Taiwan Day 7a – Jiufen attractions

From Keelung (blog post), we engaged Round Taiwan Round (RTR)’s service to tour Jiufen and Shifen. We will share some Jiufen attractions and neighbouring sightseeing spots.

As in Keelung, Rain followed us along the way! Scenic sea view along the coastal route to Jiufen. The waves are huge but we still spot anglers at the edge!

It might not be suitable for bikes along this coastal route as we noticed the trucks are fast and they keep overtaking. The strong winds might unbalance new bikers .

We visited Nanya Rocks (南雅奇石) first. As it was the onset of winter, the wind was chilling too.

Around the coastal region in Taiwan North Coast, the rocks have been shaped by 1000 years of wind, forming unique shapes.

Nanya rock GPS (25.119735, 121.892811).

Along the route, visitors will also see cemeteries along the hills.

We head back to the 陰陽海 Yin Yang Hai  Carpark GPS (25.121756, 121.864562) . The sea is Golden brown due to the heavy metal from the hills .

We can see the old smelting plant (水湳洞精炼厂) in the background.  It used to be 13 storeys but now lies in ruins.

Southpark’s Kenny taking a wefie.

 

Further up, 黃金瀑布 Golden Waterfall (GPS 25.117368, 121.861475)

 

This is one of the popular spots for tourists… and we are already resigned to the fact that rain will stay with us the whole day!

 

 

 

Our spacious VolksWagen Caravelle from Round Taiwan Round (RTR). They had sponsored our trips around Jiufen and Shifen.

 

金瓜石勸濟堂 (GPs 25.110133, 121.859780)

This is the 关公 Guan Gong at Jiufen (Chuen Ji Hall). You can also walk about 15 minutes to reach here from the Gold Museum (金瓜石黃金博物館).

We were supposed to visit two other spots but the rain disrupted our itinerary.

In case you have more time, do consider Buyenpavilion 不厭亭 (GPS 25.089343, 121.847490 ) and Gold Ecological Park 金瓜石黄金博物馆.

We headed straight to 九份老街 Jiufen Old street for some food to warm ourselves.

 

 

Taro balls, the adults prefer hot version. Kids did not find the chewy taro tasty.

 

Fish balls and squid snacks, spotted around many corners.

 

Pig blood 豬血糕 is not for everyone. the very thought of this ingredient chills my blood (no pun intended).

This traditional stall has a monopoly look-alike table.

If it rains, use the umbrellas or raincoat, but avoid looking like those tourist who cover their legs with plastic bags haha! It does not look good for photos and I thought it would be slippery too!

 

Traditional Taiwanese meatballs and popular cream puffs.

We went for the cream puffs as the queue was longer.

Candy for the kids.

You can see more Jiufen snacks on our Fanpage album. Besides the snacks, there are many souvenir shops too.

 jiufen map
jiufen map

 

Some will buy Li Yi snacks (太陽餅 sun cake and 鳳梨酥 pineapple tarts) for souvenirs too.

Visitors come to Jiufen because it resembles a Japanese neighbourhood. The Red lanterns and steep stairs are iconic too.

There is a rich cultural identity about Jiufen’s mining history.

九份老街
九份老街

We heard Jiufen’s popularity drops when the mining stops. Fortunes have changed again, Jiufen is now a popular tourist stop.

Jiufen Old Street
Jiufen Old Street

 

Jiufen attractions
Jiufen attractions

Many Instagramable corners.

 

An old cinema, 昇平戲院 Sheng Ping theatre.

 

The posters are so old-school, nostalgia.

 

The scenic views from the balconies.

More about Round Taiwan Round, if time permit, we can cover 5 or 6 destinations. But this might be too rushed around Ruifang, Jiufeng and Shifen hilly terrain.

Our original plan was to visit the following Jiufen attractions and scenic spots ( prioritised).
=== === === ===

2 buyenpavilion 不厭亭
3 Golden Waterfall 黃金瀑布
4 Gold Ecological Park 金瓜石黄金博物馆
1 Jiufen Old street 九份老街
1 Shifen Waterfall 十分大瀑布
1 Shifen Old Street 十分天燈

=== === === ===

One good thing about RTR’s Tripool programme is you have a list of spots to choose from. A few groups of visitors can car-pool and share a similar itinerary (consensus)

If you wish to charter your own vehicle, you can opt for RTR’s private service.

You may read about our Taichung RTR experience in this blog post, I also covered another beautiful hiking spot (light house) which is relatively near to Jiufen.

Read my experience about 鼻頭角 BiTouJiao (blog post) from 2017 Feb where I covered more Jiufen attractions. And it was RAINING too!

Diy Travelling Taiwan

It was a cool 8 to 13degrees when I visited 6 months earlier. Too cold! Instagram hashtag #SengkangBabiesTaiwan

 

Additional tips :

1)If you have the time, do stay one night in Jiufen. The town has a mystical feeling, especially when mist floats in and out.

