Spirited Away to Jiufen

During my family’s annual trip back to Taiwan to visit family, we thought we could all take a trip to Jiufen Taiwan. Our group of 7 made our way to Jiufen from Taipei. Jiufen to Taipei is about a 40 minute to 60-minute drive.

When the car arrived at Jiufen, we felt the weather become a little colder. However, the Jiufen weather is only a few degrees colder than in Taipei. Compared to our Canadian home, this cooler weather felt really good on our skin. We could feel the sea breeze blowing in our faces.

Walking along the streets of Jiufen, my daughter and her cousins instantly commented on how Spirited Away-esque the whole place was. The girls were extremely excited about visiting the place that inspired the movie Spirited Away.

As we walked through the streets, window shopping and chatting, we stumbled upon Jiufen Old Street also known as Shiqu Street. Shiqu Street was filled with restaurants, shops, and tea houses. Many of the Taiwanese treats being sold were special and unique, and our family definitely bought a lot to try and give to friends and gifts. Besides buying gifts, our family took many family photos along the aesthetic streets and the stairs.

At the top of the stairs, the view was breathtaking. On top of the mountains, Jiufen overlooks the mountains, old village, and the sea.
Looking at the pictures, my family definitely reminisces about the fond experience.

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Bonjour! Taiwan.

My friend Nathen was an exchange student in Taiwan before and he invited me to discover this island last week and I agreed. This was my first time in Asia, Asia was so different from Europe, everything here was cheap and every MRT station was clean and safe in Taipei. Taipei was fantastic、friendly and the food here was so delicious. We really had a perfect Taipei day tour here.

And the next day, we rent a motorcycle to Jiufen, we reached the coastal area in such a short time like just one and a half hour! Maybe I could plan a Taiwan family trip for my family members to visit Taiwan next time. Nathen and I decided to stay a night in a Jiufen hotel and chased the sun the next morning. But unfortunately, due to our jetlagged reason and Jiufen’s weather, we didn’t catch the sunrise, but the view was still enjoyable. Hidden away on the North coast of Taiwan and bursting with beauty. Jiufen is one of Taiwan’s best-kept secrets. Surrounded by hills and breathtaking scenery, the waterfront town left a lasting impression in our heart.

I highly recommended people to hire a car with friends or family to reach the top of the hill to get an outstanding bird’s eye view over the harbor area. We experienced boat riding around huge rocks and had a lot of fun in the sea. It was a fascinated Taiwan tour packages because you’ll feel welcome from the moment you arrive. I’ll remember this forever after I back to France. I appreciated my friend Nathan for inviting me to join his plan to this beautiful island, I’ll be back someday in the future.

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A Short trip to Yehliu

My girlfriend Amy who lives in Washington, where is situated in the north-west of the United State and I was invited to attend the wedding from my distant relative living in Taiwan. By this opportunity, we determined to join the Taipei day tour to Yehliu after the wedding but before Amy leaving Taiwan for backing to Washington. When we arrived at Yehliu, those rocks formation on the north side of Yehliu Geopark looks like cupcakes to me because of the icing on the top. However, I think they are called Candle Rock here at Yehliu Geopark. The rocks at the bottom park look like Bentong Ginger but We thought they were not documented. What’s more, we found more peculiar rocks formation including the shape is alike to Predator’s Head, Queen’s Head, Horse, etc. Perhaps we could find more interesting rock formation that looks like specific objects. if we stayed in Yehliu for a longer time. On the way out from the Yehliu Geopark, we spotted another rock formation which is this leopard shaped rock formation. After admiring the rocks formation at Yehliu Geopark, we rushed on the private bus to the airport and ended up the short trip to Yehliu with awing the power of nature.

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A Taste feast of Taipei day tour

Taiwan tour was unexpected. We originally planned to visit Vietnam and Japan. But after booked our flight tickets we noticed that we will have to stay in Taiwan for 30 hours to transfer! We didn’t want to waste the time in Taiwan so we booked a Taipei day tour.

Our Taiwan family trip started in a historic district-Dadaocheng. There are many beautiful old street houses in Dadaocheng. Some of them are Baroque architecture! Just like Italy! The shops in Dadaocheng are also surprised us too. Traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese pastry, Tea house, and dehydrated goods. All of them are smelled good!

Longshan Temple is located at another historic district-Manka. Before Dadaocheng raises up, Manka used to be the biggest commercial center of Taipei. And the center of Manka is a famous temple-Longshan Temple. This temple was built in 1738 A.D. during the reign of the Qing Dynasty. After hundreds of years, though Manka is no longer a business center of Taipei Longshan temple has always been the center of faith of Taipei. We saw the smoke of incense fluttering around the temple, the smell of incense let us feel peace and solemn.

