After our hike on the Caoling Historic Trail, we still had half a day left to do other things. Instead of purchasing tickets back to Taipei from Dali, we purchased tickets to go to Rueifang. From there, we took a bus to Jiufen.
You take the bus in front of the train station. If you don’t know where to go, ask! A lot of friendly people around. The bus was cheap $30 NT (about $1 CAD) each. I think a cab ride is $140 NT (approx $5 CAD). The ride took longer than 10 minutes (which was what someone at the train station told me). You can see the reason in the picture below.
It was a nice weekend, so we weren’t surprised about the traffic jams and crowds.
And of course, what is a trip to Jiufen without some taro balls (芋圓)?
We also had some passion fruit ai-yu jelly drinks (百香愛玉) here but it wasn’t as good as ones from 大苑子.
We wandered away from the crowds to Wufankeng Park (五番坑公園). Here you can see remnants from the mining times in Jiufen. Jiufen used to be a gold mining town (up until 1950s). Now it’s a popular tourist destination with amazing views and old streets.
The tunnel was excavated in 1927. There were light railways going through the tunnel for transporting coal. Now it’s sealed for safety purposes but surrounding it is a park where you can rest and enjoy the ocean view.
There was some sort of restoration project for the old theatre. We didn’t hang around Jiufen for too long because we wanted to be able to get on the bus to go back to Taipei. If you are not in a rush, take some time and sit in one of the tea shops and admire the view. My brother stayed overnight in Jiufen when he visited and he said it was nice in the morning when there weren’t a lot of people.
We were glad that we lined up for the bus when we did because shortly after that the line became twice as long. We managed to get on the second bus to Taipei Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station (only took 1-2 hours; fare was $110 NT per person = approx $3.60 CAD… not bad for this distance). Another example of how convenient and affordable it is to travel in Taiwan.