Seated in Ruifang District in New Taipei City, Jiufen is hugged by rugged mountains on all sides, and facing Keelung Mountain that sits afar. This quaint small town was built upon the hills; the quiet, serpentine paths that date back to the Japanese Colonial Period lends seasonal charm to this rustic, nostalgic town.
Its rich gold mines had once put the small town on the map; yet as gold became depleted, Jiufen quickly went into decline. The town, chosen as the site for the award-winning film, "A City of Sadness," reclaimed its spotlight following the movie's phenomenal success; the film also gave Jiufen another lease on life as a storied tourism destination.
Other than the hauntingly beautiful fusion of the mountains blending into the seascape, the richly nostalgic architecture and rustic cultural ambiance, Jiufen also looks and feels completely different when dawn gives way to dusk. For foodies, Jiufen teems with plenty of options, ranging from taro rice balls, grass cakes, red yeast meatballs that take snacking to a new level. Teahouses, arts and craft shops lining the winding staircases and the hundred-year-old Shengping Theater, on the other hand, are postcard-perfect spots for visitors worldwide looking to enrich their photo albums.
Artists capture the beauty of Jiufen with their paint brushes; writers, their pens, and photographers, their cameras. Yet none of them can do justice to the enduring allure of Jiufen: the wistful milieu and multilayered history of this Mountain Community of Gold must be experienced, and felt, firsthand.
Tel: (02) 2406-3270 (Jiufen Tourist Center)
Address: No. 89, Qiche Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City