“It time to have some delicious cuisine,” our driver-guide said that. We chose the most famous restaurant in Taipei-Din Tai Fung for dinner. “Wow, it smells very tempting.” My father said. He is a chef in a restaurant with an excellent sense of smell. As predicted, the Xiaolongbao is juicy and tasty! Beef noodle is very savory! My father was very enjoyed the meal. After this Taiwan tour, we have a consensus that the time we stay in Taiwan was too short! Next time we will visit Taiwan at least for a week! Taiwan, see you soon! Waiting for us!

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An amazing coast and graceful queen

I am from the Netherlands, Taiwan and the Netherlands are both ocean countries but the coastal terrain in Taiwan is very different from my country! Our coastline is flat and monotonous but the coastline of Taiwan is very amazing! Especially in Yehliu.

Yehliu is far from the Taipei downtown for us, my mother is 80 years old now so we didn’t consider the bus. We attended a Yehliu tour-a driver-guide led us to Yehliu geopark. Yehliu is a cape which extends to the ocean almost 2km from the land. Our driver-guide told us that the name “Yehliu” was derived from the Dutch language “Duijvel Hoek” The story is cool to me that Dutch had been to Taiwan in 17 century!

Yehliu is formed by orogeny, weathering, and coastal erosion. We saw much strange rock in Yehliu Geopark. Some of them looked like mushroom and ginger and some like high heeled shoes and candles! But the most special one is “The Queen’s head!” As if Cleopatra – the Queen of Egypt reborn!

Queen’s head has become the symbol of Yehliu geopark. According to our driver-guide said that Queen’s neck was getting thinner and thinner in these 40 years. The management office of Yehliu is afraid that one day Queen’s head will split. Unfortunately, it seems unavoidable under the weathering. So we were so lucky to see this graceful Oueen during this Yehliu tour.

I noticed there was a statue stand in Yehliu Geopark-a rock which is the only one not made by nature. This statue is built to commemorate a man named LIN, TIAN-ZHEN. He had saved 4 drowning victims but one time he fails and never come back. The Government decided to build a statue to commemorate he and his courage. Protect Yehliu geopark forever.

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Sent the messages to the sky in Pingxi

Keep away from downtown Taipei, we went to Pingxi old street. Pingxi is located at valley area. Our tour guide said that Pingxi is the least populated district of Taipei. There are only 4000 people living in the district. Even the convenience store-which you could find in every intersection in Taiwan are rarely seen in Pingxi. Therefore, Pingxi keeps many original sceneries.

Pingxi used to be the important coal mine origin of Taiwan. Let me recall my hometown-Birmingham. Just like Pingxi, Birmingham was well known about its coal mine and industry. Pingxi old street is built along a railway line-Pingxi line Taiwan. In early time, this railway used to carried coal but now it’s a popular sightseeing railway in Taipei suburbs.

We walked down the Pingxi historical railway and saw many tourists from all over the world-Come for the sky lantern. They use different languages to write their wishes on sky lantern. We saw there have Chinese, Japanese, English, Korean and several languages that we haven’t seen. It’s quite interesting! Flying sky lantern is the most famous traditional activity in Pingxi. People write their wishes on a sky lantern and then set off sky lantern into the sky.

We bought a Pingxi lantern and use writing brush-a Chinese traditional stationery to writing down our wishes and dream. My kid drew a dragon and my wife wrote “Peace and Lucky”. Then it’s my turn. I wanted to challenge Chinese characters! So I picked the word “吉祥” which means “Auspicious” in English. Ah…I admit that Chinese characters are very difficult for me but beautiful. After we finished, we standing on both sides of the railway.”3, 2,1, Let it go!” We watched our sky lantern rising slowly and farther and farther away from us. “God has heard our wishes,” my boy said.

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An Unforgettable trip to Jiufen.

We are tourists from Thailand. Because our relatives have worked in Taiwan, they are very recommended to travel to Taiwan, we decided to plan a Taiwan tour. We have a total of 6 people, so I decided to book a charter service and a tour guide through the travel agency.
So that we can enjoy a Taipei private tour, we prefer this travel mode.

The First day of travel, the tour guide arranged a Jiufen tour. Before arriving at Jiufen, the tour guide reminded us to bring an umbrella and Non-slip shoes, because the Jiufen weather was often raining, everyone thanked the tour guide for the intimate reminder.

The tour guide introduced us to the history of Jiufen Taiwan. In 1893, the gold in the Jiufen area was discovered. Due to excessive mining of gold, Jiufen’s gold mine is quickly exhausted. Therefore, after the gradual decline of gold mining, the glorious period of Jiufen also become history. Today, due to the rise of the tourism industry, Jiufen has returned to its former prosperity.

