Taiwan: Jiufen + Shifen (1)

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Itinerary Overview ☼ Summer 2014 in Taiwan ☼

If you are sick of city life, and want to take a day trip out from Taipei, do consider Jiufen (九份) and Shifen (十份). We visited the 2 places in a day. :) And if you start early enough, you could probably do this itinerary:

Jinguashi ▸▸ Jiufen ▸▸ Shifen ▸▸ Keelung Miaokou Night Market

Story of Jiufen (Wikipedia)

“In Qing Dynasty, the village at Jiufen 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. An isolated village until 1893, when gold was discovered, resulting in a gold rush that peaked during the Japanese rule. Many present features of Jiufen reflect the era under Japanese colonization. Gold mining activities declined after World War II, and the mine was shut off in 1971.”

Spirited Away – Jiufen

Jiufen also became popular in 2001, when its downtown was used as a model in the anime movie Spirited Away. If you are an anime fan or watched the movie before, you may find it interesting to find comparisons of the place Jiufen to scenes from the movie at this and this blog.

How To Get to Jiufen

Ruifang 3- travel.joogo.sgJiufen is located uphill in the Ruifang District near Keelung, Taiwan. So if you get a fast bus driver, brave yourself for some sharp swerves up the slope.

By Bus (via MRT): From Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復興) MRT (Brown and Blue lines) leave from Exit 1 and take bus route 1062 (Keelung Bus) to Jiufen. The ride is about 1 hour. Be sure to sit on the left side of the bus to enjoy scenic views of Northern Taiwan.

By Train:

  • From Taipei Main Station, take the train to Ruifang Station. It takes about 45 minutes.
  • Exit the station and cross the street to the bus stop.

  • Board the Keelung Transit bus #788 or #1062 towards Jiufen. The bus trip takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes. You can also take other buses except #891 to reach Jiufen Old Street. Though they come less frequently. See bus routes below:

  • By Taxi from Ruifang Station: Taxi terminal is on the left when you exit the train station. Standard rate to Jiufen is NT180 and will stop outside Jiufen’s 7-Eleven.

Find out how to return to Ruifang Station at the end of the post.

Image: snewthewanderlust.blogspot.sg

Snapshots of Jiu Fen Old Street (九份老街) 


Jiufen 1 - travel.joogo.sg


Jiufen 2- travel.joogo.sg


(‘cept there’s no more gold left)Jiufen 16a - travel.joogo.sg


There’s almost always a must try food in different parts of Taiwan.

So the must try in Jiufen: Yam Balls, Wild Boar/Black Pig’s sausage

But I spotted them selling assorted flavours now, sweet potato, green tea, etc.

This is the famous 赖阿婆芋圆 (yam balls)

Jiufen 3b- travel.joogo.sg

Jiufen 3c- travel.joogo.sg

Another yam ball shop, hidden up hill, near a shoe shop. Long queue spotted! Jiufen 9 - travel.joogo.sg

Jiufen 19 - travel.joogo.sgJiufen 6 - travel.joogo.sg


Jiufen 10 - travel.joogo.sg

Jiufen 11 - travel.joogo.sg

Jiufen 7 - travel.joogo.sg

Jiufen 13 - travel.joogo.sg

Jiufen 8 - travel.joogo.sg



Jiufen 4- travel.joogo.sg


The owner saw us taking photos and quickly came out to ask us in. The shop apparently displays hundreds of mask done by the owner. But they are too scary for my dreams. =x So we quickly fled, but he continued to enthusiastically ask the crowd to come in to look at his works. Btw, it’s free to take photo with his boards!

Jiufen 5 - travel.joogo.sg


Jiufen 15 - travel.joogo.sg

Jiufen 14 - travel.joogo.sg

 Jiufen 12 - travel.joogo.sg

From Jiufen Back to Ruifang Station

  • You can basically take any bus on the opposite direction from where you alighted at Jiufen. The bus will have a display card of either “基隆”or “台北”.
  • Note that the bus goes in the downhill direction.
  • Takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • You can tap your store-value EasyCard to board.

Travelling to Shifen (十份)? Read here.

Updated 17 September 2015
Travels During July 2014

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