🏮 New Taipei City | Jiufen

Anybody been to Jiufen, over near Keelung? I hear it’s a pretty little hill city, and I’d like to make a trip there during the weekend. Any recommendations on things/places to do/eat/sleep/see? thanks!

Yo, I love Jiufen. It’s fun. I took my granma there when she came to visit, yo. Even more pretty, though, is if you stay on the bus, go past Jiufen all the way to Jinguashi 金瓜石 “gold melon stone” That’s even prettier.

In Jiufen there’s all these tea shops and you can look down at the ocean and stuff from up in the mountains.

And there’s this tea shop like that called “悲傷城市” Beishang Chengshi “City of Sadness” tea shop. That was an awfully disturbing movie, yo. I don’t know why they named a tea shop after it. If you see the movie you know what I mean, cuz it’s a true story and it don’t make you feel like drinking tea, yo.

Yo, a lot of that evil stuff in 2/28 happened on the streets of Jofun. But nowadays it’s a happy jolly tea shop place with lots of stairs and little streets and little shops to buy little doo doos, yo.

Across from the Keelung train station, get on the 金瓜石 bus and just sit and wait til it gets up in the beautiful mountains. Yo.

Jiufen is one of my very favourite places. The main attractions are strolling throught he markety alleyways, admiring the view and climbing the hill. It’s all old 30s Japanese houses turned into tourist shops and teahouses. I like the teahouse opposite the City of Sadness teahouse (where the film was filmed). I recommend going to a teahouse with a bunch of friends and just staying there for hours chain-drinking tea. It’s the traditional tea-thing where you buy the tin of leaves (about 500NT but you get to keep them - plus 100 per person), then you can basically stay there all day and all night if you want making and drinking your tea. They’re open 24 hours in the weekend. I alsio recommend staying at a hotel (you can get cheap guest-rooms full of mats and blankets that you just pile the whole lot of you into fairly cheaply.

But the best thing I like about Jiufen is the whole surroundings. If you’ve got a motorbike that’s best because you can explore. Even without a bike you can continue up on the bus to Jinguashi. tegre you can see the Japanese Emperor’s old rsidenc when he stayed in Taiwan and around there do some beautiful walks taking in the old gold-mining stuff and this great old ruined Japanese temple. You can then drive around and down to the coast on a great old road with awesome views.

Several ways to get there from Taipei:

  1. Driving or riding - head towards Jilong/Keelung and at Badu (nearly Jilong) turn right and drive up a while til you hit Ruifang/Jiufang then head up the mountain (look out for signs and ask).
  2. Like Rocky said get the bus from Keelung, but it’s an often packed public bus and a bit slow, so possibly better is:
  3. Get the train to Ruifang then from the opposite side of the road catch the Keelung-Jinguashi (same as above) bus because you’re already close or get a taxi for about 150NT.
  4. There’s an airbus that goes from somewhere round BaDe Rd, but I’m not sure. You could always catch that back from Jiufen and find out.

Hope you like tea,


One of my favorite places too. I won’t repeat everything already said, but I agree with it all. Try a lot of the food on the way to the tea houses. Avoid the weekends if possible as it gets crowded in the little alleys, and there will be traffic on the way.

JinGuaSher is amazing as well. More for scenic beauty although I think there is a coffeehouse or two if you can find them. It is just ont he other side of the mountain from JiuFen.

Interesting about the 228 deaths there. Also I think there were many deaths inside the Gold Mines that are there.

JinGuaShi gives me very strange vibes unlike any other place I have ever been too in Taiwan. Seems haunted. :wink: Very eery place at night. I think there are a lot of graveyards around there too. Spooky, especially now during ghost month! :slight_smile:

You can find out more about Jinguasher (or Kinkasei) if you read “Banzai You Bastards” by Jack Edwards. No wonder you find it eerie. It was the site of one of Japan’s most infamous POW camps. Some of the older locals you meet in the area probably worked as guards there.
Be warned, though. Edwards is a survivor of the camp and harbours, shall we say, a slight grudge against his former captors. Objective it 'aint. He was instrumental in getting a plaque raised there, I think just last year, to honour the memories of those who didn’t survive. There was a quite moving ceremony.

