Jiufen & Jinguashi

March 12, 2015

On Thursday, we woke up to another rainy day. The rain was really starting to get on my nerves and making me wish we had never left Central Taiwan. I was rather excited for our destinations that day. We were headed to Jiufen; one of the oldest cities in Taiwan. It is also the location of a few famous movies as well.

We took the local train to Ruifang and then from there walked to the bus station to take the bus to Jiufen. It was raining, and waiting was getting annoying so we hopped into a taxi with another family and sped off to Jiufen. The city is mainly several levels of streets connected by stairs and winding roads. We walked the old streets, stopping for traditional Taiwanese food and snacks along the way. We sat down at one shop and the whole shop was covered with pictures of this one Taiwanese woman. I wanted to know if she was famous or something because her face was everywhere. I also introduced my dad and sister to Oolong (Mountain) Tea and Bubble Milk Tea. I wish I could have video taped my sister’s reaction to bubble tea. It was priceless! Let’s just say she didn’t like it and the words, “What did you just give me!” came out of her mouth.  We kept walking through the different levels of Jiufen. I followed brown signs to different small monuments throughout the city. At one point the clouds kind of cleared so that we could see a view of the ocean and beach.

We walked around Jiufen until we had pretty much seen everything and decided we wanted to go to Jinguashi, which is the next town over, and has the Gold Ecological Park. Within the park you can see the Crown Prince Chalet, Beishan Fifth Tunnel, Gold Building, and much more. We saw several things in the park, but many of the things we didn’t even know we had seen because they weren’t labeled. A taxi dropped us off by the entrance of the park and we walked throughout it. It was still raining, but by this point it was only a drizzle. It was very foggy, but it added a nice eery feeling to the park. I don’t think we had to pay for anything in the park except for our food. At one point my dad and I put our hands on the largest gold brick in the world. The lack of security was kind of surprising. I wish I could have gotten magical powers from touching all that money, but alas it was just another cool, expensive brick. The park was full of old mining machines and gear, and it also included a waterfall. Once we had walked around the park for awhile we sat down and had a small dinner/snack. Then made our way back to Taipei.

In Taipei, the clouds had cleared and we weren’t hungry yet so I suggested we go to the Makong Gondola while we had the chance. That area is dead on a weekday! Almost none of the small shacks and stands were open. We pretty much got to the end of the gondola, walked around, didn’t really find anything we wanted to eat, and then got back on the gondola. Then I took them to the most oddly themed restaurant I have heard of: Modern Toilet. Everything in the place is symbolized around the bathroom and poo, right down to the ice cream. I thought it was hilarious, but I think my dad and sister just thought it was weird. Modern Toilet did have very good curry though.

After dinner it was back to the hotel to rest our feet and go to sleep.