Jiufen: Along the Northeastern Coast of Taiwan

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The view from Jiufen

We drove about an hour northeast of Taoyuan to a place called Jiufen 九份.  Jiufen is a historic mining town built in

the mountains overlooking the northeastern coast of Taiwan. If you’re driving from Taoyuan City, take National Highway 1 through Taipei, exit at the Badu interchange to Highway 62. Follow that into the mountains and you will find Jiufen.
There are a number of things worth seeing there.  Jiufen has a beautiful view of the Northeastern Coast:  Beautiful bays,
huge rocks and the Pacific Ocean.  There are a number of tea shops that overlook the the ocean and you can sit and drink
tea and enjoy the view.  But the biggest attraction is the Jiufen Old Street area.
The entrance to Jiufen Old Streets
It’s similar to many of Taiwan’s historic “Old Street” areas.  But Jiufen is built right into the side of the hill.  Tourists from all over the
world come to Jiufen when visiting Taiwan.
My daughter and I sat in one spot for a while and guessed where people were from.  We saw Norwegians, Germans, Americans and many people from Mainland China.
If you’re a homesick foreigner, like my children, this is a good place to come to find your countrymen.
If you visit Yingge, the old street area centers around ceramics.
There there are a lot of stores that’s sell only ceramics, but Jiufen is different, here the vendors are much more eclectic.  We saw a number of shoe shops, food vendors, teashops, traditional clothing stores, and of course souveneir shops.  (What tourist spot doesn’t sell souvenirs to tourists?) Just about everything was for sale here.
Grilled Sea Snails
I, of course was interested in food.  I’m always interested in food.
We found a number of vendors selling the local snacks.  Things like Squid on a Stick, some kind of sea snail, and sausages.  I will eat just about anything, but for the less adventurous, they had other Taiwanese snacks that were a little more common.
Temple rooftops in Jiufen.

 

Jiufen is built right into the side of the mountain.

 

Squid on a Stick

 

Lots of tourists visit Jiufen

 

 

 

 

Tombs built into the Hillside

 

Chris Banducci
Chris Banducci is a pastor and missionary in Taiwan. He has, at other times of his life, been a white-water rafter, rock climber and adventurer. He left the corporate world of Solid Waste Recycling in 1996 and went into full-time ministry, where he pioneered a church in Riverside, California for the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship and is now engaged in the same endeavor in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. He writes on the culture, religion, tradition, and day-to-day life in Taiwan. Twenty-six years of living with Muscular Dystrophy may have weakened his muscles but not his spirit.
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