable for me!”. LMFAO. Well it wasn’t actually a date of some sort but meeting a cute girl was a reward enough for my birthday. Yep this was on my birthday.
The Old Street Jiufen
Jiufen’s main attraction (for non Spirited Away fans like me) are its century old streets. These streets are filled with stores selling interesting things. Food, tea houses, restaurants, Souvenirs, tourist spots of all sorts adorn the narrow streets filled up with people. The street has this Japanese feel of a market place, maybe because the town was developed further during the Japanese Gold rush era.
photo by Modale (used under CC)
There’s another class of tourist that goes to this old town, the anime fan tourists. As I learned from my new friend Jordana, some of the structures and places in Jiufen inspired the architecture and landscape of the movie Spirited Away. Without knowing I actually was impressed by the architecture of the actual tea house where the author took inspiration from.
I guess if you are off for a trip to Jiufen, make sure that you come with a full wallet and an empty stomach. Going through the streets with rows and rows of awesome stores with free tastes will satisfy your cravings. Make sure to visit one of the coffee or tea houses that offers an amazing view of the port city of Keelung.
photo by arkiben used under CC
photo by ume-y used under CC
Photo by Wei, Shi-Hang (used under CC)
How To Go To Jiufen
There are a few ways to get to Jiufen.
Take the train to MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing station
Get on Bus 1062 that will take you straight to Jiufen
Bus fare is about NT$102
Go to Taipei Main Station
Get on the Taipei Rail train to Ruifang
From Ruifang hop on a bus to Jiufen
photo by andreakw (used under CC)