Date Visited: 29th November 2013
Located not far away from Taipei, Jiufen (九份) is no longer a strange name for most of the visitors. Once a prosperous gold mining town, now it has becomes one of the most favourite destination to visit in Taiwan. Jiufen radiates its own rustic charm and deserves for another remarkable visit. I went before but the trip was short, fast, rush and hurry - that's the downside of joining organised tour group.
For this time around, I decided to stay overnight at one of Jiufen's bed and breakfast - Sunny Room. Check my previous post on Minshu (民宿) I Stayed in Taiwan.
#1: The theme of our room - Dark Chocolate
#2: Unique designed bathroom
#3: Free breakfast prepared by the host
This bed and breakfast was absolutely fanstastic and amazing with all the bedrooms overlooking the lush green mountains and deep blue sea. The room was spacious and beautifully decorated but unfortunately, it is not located in the heart of Jiufen Old Street. It required to walk up and down of the countless staircases and extra caution needed at night due to minimal lighting.
Since I missed quite a few things from my maiden visit, we went and wandered around this old charming town once we done with the breakfast. Jiufen is built on the mountainous area, hence there are plenty of cobblestone staircases to walk through.
#4: Jiufen Old Street
#5: One of the things to see in Jiufen - This dark green colour Amei Teahouse used as a model for Ghibli's Spirited Away animated film
Besides the main old street, there are numerous small alleys and lanes boast with wide variety of souvenir shops, restaurants, cafe and tea houses. Food wise, there are few on the list that one should at least try when comes to Jiufen.
1) Grandma Lai's Yuyuan (賴阿婆芋圓)
We actually didn't have any map with us but we were attracted for the drenched long queue instead. For a bowl of NT$40, each is served with the mixed of fresh handmade taro balls, sweet potato balls and green tea balls either in hot or cold serving.
2) A-Jou Peanut Ice Cream Roll
One is never enough. I had before but it's hard for me to resist this for the second time. Two scoops of taro ice-cream served on shaved peanut candy and celery wrapped in traditional spring roll has instantly became of one of my favourite food in Taiwan.
I'm not sure which stall serve the best but this is one of food should try in Jiufen as I saw most of the stalls were almost fully occupied by visitors.
4) Grilled Sea Snails
Besides the above, one can consider to try for the Hakka Glutinous Rice Cake, wild board sausages and more. It's like non-stop food adventures all-day long in Jiufen.
Cute natives and tribes fridge magnets - Each cost NT$50
How To Get To Jiufen (九份)
From Taipei Train Station, take the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) to purchase northbound train ticket to Ruifang Station (瑞芳) for NT$49 each way. After exit Ruifang Station, across the road and board on the Keelung Transit bus towards Jiufen and Jinguashi.
From MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing, Exit 1 and board on the Keelung bus route 1062 to Jinguashi, alight at Jiufen.