I spent a whole day in Taipei to explore the ancient villages of Jiufen and Shifen. These are small towns located about an hour’s drive from the city center, which has a typical natural landscape of Taiwan, and also has the old streets that best reflects the culture of Taiwanese people. One day with lots of emotions, enjoy the beautiful scenery, learn ancient culture, history, cuisine… A great and memorable day. So, how to visit Jiufen and Shifen in one day (Jiufen Shifen one day trip, day trip to Jiufen and Shifen, Jiufen Shifen day trip) from Taipei? Let’s check it out our Jiufen Shifen blog with a very details of Jiufen Shifen itinerary from how to get to Jiufen and Shifen, best places to visit and top things to do below.
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Jiufen Shifen day trip: What are interesting things about Jiufen and Shifen?
These are two “not to be missed” places when traveling to Taipei, because just hearing their names have too many curious mysteries. Taipei is a strong tourist development city, but one thing I saw is that the attractions in Taipei cannot be crowded, fun, bustling like in Jiufen and Shifen. These are quite remote lands, quite difficult to access because there are few means of transportation and it takes a long time to get there, but I don’t know why visitors flock there so much? Of course that has its own reason!
Usually people will plan a tour to visit all the spots in Jiufen, Shifen (Jiufen Shifen itinerary) including the old town of Jiufen, wandering through the small alleys, the cobble-sized stones roads that run down the mountainside, viewing ancient houses, shops hanging the red lanterns and drink tea to enjoy the scenery. Then visit the lovely cat village of Houtong, cats at everywhere, on roads, alleys, corners, then going to Shifen village to watch the waterfall, the Pingxi old street and see people dropping the sky lanterns to wish good luck.
Dday trip from Taipei to Jiufen and Shifen: How to get to Jiufen and Shifen?
There are two most common ways to travel from Taipei to Jiufen, which is to take a bus or rent a private car for all day. If you go in a large group, rent a car will be more convenient and cheaper, they can take you visit more places. And if going from 1 or 2 people, getting Jiufen by bus is also very ok, no problem at all. Of course, I prefer going on my own way, rather than renting a car, rent a private car like a tour, you’ll have to follow a fixed schedule, not comfortable, partly because I’m traveling alone.
Bus from Taipei
Taipei – Jiufen: In Taipei you take the MRT to Zhongxiao Fuxing station, exit the station by Exit 1 and walk back, to the first intersection, turn left, then go straight to the bus stop, take the bus No. 1062 to Jiufen. The bus 1062 goes quite slowly, taking about 1.5 hours to reach the old town of Jiufen.
Jiufen – Houtong Cat Village: You return to Jiufen bus stop to take the bus No. 1062 back to Ruifang, from here take the train to Houtong Station which is cat village – Cat Village.
Houtong Cat Village – Shifen Village, Pingxi Old Town: Going by train, there will be 1 trip every 1 hour, so you have to remember the train schedules on the signage at the station. In Shifen you can visit Shifen Waterfall by foot, or continue take the train to visit Pingxi Ancient Town.
From Shifen – Taipei: Take the opposite steps, take the train from Shifen to Ruifang, then take the bus 1062 or 1061 to Taipei. Bus 1061 seems to run faster than the bus 1062. But you have to very careful because only 1 train in every hour. It was like my situation when I left Shifen at 7 pm, while 9:45 pm I had a trip to Alishan from Taipei Main Train Station, while the train only arrives after an hour later, standing in the middle of the highway without any people in the rainy weather, waiting for the bus to Ruifang is also did not have. So fearful! I thought there was no way back to my motherland!
There is another way to get to Taipei without going back to Ruifang, which is to take the bus No.15 to MRT Muzha Station, then from here go to Taipei by MRT. However, this way I am not sure because in fact I have not tried, asking the locals also do not know what the bus 15 is, so must return to Ruifang. But if you depart from Taipei and want to visit Shifen first, you can take the MRT to Muzha station and then catch the bus 15 to Shifen, it will be more difficult to catch the bus in the afternoon or evening.
From Taipei, in addition to the bus 15 you can reach MRT Muzha Station and catch the bus 795 to Pingxi. See the route map of bus 795:
To explore all of ancient villages including Jiufen, Shifen and other nearby places such as Houtong Cat Village, Shifen waterfall, Pingxi old town, enjoy food as well as feel the best culture, scenery here, I think 1 day seems to be a bit rushed. If you have more time you should stay one night in Jiufen or Shifen (Pingxi area).
I arrived at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station around 8 am, then walked and asked the local people to find the bus stop to Jiufen, and after 5 minutes walked I found it. Bus number 1062 runs the route Jiufen and every 30 minutes there is 1 trip, the bus goes slowly because it stops at several points in the city. I sat at the window on the left side of the bus, intending both riding and watching the sea, but this plan was only a bit success because most of the time I was asleep!
On that day, Taipei sunshine was beautiful, but when I came to Jiufen it was cloudy and started to drizzle with the wind gusts violently. The bus stopped at the end of the road, right at the middle of the slope, in front of a small road into the Jiufen old town. I rushed to the nearby 7Eleven store to buy a small umbrella, priced at 120NT$ ($3.87). This umbrella was just enough for one person, and it wasn’t too big to be entangled when crowded into small corners in Jiufen Old Street.
Jiufen Village, also known as Chiufen village, is located on Mount Keelung about 50km from Taipei, where in the past, only 9 families lived. So, every time when people going out of the village and buy gifts bring back, it will be divided into 9 different portions for each family and the name Jiufen (nine) derives from it.
I followed the small and long street which is the main axis of Jiufen ancient village, many store, food shops and souvenir shops are close to each other, bustling no less crowded than a Christmas market. It was still raining and humid, a little cold of the winter in the smoke when the restaurant chef opened a giant steamer of dumplings, a very special emotion.