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.
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.
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