The small and very beautiful Jiufen village (Chiufen village), lying on the cliffs in the northern of Taiwan, 50km far from Taipei city, is one of the most attractive destinations in Taiwan. Due to its unique geographic location, situated on the cliffs and the entire village overlooking the East Sea, Jiufen became the destination of “forget about the way back” of visitors when traveling to Taiwan. Let’s visiting Jiufen village and discover one of the most beloved and attractive destinations in Taiwan from best places to visit in Jiufen, what to do in jiufen and top things to do in Jiufen to Jiufen street food, how to get to Jiufen with Living Nomads below.
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Jiufen village is located close to the mountain slope created by the ancient houses. When come here, visitors can be walk around the village, be free to drop their souls in the fog all over the place that bring the magical beauty of this land. Not only that, visitors also feel about an ancient Chinese culture with tiled roofs, wooden houses, and enjoy the fresh air of hills and trees, blue clouds and cool air of the sea. All of them create a beautiful scenery could not be say in words.
Jiufen village history
Many visitors traveling to Jiufen to ask the same question: What does the name Jiufen mean and originate from? If you have the opportunity to talk to any of the people living in the village, you will easily find the answer to that question. You will hear about a legend story. The name Jiufen was from the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. In the past, when the new village was established, only nine families lived in this village. Before the development, The village has a backward, primitive transportation system, so the trading and supplying of goods to the village is through the boats on the sea.
Each time the villagers want to buy something, they always order nine items (Jiufen). From there, it is customary to call this village is Jiufen. The village is symbolic of the spirit of solidarity, mutual assistance when the difficulty of people living here.
Under the rule of the Japanese military during the period 1895-1945, this place is known by many gold mines. Therefore, many of the gold mining activities that helped Jiufen from the poor village became a bustling town, crowded with 4000 households.
It was not until after World War II that the gold mining activity gradually declined and ended after 1971. Since, Jiufen has been forgotten. One day, the old town of Jiufen was chosen as the scenes for many films. The great success and international awards have awakened Jiufen to wake up and attract thousands of visitors every day.
Jiufen blog: What to do in Jiufen and things to do in Jiufen village
Jiufen Old Street and Shuqi street
Shuqi street (Jiufen Old Street) is the most famous place of Jiufen village. The road runs through the town, from the bottom up, along the mountain side. with two narrow lanes, full of restaurants, teahouses, souvenir shops selling a variety of Taiwanese products – many unique items that you will never see in anywhere else. There are many restaurants and snacks in Jiufen that are famous throughout Taiwan, such as glutinous rice cake, Taro glutinous rice cake, meatballs Hongzao (Oxo Cubes), Taro hot and cold floating rice cake. The streets filled with junk food.
The most important road is the Shuqi street. The main and long road, narrow vertical along the mountain slopes throughout the village with the stairs and along the road are the shops close together and often crowded with passersby. Shuqi’s architecture bring Japanese style, which sometimes really looks like old Kyoto, beautiful and vibrate. Stores are usually closed early, most before 9pm.
In addition to the main roads, there are many small alleys, small lanes running around and occasionally even beneath the houses such as: Khinh Thien Lo and Jishan street.
The houses on the mountain slopes
This is the most beloved scene when referring to the ancient village of Jiufen, the back is the mountain, another side in front of the sea has created a beautiful landscape of the village.
Jiufen Tea house (Ah Mei teahouse)
As an iconic of the ancient village of Jiufen, this is a large and tall house, where many people come to rest, enjoy the Oolong tea and look at the surrounding landscape.
This is Taiwan’s most famous tea house. In 1989, this place was chosen as the scenes for film “A city of sadness” by Hou Hsiao – Hsien director. “A City of Sadness” recreates a part of the history of Taiwanese people for four years in the war with Japan and the Interim Government. The film deeply depicts the conflicts between indigenous peoples of Taiwan and immigrants and the difficulties that people faced in this dark age. Address: 224, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Ruifang District, 市下巷20號. Phone: +886 2 2496 0833
Jiufen Street Food
Many of the shops and restaurants with typical street foods such as peanut butter cream, Taro tea, beef noodles, barbecue snacks, snails grilled… create a typical bustling scene of the ancient village.
Coming to the ancient village of Jiufen, visitors can catch Japanese culture in harmony with the Chinese culture. When come here, visitors remember to enjoy the specialties of the region such as fishballs, shrimp balls, beef balls, tofu tablets … Just a few items fill with broth is enough to create a unique dish, bring bold of Jiufen’s culinary culture. But the most interesting and attracting is still the cakes made from potatoes and taro with a very special flavor, famous throughout Taiwan.
In addition to the Shuqi vertical road, Jiufen also has two parallel roads and crosses Shuqi which are the Songde road and Jishan road. Along these two roads, there are many tea shops, bakeries, cafeterias and restaurants in front of each of the cafes that cakes are chopped for visitors to taste before buying.
The scenes of movies
Although it is a village, Jiufen is a bustling town filled with houses close together and famous as the scenes of the famous movie “A city of sadness.” and “Sprited Away” by Japanese director Miyazaki Hayao.
Jiufen village travel guide: Some guides and useful tips to discover Jiufen
How to get to Jiufen village?
There are many ways to getting to Jiufen. The three best options are shuttle bus, train and normal bus.
From the center of Taipei, you can take a taxi or bus with a travel time of more than an hour. The short-distance shuttle bus service is available to take visitors from Taipei City in Ximen to Jiufen, then to Shifen Old Streets. The car goes in the morning and comes back before dinner time. It was the easiest way to get to Jiufen. Car Schedule: Morning: 9:00AM for $30.25 or noon 1:30PM for $15.50.
From Taipei Main Station, take the train to the north, arrival at Ruifang Station. After leaving the station, turn left and walk 200 meters to Mingdeng Road. Next to the police station is a local bus station called Local Residents Plaza, with routes No.827 and No.788 heading to Jiufen.
From Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT, you leave the stop from Exit 1 and take the bus No.1062 (Keelung Bus) to Jinguashi and arrival in Jiufen. The trip takes about 1 hour and the fare is NT$102 (~$3.35). Get up early to get a good seat, comfortable and enjoy the beautiful Taipei. Bus No.788 is also available at Keelung.
Although most visitors from Taipei to Jiufen visit in one day, but there are also many people who prefer to stay overnight at one of the hotels here, or at the B&Bs, or minus. Because the number of guest houses and hotels in Jiufen are limited, and this is one of the most popular destinations in Taiwan, we recommend you reserve the room before arrival here. Accommodation here is also more crowded and expensive at the weekends, but prices do not increase as much as many other famous tourist destinations of Taiwan.
What is the best time to visit Jiufen?
At any time of the year, you can also visit the ancient village of Jiufen, however traveling to Taiwan in February to April or from September to November with cool weather is the best time to visit.
How long should I visit at Jiufen?
You should spend it at least 2 hours to a half day or full day to visit Jiufen village and discover special things in the village that located on mountain slopes.
Opening hours: Daily from early morning to midnight
Duration of visiting: at least 2 hours to a half day or full day
Entrance fee: Free
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