Don’t Underrate: Spotlight on Taiwan Part 1 – Jiufen and the Golden Waterfall

Tripoto
10th Mar 2018
Photo of Don’t Underrate: Spotlight on Taiwan Part 1 – Jiufen and the Golden Waterfall by Tara Anne Nikezic

Visiting Taiwan seems not be on as many people’s bucket list travel destinations, often being overlooked as travelers elect other options like neighbor Hong Kong leaving it out and underrated. This article is Part I in a miniseries setting out to right that wrong. We’re putting Taiwan in its well deserved spotlight so that readers don’t discount this small island packed with never ending things to do and see with sights that should be on your bucket list, wonderful foods and the best night markets Asia has to offer, and the most friendly and helpful locals you’ll ever have the honor to meet and interact with in this world. Here we go!

We take you on our favorite day trip out of Taipei, 2 hours by public bus, one of northern Taiwan’s most famous attractions, the mountain village of Jiufen. Facing the ocean from atop the hills, the foggy weather creates a romantic atmosphere like no other and for anime fans, the unique architecture brings to mind the enchanted town in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away.

GETTING IN

A great part of Taiwan is that in the north almost all attractions are accessible by public transportation from Taipei. Jiufen is located 40km from Taipei, and about 2 hours by public transport on Keelung Bus 1062. The bus ticket is about NT$100 ($3.33 USD) per person one way. Though there are a few bus stops in Taipei where you can catch Keelung Bus 1062, we advise catching the bus from the beginning of the line at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. We tried to catch the bus at a stop three stops down, and after 3 consecutive buses passing us over for being too full, we gave up and went to Zhongxiao Fuxing Station to catch it at the beginning of the line. We visited Jiufen during the weekend, when travel is more popular, so visiting the mountain area may be less popular during the weekday.

After walking from Jiufen old street all the way down to Ying Yang Bay, we took local bus #85 from the bottom of the hill across from the parking lot (with the view of Shuinandong Smelt) up to Jinguashi Gold Museum for NT$15 each, and transferred to bus 1062 to travel back to Taipei.

TOP THINGS TO DO

1. Get lost in the charming old streets which are narrow and winding, filled with boutique shops, tea houses, vintage inns of Taiwan’s last gold mining cities.

Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Hidden Mining Cave along Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Hidden Mining Cave along Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

2. Enjoy tea and a snack at a vintage inn with a breathtaking view of the hill and the ocean.

Tea and Snacks at Vintage Inn along Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Don’t Underrate: Spotlight on Taiwan Part 1 – Jiufen and the Golden Waterfall by Tara Anne Nikezic

View fromVintage Inn along Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Don’t Underrate: Spotlight on Taiwan Part 1 – Jiufen and the Golden Waterfall by Tara Anne Nikezic

Table Decor at Vintage Inn along Jiufen Old Street; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Don’t Underrate: Spotlight on Taiwan Part 1 – Jiufen and the Golden Waterfall by Tara Anne Nikezic

3. Adjacent to Jiufen, is Jinguashi and home to the Golden Waterfall. Venture on a 40-minute trek down the mountainside through local trails leading to the Golden Waterfall. There are taxis and buses available from Jiufen old street, but why miss a beautiful and scenic light trek!

View along the walk from Jiufen towards the Golden Waterfall; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jinguashih, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

View along the walk from Jiufen towards the Golden Waterfall; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Jinguashih, Ruifang District, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

4. The Golden Waterfall sits on the edge of Gold Ecological Park just beside the main road.

Golden Waterfall; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Golden Waterfall, Jinshui Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic
Photo of Golden Waterfall, Jinshui Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Golden Waterfall; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Golden Waterfall, Jinshui Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

5. Continue following the winding road after the Golden Waterfall, and as you move away from the viewpoint where all the tourists are, you’ll capture even more unique views and photos of the Golden Waterfall leading into the town.

Trail after the Golden Waterfall; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Don’t Underrate: Spotlight on Taiwan Part 1 – Jiufen and the Golden Waterfall by Tara Anne Nikezic

Trail after the Golden Waterfall; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Don’t Underrate: Spotlight on Taiwan Part 1 – Jiufen and the Golden Waterfall by Tara Anne Nikezic

6. Atop the hill, sits the remains of Shuinandong Smelter, an abandoned copper smelting refinery built during the Japanese occupation for refining gold and copper ores abundant in Jinguashi. During World War II, prisoners of war were forced into labor under harsh conditions at Shuinandong Smelter, also known as the Thirteen Levels, until the surrender of the Japanese and the restoration of Taiwan in 1946. Photo opportunities are best from the parking lot that sits below just before Ying Yang Bay.

Shuinandong Smelter; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Shuinandong Visitor Center, 濂洞里洞頂路 Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Shuinandong Smelter; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Shuinandong Visitor Center, 濂洞里洞頂路 Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Wonder Woman in front of Shuinandong Smelter from the parking lot; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Shuinandong Visitor Center, 濂洞里洞頂路 Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

Shuinandong Smelter; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Shuinandong Visitor Center, 濂洞里洞頂路 Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic

7. At the bottom of the hill is where the golden river meets the blue sea creating a collage of yellow and blue colliding into the balance of Ying Yang Bay.

Ying Yang Bay; Photo Credit: Sejad Nikezic (c) Our Global Life

Photo of Yin Yang Sea (陰陽海), Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan by Tara Anne Nikezic
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