Jiufen. Town in Taiwan, Asia

Jiufen

Town in Taiwan, Asia

Jiufen Photo © cotaro70s

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Jiufen

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Jiufen Night
	View - 06 - Jiufen
Jiufen Night View - 06 - Jiufen. Photo by Kabacchi
Taiwanese people know Jiufen as the setting for the award-winning film ‘City of Sadness’ by Taiwanese director, Hsiao-Hsien Hou. The film talks about 228 Incident (Wikipedia
	Article), once one of the most taboo subjects in Taiwanese history that took place on 28th of February 1947, when thousands of civilians were killed by the government troops to suppress the rebellion. Monuments in commemoration of 228 Incident can be found all around Taiwan, and Jiufen is just of them.

Japanese and Western travelers year after year choose Jiufen for a different reason. Travelling to this small town on the slopes of Ruifang hills feels like crossing the border between dimensions as the road runs up among villages and graveyards – and finally the bus drops you off in that very town where the little girl, Chihiro, found her parents turned into pigs in Hayao Miyazaki (Wikipedia
	Article)’s famous animation Spirited Away. Red strings of Chinese lanterns, convoluted dragon tails, and winding stairways, often covered with the evening fog, will truly transport you to a magical world.

「Jiufen」 - Jiufen
「Jiufen」. Photo by Jim 陳

Activities and Sights

Jiufen Old Street -
	Jiufen
Jiufen Old Street - Jiufen. Photo by edwin.11
Jishan and Shuchi streets is the main historical district of Jiufen, full of antiquity stores, food stalls, and tea houses. From here you can also contemplate the view over the hills sliding into the Pacific Ocean below. Except when it is foggy, then you just see the fog.

Mining Operation Office

At the end of 19th century, gold was discovered in the area, and the Japanese built a prison camp here to start mining for the precious metal. The mines were eventually abandoned in the 1970s, and you can still visit them, left the same way as they were decades ago. Wufan Tunnel (五番坑道) near Songde Park (頌德公園) is sealed but can be viewed from the outside.

You can climb a few peaks in the neighborhood to see the surrounding landscape in its full glory. Jilong Shan (基隆山) is the closest mountain and is easy to scale in less than an hour.

Sleeping and Eating

Jiufen has one budget hostel (One My Way Jiufen Hostel) and several guesthouses (Mingsu Long Men Ke Zhan, 86 Guesthouse), as well as a few upscale options.

City of Sadness Restaurant is the most famous restaurant due to its name, as explained above. Otherwise, do not try to find a proper place to sit down and eat, the charm of Jiufen and many other Taiwanese towns is in its food stalls and night markets selling small snacks and sweet treats. You might not know what you are ordering but it will be delicious.

Getting There

From Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT in Taipei, take bus number 1062 that goes directly to Jiufen. It stops in several other places around Taipei and you can choose the most convenient stop to hop on.

From Keelung (Wikipedia Article) harbor, bus 788 runs directly to Jiufen.

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Author: wilhelminamurray. Last updated: Jan 12, 2015

Pictures of Jiufen

Jiufen S-Curve Path - Jiufen
Jiufen S-Curve Path - Photo by Austin Liang

九份山城 Jiufen, Taiwan _IMG_8306 - Jiufen
九份山城 Jiufen, Taiwan _IMG_8306 - Photo by Len Chung

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