The tour guide led us to visit Jiufen’s literature and history studio, which was founded in the 81st year of the Republic of China. It was founded by Mr. Luo Jikun. He isn’t from Jiufen, but he is deeply fascinated by Jiufen. The studio focuses on Jiufen cultures of photography, video records for texts, collects and displays life cultural relics, gold mining tools, records Jiufen photographs, collections of historical materials and cultural relics.

Next, we went to Jiufen old street for dinner. The food stalls are very diverse, just like the night market in Thailand, so this is familiar to us.

In the end, we chartered from Jiufen Hotel to Taipei. The distance from Jiufen to Taipei was very short, so we quickly arrived at the Taipei hotel and end this unforgettable Taipei day tour.

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A day to remember Jiufen

Today, my family of four embarked on a day trip to Jiufen that was part of our Taiwan tour package. The Jiufen weather was quite hot as it is summer in Taiwan in the month of August. Taiwan during the summertime is basically as hot as Malaysia! At least our tour guide’s jokes helped us take our minds off the weather. He even imitated the Malaysian accent when he spoke English to us. He knew we really needed to cool off so he quickly sought out a cold dessert for us. We got the locally famous ice cream burritos — two ice cream scoops of your desire (red bean, taro, peanut and more), smashed peanuts and sugar wrapped in a glutinous rice wrap. The mixture danced across our tongues, quickly quenching our hotness.

As we made our way through the old paths of Jiufen, Taiwan, my kids were fascinated by the toys in the stalls. My boys aged 7 and 12 both bought a wooden sword and spent a lot of their times play fighting with them. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the purchases as it kept them busy!

The day quickly passed away as we bought miscellaneous things in each store. There were shoes, bags, and various handicrafts. Our family was quickly tired and parched, and we sought out the famous Jiufen Amei tea house to rest our feet. The inside of the cafe gave us really vintage Chinese vibes with a nice view. We were impressed as the staff all spoke mandarin and Chinese and we were recommended to order a set menu. It cost around TWD 400 to 500 per person and came with 8-9 Taiwanese traditional dishes with soup and desserts. We were pleasantly surprised by the food. My personal favorite was the mung bean cake that melted in my mouth! Jiufen Amei tea house is really suited for a family to spend time together.

Overall, touring Jiufen was a memorable experience and my family will definitely be coming again!

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Jiufen, a sunny summer vacation in June

As an Australian, June was the beginning of our wintertime so we often went to some warm places to have fun. We were a group of eight people and decided to spend three days in Taiwan during our winter vacation. Before we landed in Taiwan, we saw the fabulous coastal line of Northern Taiwan where we went there the day after we arrived. Since we were a group, we hired a small bus for all my friends and me to go Jiufen to start our Taiwan tour.

I grabbed some useful information on the Internet before so I knew Jiufen used to do its gold mining activities but preserve Taiwanese history and culture nicely nowadays. There were a lot of excellent cafes and restaurants that we can choose around its old street area. When we had our lunch in a tea house, I heard that some tourists said that several popular hotels were already fully booked because of Taiwan’s upcoming summer vacation, so I recommended people to make a reservation earlier if you want to visit here. Fortunately, Jiufen’ weather was still cool and comfortable at the moment.

Taipei, the most prosperous capital of Taiwan which was also renowned for its modern architectures. We spent a day for Taipei day tour in a cute double-decker. It was just like the one in London, we enjoyed spring breeze on the second floor of the bus and passed lots of iconic landmarks, my friends and I shared a wonderful trip together and relaxed perfectly in Taipei. We thought the city was so friendly because there were English signs everywhere and we could read easily during our Taipei tour packages.

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The most impressive birthday in Jiufen

I am an Asian born in San Francisco, where is situated in the west of the United State. I always thought of coming backing to Taiwan to celebrate my birthday and visiting the famous historic town, Jiufen and soaking ourselves in the antique multiple stairway vibes in the Jiufen old street. Fortunately, my grandpa in Taiwan was a local guide of Jiufen before. Thus, we went on a Taipei day tour to Jiufen on the past few weeks. A long time ago, Jiufen was a tiny village populated only by nine families. So whenever someone traveled to the coast to buy supplies, they would always buy “nine portions”. What’s more, the Chinese pronunciation of “nine portions” is “Jiu-fen”, which is the origin of this place name. Fast-forward to the 1890s when gold was discovered in the area, and the area experienced a mining boom — this lasted until after WWII when the town slowly began to decline. The mines were closed in the 1970s, and Jiufen was all but forgotten until it became the nostalgic backdrop in an award-winning film, A City of Sadness, almost twenty years later. After that, Jiufen developed into a popular tourist attraction and served as the inspiration to another film — the ghost town in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. It is quite interesting for a movie fan like me and I truly love the place where surrounded by mountains and ancient stuff like Jiufen. It was my most impressive birthday ever in my life.

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