First of all, this was my favorite place in Taiwan! I love history, stories and old streets with lantern. We booked a privat driver and a tour guide to fully explore Juifen and our tour guide, which was an older man, middle 50s, told us stories as we made several pit stops at sightseeing spots and he let us be a part of his memories of Jiufen and it’s old street.
This place is like Taiwan in the old days, with many interesting shops. And where ever you are, you’ll see the beautiful ocean view of Keelung outer sea. At some point you are even able to see the Pacific ocean and the nearby port, if the weather is clear.
The trip to Jiufen is full of delights. There are shops with the most famous country snack of Jiufen, such as Glutinous Rice Cake, Taro Cake, Hongzao (Oxo Cubes) Meatball, and cold or hot Taro Balls, etc.
The streets are filled with delicious snacks and souvenir shops with Spirited Away and Totoro themes.
Many of you may have watched Hayao Miyazaki’s award-winning Spirited Away and been blown away by the film’s creativity and beautiful artwork.
A Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki about a girl who gets lost from her parents and works in a bathhouse for the kami (spirits).
If you loved the movie and happen to be in Taiwan, then you definitely have to make a stop in Jiufen, especially A Mei Tea House. They say this tea house was the main inspiration behind the lantern-lit bath house in the animation movie.
Okay… this is what they told us… but I researched when I got back in the hotel and it is all marketing, unfortunately, BUT Jiufen is magical and definitely I’d recommend those old streets to everyone!
I’d definitely go back to Jiufen to explore more of those old streets, the mines and especially try other tea houses!! I mean, what is more magical than sipping tea, trying some Taiwanese specialities and enjoy a beautiful view??