To get to Jiufen, you have to make your way to the Taipei Railway Station, near the Taipei Main Station (subway), to get your train tickets. There are several train options, and we chose the Tze Chiang Limited Express, which cost us NT136 for a return ticket. It took just 38 minutes to arrive at Ruifang Station, where we took a bus that brought us to Jiufen within 15 minutes.
This is the ticketing counter from which we bought the train tickets to Ruifang.
Breeze Centre is on the second floor of the building. Where the lights are, those are eating places.
The train that we took was rather comfortable. The ticket was for a reserved seat, and the train was clean and not crowded at all.
Arriving at Ruifang Station, exit the station and walk straight towards Ruifang Old Street. When you come to the main road, cross it. The bus stop is on your right, somewhere between the first and second shop seen in the picture below.
This is the view from the bus stop where you would be alighting. If you look into the distance, just in front of the white and yellow bus, you will spot a 7-eleven. To the extreme right, where the lights are, that's where the shopping street starts.
Let's begin with the amazing view you'll see when you walk to the end of the shopping street. You can spot Keelung mountain on the right, and even Yehliu, another delightful place which we went to on our second last day in Taipei.
Walking back up the slope of Jishan Street, you get to another vantage point which is sheltered. It was pretty misty the day we were there, and it was so cold up at Jiufen, that I shivered a little.
There are cosy teahouses along the street, where you could rest your feet, away from the bustle, and enjoy both tea and the wonderful scenery.
Both the boy and I enjoyed the festive atmosphere of Shuchi Street. Red hanging lanterns and warm orange lighting made it seem as if Chinese New Year had come early. The path between the two rows of shops is pretty narrow, and it can get a little too crowded at times. Nevertheless, the sheer number of people just adds to the rather enjoyable hustle and bustle.
Corn syrup hardened into various cartoon characters at only NT20 each.
A shoe shop selling colorful clogs.
The boy was interested in the road signs.
Cute but cheesy couple tees. If that's your cup of tea.
See these lanterns from Shifen? We had every intention of getting a glow-in-the-dark miniature lantern as a keepsake, but in our rush at Shifen later in the day, we regretfully did not manage to get one. That story coming up in a later post!
We tried the famous glutinous rice balls made with taro, green tea and sweet potato. A huge container of this yummy handmade dessert - your choice of hot or cold - costs only NT40.
Not the most comfortable place to have a meal, but the natural stone and wood furniture made the place unique.
I felt that the vegetable balls could have been more flavourful, since the sweetness of the soup makes the balls taste much blander than they already are. They were delightfully chewy nonetheless :)
The soup on the other hand, tasted wonderful. It had red beans, peanuts and corn in it.
We brought home a set of glassy blue pigs, and a smaller set of two glow-in-the-dark sheeps in a basket, as mementoes. I would say that Juifen was one of the most memorable day trip for us.
Taipei Day 3: Taipei 101, Eslite, Shinkong Mitsukoshi
Taipei Day 4: Shifen 十分 and Night Lanterns
Taipei Day 5: Desserts at Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe
TAIWAN HOLIDAY LINKS
Getting from the Airport to the Town Centre
A review of the reasonably priced City Inn Hotel
Great Yakiniku Dinner Wine and Dine
Best Fruit Smoothie at Agnes B Cafe
Dining Cute @ Hello Kitty Cafe
Best Breakfast @ New York Bagels
Best Spaghetti and Fruits Tea @ Afternoon Tea Cafe
Ice Cream Toast @ Dazzling Cafe, opened by a socialite
Best Mala Hotpot Supper @ Ximending
Shida Night Market
Shilin Night Market
Raohe Night Market
Jianguo Flower and Jade Market
Shopping Malls & Bookstores
Eslite, Shinkong Mitsukoshi
Main Attractions - Places that you can't miss
Danshuei Old Street: Eat while you walk
Jiufen: Traditional Alley
Shifen: Lighting A Wish Lantern
Beitou Hot Springs: Soak your troubles away
Yehliu Geopark: Amazing Rock Formations by the Sea