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Friday, August 19, 2011

Jiufen (九份) Small Town at Taiwan

Jiufen (N25.10986 E121.84515) - "During the first years of the Qing Dynasty, the village here housed nine families, thus the village would request "nine portions" every time shipments arrived from town. Later Jiufen ("Nine portions" in Chinese) would become the name of the village.

Jiufen was only an isolated village until 1893, when gold was discovered in the area. The resulting gold rush hastened the village's development into a town, and reached its peak during the Japanese rule. Many present features of Jiufen reflect the era under Japanese colonization, with many Japanese inns surviving to this day. During World War II, a POW camp named Kinkaseki was set up in the village, holding Allied soldiers captured in Singapore (including many British) who worked in the nearby gold mines. Gold mining activities declined after World War II, and the mine was shut off in 1971. Jiufen quickly went into decline, and for a while the town was mostly forgotten.
" Source from Wiki.

It took about 30-45 minutes drive from Yehliu to this small town - Jiufen. Drove through the winding roads and at last we reached the busy and sharp corner where the Jiufen Old Street (九份老街) located.

The 180 degree sharp bend at Jiufen

The above photo was taken by Tokina 11-16mm lens

This was the tourist hotspot of Jiufen. Everyone will definitely visit the old street for the first time, and so do we...
It is a long narrow alley which paved by stones and the alley was continue ascending...felt like hiking a small hill...:)

The entrance of the Jiufen Old Street (九份老街)

The street was crowded with tourist and it full of shops on the both side...luckily the weather was quite cooling, because it situated at the elevation of 300 meter and above...

There were many food stalls around and if you have a big belly, that will be paradise for you! Too bad I don't have it, haha!

Food stalls along Jiufen Old Street, have you ever try the Yam ball? (Top right)

Top left : I like the peanut ice-cream
Top right : Admire the innovative food process machine very much!
Bottom left : Grilled sea snail
Bottom right : Shark ball?! (Second basket from right)

You can chose to take the food while strolling along the street or even find a Unique cafe or restaurant to dine in...

Like the deco of this small restaurant

The restaurant which is lower than the street...unique.

Western Restaurant and the corner...like the design too!

Suddenly, I been attracted by a musical instrument came out from no-where! After searching and followed the music, we found this shop...the boss was playing with the instrument...

And it's called the Taiwan Ocarina. The ocarina (陶笛) may be known as a "pottery flute" in Chinese. However, it doesn't look anything like a classical flute.

The colourful Taiwan Ocarina.

The area was so packed during our visit...

Tourists from everywhere in the world.

After hanging around the food stalls and souvenirs shops area, we continued to walk to the top...

5-10 minutes walk, we reached the Famous Jiufen Tea House. In the tea house, they have the Ceramic Gallery and the tea drinking area.

Jiufen Tea House

The Ceramic Gallery of Jiufen Tea House

I like the decoration. They created the cozy and relax ambience in the whole Jiufen Tea House!

We won't be able to step into the drinking area, because the tea house Only allow customer who buy the tea and to ensure their customer privacy...sound great?! But because of our limited time, we gave a missed this time...

Jiufen Tea House was not the only one around, there are many other tea house, cafes and restaurants around! And they are all in different and unique decoration.

Another 15 minutes walk, we reached the top of the Jiufen Old Street. The breathtaking view was just Fantastic! I can imagine viewing it from the top in the bright sunny day! But too bad...that day was cloudy when we were there...

The scenic view from the top of Jiufen Old Street

The Jiufen small town

There were many tea house at the both side of the viewing area, many tourists or travelers enjoy their tea and mesmerizing the beautiful view of Jiufen.

Customers enjoyed the scenic view with the tea...

Another Tea House...

And all the tea houses and buildings were constructed on the edge of the small hill...

Amazing isn't it?!

After enjoyed the fresh air and the view from the area, we chose to walked down the hill via another street named - QingBian road.
Well, it was also full of restaurants again! If I had enough time, I will definitely visit every restaurant or cafe I can to enjoy the environments and their decorations. They were so Special!

I was admired the cafe (left) for a moment while descending...

Do you notice the 'Cave' below? It was a restaurant's entrance, very creative!

The Cave

It's difficult to find a public toilet around here, I only saw once while we walking down, so be prepare...

The public toilet at Jiufen

Another Unique restaurant along the way...

We chose another way to get back to the Jiufen Old Street where we can walked through their village's alley...and feel the different of Jiufen.

The alley at Jiufen village

I wish the above house it's the homestay...so antique and nice!

And I found this Unique post box at the corner...

We went into a Yam Ball dessert shop after we back to the old street...will blog about it in my next post.

We took about 2 hours to finished walking at the old street area, I felt Not enough at all for a day trip here! I will definitely come back again and put a night or two at this peaceful small town, especially at the Homestay. Well, I like it Very Much!

Finally, I visited Jiufen. 

Related post :-
*  My Taiwan Trip on May, 2011

Location map of Jiufen Small Town of Taiwan

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