Taiwan- Jiu Fen Old Street
You Need to Visit This Amazing Place!
Feel spirited away in this decommissioned gold mining mountain town, originally built by the Japanese and now a maze of lanes and alleyways with rich history and culture.
Many would have been and heard of Jiufen, but apart from the usual tea sessions overlooking the mountains and seas, there are a few other good eats you need to look out for when exploring the smaller lanes.
Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Many buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both architecture and culture on the island. During World War II, the town housed a Japanese prisoner of war camp where captured Allied Force soldiers (mainly British) were forced to work in the gold mines. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture.
A convenient way to visit Jiufen is to take a shuttle bus from Ximen, leaving in the morning and returning before dinner.
From the beginning of the 1990s, Jiufen experienced a tourist boom that has shaped the town into an attraction easily accessible from Taipei City as a nice day trip (around 2 hours away roundtrip by public transit). Today, the town is filled with both retro Chinese and Japanese style cafés, tea houses, and souvenir shops, as well as fantastic views of the ocean.
The majority of attractions are concentrated along the cobblestone steps of Shuqi Road between Jiufen Elementary School and the Jiufen police precinct. The three roads running perpendicular to Shuqi Road (Jishan St., Qiche Rd., and Qingbian Rd.) each boast a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and cafés.
Besides the main roads, there are numerous small alleys and lanes that snake around the area and sometimes even run beneath buildings.
Explore Jiufen and the surrounding mountain area as part of a tour inclusive of transportation with an English-speaking guide to enjoy your day without having to worry about taking public transportation in and out of Taipei City.
While most visitors come to Jiufen as part of a day trip, many enjoy staying overnight at one of Jiufen's many boutique hotels and B& Bs, called minsu in Taiwan. Since there are a limited amount of guesthouses and hotels in Jiufen and it is one of Taiwan's more popular destinations, early reservation is recommended.