There are two hills nearby to hike too, Keelong and Teapot. Both offers a good view of the surrounding landscape, and a good workout.

2) We would not advise self driving. The road up and down is very narrow and steep, and we have to look out for tourist coaches. First time visitors might find it hard to spot the mini-carparks too.

3) Bring your umbrella (raincoats preferred) along, the rain will always shower Jiufen.

4) Ruifang is the nearest train station to Jiufeng. A bus trip will be 20 to 30 minutes up Jiufeng.

 

Favourite meeting place in Jiufen
Favourite meeting place in Jiufen.

 

Photo albums :

Day 1 Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing
Day 3 Xitou Nature Education Area, Monster Village, Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Taichung (Zhongshe flower, ShengXin station, Cycling, Fengjia)
Day 5 Taichung (Animation Lane, Rainbow, Miyahara)
Day 6 Keelung 基隆
-Day 7 Ruifang, Jiufen and Shifen
-Day x Taipei HomeAway and Neighbourhood
Day 8 永康, Xi Men Ding, 象山, 饒河 Raohe
Day 9 and 10 北投 Beitou, Toyshop, 士林 Shilin

Blog posts :

** Taiwan Itinerary for families 
Day 1 Google Sheet, Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing Farm
HomeAway Recommendations for Taiwan
Day 3a Xitou Nature Education area (溪頭)
Day 3b Monster village 妖怪村 and Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Cycling Taichung 台中 
Day 4a 台中 Taichung  attractions
Day 5a 台中 Taichung food Ice cream and Bubble Tea
Day 5b 台中 Taichung Fengjia night market
-Day 6 基隆 Keelung
Day 7a Jiufen attractions
Day 7b Shifen attractions
Taipei Neighbourhood around our HomeAway Vacation Home
Day 8a Yong Kang Street and Xi Men Ding
Day 8b Raohe Night Market, Wu Fen Pu and 象山 Elephant Mountain

Instagram Hashtag #sengkangBabiesTaiwan

Instagram #sengkangBabiesTaiwan

 

 

Taiwan Day 6 – Keelung attractions

 We stayed one night to visit 基隆 Keelung attractions, we had wanted to explore neighbouring Ruifang (Jiufen, Shifen etc).
But the RAIN never stopped…
By the way 基隆 Keelung has same pronunciation as “鸡笼 chicken coop”. affectionate nickname for the county 🙂

 

Arrived in Keelung

 

Earlier, we had took the HSR (High Speed rail) from Taichung to Taipei, before transiting from Songshan Station (not Song Shan domestic Airport) to Keelung.

 

 

We bought our tickets online from Klook, which was about 20% cheaper.

No need reservations unless you have smaller kids and must sit together. Trains arrivals are very frequent. We just need to QR code our vouchers to exchange for tickets at the HSR counter.

An Adult ticket is about 25 SGD. It is very affordable and took us only 55 minutes from Taichung to Taipei. It saved us precious time on travelling. Infact HSR would be faster than driving. (Checkout my Klook Japan services too)

 

On a side note, taking the trains in Taiwan was a good teaching moment for the kids, the trains are never late and folks keep the train clean.

 

Yes, although we tabao (package) the famous 铁路便当 (train bentos) onboard, everyone make an effort to keep train clean 🙂

And YES, Bentos are both economical and delicious!

Sights along the journey. As we travel further from Taipei, the cities get older and more laid back. We heard Keelung is one of the most underdeveloped county.

Even before we reached Keelung, it started to drizzle. Bummer.

 

基隆 Keelung is a port city, and commonly nicknamed as 雨港 Rain port “now we know why the rain never stops”. It is a popular day trip destination out of Taipei (45 minutes by train).

Keelung is underrated. Many visitors will actually bypass Keelung on the way to Jiufen or Shifen. But based on online reviews,  those who visit Keelung always lament that they should spend one more day to explore the area.

I loved the old quaint infrastructure and feel around the neighbourhood. Things are slower here compared to main cities and you will noticed more old folks around.

Wherever you walk or commute, you are not far from the coastal view.

We only decided on Keelung at the last minute. The original plan was to stay one night at Ruifang. Our itinerary was to hop to neighbouring towns from Keelung or Ruifang, and I thought Ruifang would be too quiet at night.

Keelung has a famous and buzzing night market, so the choice was easy for us 🙂

Keelung attractions
Keelung attractions

 

Our accommodation was at Just Live Inn (享住旅店, GPS 25.129990, 121.746089). We chose this hotel due to its proximity to night market (6 minutes walk), and good reviews.

 

Funky decoration and friendly staffs, we were happy with our stay.

There is a small bathtub too. When we travel, we just need a bed to rest and we do not need any fancy amenities.

