November 25, 2019 — “It’s a dream come true to be here,” is all I could think of as we got off the bus and approached Jiufen old village. The lanterns, food, and the facade will remind you so much of the Japanese animated film Spirited Away.
While we were still on our way to Jiufen from Yehliu, our tour guide Norman, told us about the history of Jiufen. It is a mountainous area near the sea that used to be a mining town during the gold rush of the Japanese era.
Our group once again lined up and we followed Norman, who refers to us as his tour family. He carried around a yellow flag so we may easily identify him even from afar. He would always warn us that if we weren’t able to return in the agreed time, the bus would leave with or without us (very familial, lol). It was a brief walk, and we made a left turn and entered the isolated village.
Chaotic is the scenario that greeted us at the entrance of the old village. People kept bumping into one another and it seems like we’re all ants trying to get through the hole of a needle. It felt overwhelming at first, but once I realized there is no time to feel overwhelmed, my mom and I continued walking around the area and ate some delicious food along the way.
Instead of dining in a small restaurant here in Jiufen, my mom and I opted to try lots of different snacks as we walk on. Eventually, we got full when the Jiufen tour was over. We bought sausages, milk teas, and other stuff we think were palatable.
We also found some interesting food like grilled mushrooms. I can tell the lady seller was showing off confidence in her product as she grilled the mushrooms. The size of the mushrooms did catch our attention, plus two more women were waiting to claim their food so it seemed really enticing to try. Verdict, it was really good. Savory and has a smokey flavor.
After resting for a while, my mom and I explored further until we reach the view deck where we can see and appreciate the facade. It seemed like there was no end to the walkathon we got ourselves into. After the exhausting search, we finally saw it!
It was too bad that the skies were dim that day. It was drizzling and we didn’t get the chance to have more pictures, aside from the fact that there were just so many people. Plus, our time was almost up and we had to figure out our way back or else the tour bus will leave us.
As it turns out, getting out of the Jiufen maze was easy. My mom and I had no umbrella with us, so we were out on the streets with hair and clothes soaked in rainwater. (But hey, we were the first ones to be back in the parking lot!)
Guide to Jiufen Old Village
- Bring a jacket, the wind is very strong in this area.
- Wear shoes fit for long walks.
- It’s rare to catch a spot without a person taking a photo near it. Always be on alert with your camera and poses so you could have a money shot to bring home.
Itinerary and Budget
|8:15 AM||Meetup at GaKuden Bakery nearby Ximen Station 4|
|8:30 AM||Start tour, ETD to Yehliu Geopark||₱ 1,010/head (daytour package from Klook, with Yehliu Entrance Ticket)|
|9:30 AM||ETA Yehliu Geopark, free time|
|10:40 AM||ETD to Ying Yang Sea, and 13 Layers Remains|
|11:25 AM||Ying Yang Sea + 13 Layer Remains|
|11:40 AM||ETD to Golden Waterfall||NTD 75/person|
|11:50 AM||ETA at Golden Waterfall|
|12:00 PM||ETD to Jiufen|
|12:10 PM||ETA at Jiufen, free time|
|2:10 PM||ETD to Shifen Waterfall|
|2:50 PM||ETA at Shifen Waterfall, tour|
|3:40 PM||ETD to Shifen Old Street|
|3:50 PM||ETA at Shifen Old Street, free time|
|5:00 PM||ETD to Ximen Exit 4|
|6:15 PM||ETA at Ximen Exit 4|
|6:20 PM||Back to Hotel, washup|
|6:50 PM||ETD to Shihlin Night Market, via MRT|
|7:10 PM||ETA at Shihlin Night Market|
|9:00 PM||ETD to Hotel, via MRT|
Other destinations included in Klook tour package:
jiufen spirited away
jiufen old street opening hours
shifen old street
jiufen to shifen
what to do in jiufen
taipei to jiufen