Sandman, thank-you very much for the information, I read some excerpts on a Taiwan POW website. I will look for this book at Eslite next time I am there.

You guys all forgot another great thing in Jiu Fen, the QQ Taro sweet potato thing over ice (I really can’t remember Chinese, and I don’t know English, it’s not cua bing)…you know, the famous place when you walk all the way to the back and up the back of the mountain (vague enough?) Also, the 魚丸湯…

Went back to Jiufen again on Sunday. It was unusually quiet. That taro and yam thing is called oi-ee or something, but that’s Taiwanese. I had the hot one. Also some great barbequed stinky tofu, which was the stinkiest I’ve ever had - genuine article. Best 100o-year eggs I’ve ever tasted too. I love Jiufen.


Does anybody know what this place;

If you’ve taken the road from Jinguashi to the coast you must have seen it. It’s in the middle of the old mine workings.

Was it a building where they processed the ore, perhaps?

[quote=“joesax”]Does anybody know what this place;

If you’ve taken the road from Jinguashi to the coast you must have seen it. It’s in the middle of the old mine workings.

Was it a building where they processed the ore, perhaps?[/quote]
It was a copper mine/processing plant. It would also be perfect as a backdrop for a Lord of the Rings movie. :slight_smile:

Thanks Maoman.

For people who couldn’t view the above link and wanted to, I discovered that you have to view the webpage before you can view the photo alone. The page is;
and the photo is the fourth one, between the one of the winding road and the one of the little stream.

We went through there pretty quickly and I hope to go back and spend more time there some time. There seem to be a lot of nice little hiking trails around the hills there. Although we went through Jinguashi itself, I didn’t see the museum. Is it open yet?

You have to find the railway tracks of the mining lorries, somewhere in town towards the hills. Find the bus stop (last station), then follow the (closed) road - just look for the small shops.
The tracks takes you to the museum though I am not sure if it’s open yet. When I went there are few month ago it was still under construction.
Else continue further to the viewpoints near the sea or climb the stairs to the old Japanese tempel (?) - or rather what’s left of it.

If you get the eerie feel in Jiufen there’s a reason for it and you’re not the only one–you know those shows they have on TV on saturday nights about ghost happenings? Most of those are taped in 9 fen. It’s just a spooky–but charming place :slight_smile: Due to time and history.

I would like to drive there…but my bike is prettty old. How long does it take from say Taipei 101? My bike gets very hot if it drives for more than 30mins…

You won’t make it in 30 minutes. It’s about an hour on a bike.

thank you

Yeah, I’ve heard of Jiufen and it sounds like an interesting place. Apparently it was the gold-mining centre of Taiwan many years ago.

Go further to Jinguashi, about 2-3km from Jiufen. There is the Gold musem (it has a 220kg gold bar on display, supposingly the real thing!), you can walk through one of the old mining tunnels and there are a couple of other sights around. Jiufen itself is mostly famous for the night market and tea houses overlooking the ocean.

Excellent info, thanks Rascal :slight_smile:

An Order of 9

Lingering mist, hanging on mountain peaks, mingles with the rising smog to haze the lazy autumn sun. Chinese karaoke music from the 50’s and 60’s ricochets forlornly up the valley piercing hearts and ears. It’s being blasted from a number of dilapidated buildings that scar the landscape of the valley below like coal on a miner’s lungs. Laundry flutters from every opening of every building. And faded blue and green metal rusted, and tangled like rattan hangs pointlessly from buildings of unknown vintage designed by builders not architects on the just don’t fall down too quickly principle.
Everything is in decay bar the jungle. It waits but it need not be patient. It creeps up walls, sends roots through concrete floors, plants dust that grows to dirt where grass takes hold, even on roof tops. Down the valley through the haze lies a shipping harbor; its beauty, a shimmering jewel. Where monolithic rocks rise out of the limpid azure sea pushed up through the earth’s crust from the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate beneath the Eurasian Continent- mulata’s beauty sullied by the kiss of heroin. Jiufen.