 

Shopping malls and eateries are just round the corner, although most malls would close by 9pm.

Previously, we mentioned that sports gears are cheaper in Taiwan (read our post). And we are confident that Taichung and Keelung’s sports outlets will garner you the best shopping experience.

 

Sales staffs (compared to Taipei’s outlets) are extremely friendly and accommodating. Thumbs up!

Some of the famous Keelung attractions are easily accessible via bus, duration between 1 to 2 hours are common.

-基隆崁仔頂 Fish Market Midnight tour would be No1 on my list, a pity I only found out after we left Keelung (check out this blog for more photos, GPS 25.129465, 121.741025)

和平島 Peace Island (GPS 25.160152, 121.764064)
象鼻岩 Elephant Rock (GPS 25.135420, 121.824452)
忘憂谷 (Scenic sea views and valley, plenty of green fields at 八斗子 GPS 25.146005, 121.797613)
野柳 Yehliu Geopark (GPS 25.206067, 121.690246)
金山, behind Yang Ming Shan (Famous for rural settings, hot springs)
-You may read about my previous solo travel and hiking at scenic 鼻頭角too

* We will cover 九份 Jiufen 十分 Shifen in next post.

 

 

The rain never stopped during our Keelung exploration! And we ended up spending more time than planned relaxing in our room .

Just an excuse, we could always do with some body-maintenance (aka recuperation). 

Introducing 基隆廟口夜市 (Keelung Night Market), the most famous Keelung attractions.

 

 

Rain of shine, we must still eat and explore. The signature yellow lanterns at Keelung Night Market.

Boon Yee looks cool right 🙂

Picture below, this is how the night market “基隆廟口夜市”got its name, “Temple Entrance”.

Because of the rain, the crowd was significantly smaller and umbrellas were everywhere. It meant we had more space and time to enjoy our dinner and night snacks 🙂

 

A different set of experience for our family, exploring Night Market in the rain.

Soup, bean curd, Shiok! Anything warm and soupy is always welcome.

Seaport must have a lot of seafood right.
Soft-shell crabs and prawns and squids please 🙂

Please try the “nutritious sandwich”. Not sure about the nutritional factor, but it was simply delicious. You might find similar stalls in other Taiwan night markets too.

A hot bowl of 滷肉飯 (again!) to warm our stomachs.

Massage anyone? I Googled and 大力水手 Popeye (GPS 25.128545, 121.742830) seems to be a famous one. In case you are interested, it is at one corner of night market.

Arcade attractions, we found the smallest train track in Taiwan!

Before we left, we grab some of the famous yam pastries from a traditional bakery, 連珍糕餅店 (link , GPS 25.128684, 121.741964).

Their yam cake is famous in Keelung and Taiwan. Another signature is their Sun cake, but we found the crust a bit too thick for us.

 

 

The Keelung sign illuminated in the evenings.

We have a Google Map of the areas around Keelung (Keelung attractions) and Ruifang. Keelung is “C”. It will give you a perspective of the relative distance between each attractions (Google Map Link here)

If you are visiting Keelung as a day trip, we would recommend that you leave your heavy luggage in Taipei train stations. Or you can consider Luggage storage at Keelung Train Station too.

Travel light in Keelung,  our Instagram below, do swipe to view our Keelung experience.

Do pop by all our Taiwan photos and blog posts below.

Photo albums :

Day 1 Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing
Day 3 Xitou Nature Education Area, Monster Village, Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Taichung (Zhongshe flower, ShengXin station, Cycling, Fengjia)
Day 5 Taichung (Animation Lane, Rainbow, Miyahara)
Day 6 Keelung 基隆
-Day 7 Ruifang, Jiufen and Shifen
-Day x Taipei HomeAway and Neighbourhood
Day 8 永康, Xi Men Ding, 象山, 饒河 Raohe
Day 9 and 10 北投 Beitou, Toyshop, 士林 Shilin

Blog posts :

** Taiwan Itinerary for families 
Day 1 Google Sheet, Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing Farm
HomeAway Recommendations for Taiwan
Day 3a Xitou Nature Education area (溪頭)
Day 3b Monster village 妖怪村 and Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Cycling Taichung 台中 
Day 4a 台中 Taichung  attractions
Day 5a 台中 Taichung food Ice cream and Bubble Tea
Day 5b 台中 Taichung Fengjia night market
-Day 6 基隆 Keelung
Day 7a Jiufen attractions
Day 7b Shifen attractions
Taipei Neighbourhood around our HomeAway Vacation Home
Day 8a Yong Kang Street and Xi Men Ding
Day 8b Raohe Night Market, Wu Fen Pu and 象山 Elephant Mountain

Instagram Hashtag #sengkangBabiesTaiwan

Instagram #sengkangBabiesTaiwan