Walking Down Jiufen Narrow Alleyways In Taiwan During November (漫步在十一月的台湾九份)

For those who visit Taipei, a one-day trip to Jiufen 九份, an old mountain town in northeastern Taiwan, east of Taipei, is highly recommended.

Jiufen is known for its narrow alleyways built into the side of the hills slightly inland from the Pacific Ocean coastline.

The main area of interest for visits are the town's historic commercial district which is covered by two pedestrian streets: Jishan Street running along the ridge line, and Shuqi Street running up and down the slope of the hill. It's packed with teahouses, street-food shacks and souvenir shops.

Near the centre of Old Street lies the Shengping Theatre, established in the 1900s and since retired. There is also a Gold Mine Museum that traces that town's history as a mining hud during the Japanese-era gold rush.

The best way to cover and explore this area is on foot. And for those who visit Taiwan to run a race or full marathon, perhaps a visit to Jiufen after your running event can help to give you a much needed recovery relaxing walk (don't forget there are some walking up and down the slope of the hill!) ! 😀

I have visited Jiufen before a few years back but it was during spring time with bright sunshine and no rain. In November 2017, I managed to visit Jiufen again for the second time, after running a full marathon in Tianzhong, Taiwan.

Transportation to Jiufen

By Train from Taipei

During my first to Jiunfen visit few years back, I took a train from Taipei Central Train Station north to Ruifang Train Station. After exiting the Ruifang Train Station, I spent some time exploring the morning market with fresh fruits an vegetables in the small town of Ruifang. I remember I had some hot warm freshly made soy bean milk as well.

After which I walked towards a bus stop near a police station on the main busy street facing Ruifang Train Station. Taiwanese are very friendly and hospitable. I did end up asking a few people for direction to the bus stop to Jiufen and they gladly showed me the way.

From the bus stop, I then took the local Keelung Transit bus to Jiufen. The bus trip was roughly 15 minutes.

By Bus No. 1062 From Taipei

For this most recent trip, I decided to explore a different route to Jiufen by taking the bus no. 1062 (bus company is Keelung Bus) from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station Exit #2. The bus stop for bus no. 1062 is just in front of Exit #2. 

The journey was rather pleasant, taking around one hour. The fare was also very reasonable at around 102 NT$. 

Since it's a mountainous road, I got to see some awesome scenic views of the mountains, bridges, small towns and alleys as the bus brought me to and fro from Jiufen.

By the way, please make sure you go to toilet first before you hop on the bus. There is no toilet in the bus. And since it was a rainy day with rather cold weather, I ended up having to stop the bus in a town before the bus reached Jiufen so that I could rush to the toilet at a petrol station. haha! And then I needed to wait for the next bus no. 1062 to go to Jiufen. So please - don't end up to be like a clumsy me yeah! Go to the loo first! lol!😅

Jiufen in the month of November

I must say that despite the rain, the cold wind blowing and the cold weather, I was rather excited for this different "winter" experience of Jiufen in the month of November compared to my first visit when Jiufen was sunny and bright.

Therefore, make sure you bring along your raincoat or umbrella. I find raincoat is better especially when you walk down the anrrowalleys of Jiufen so that your umbrellas won't block other people.

Walking up and down narrow alleyways of Jiufen

I simply enjoyed walking the narrow alleyways of Jiufen.

I stopped at the shops when I saw something interesting.

I tried some free samples of locally made cookies, ginger tea, etc during the walk.

I would go into one of the souvenir shops to explore some interesting arts and crafts made by creative Taiwanese.

Just a casual, relaxing walk exploring what this magical old mountainous town Jiufen has to offer!

Enjoying the local street food

One of the main reasons why I love Taiwan is the great variety of street food. 

At Jiufen, you will find many. 

Therefore, please be adventurous to try out different things. You might be surprised what you will fall in love with! :

Enjoying the mountain view in the month of November at Jiufen, Taiwan

Beef and fish ball noodle soup

Having a cup of tea or coffee at a tea house or cafe

There are many teahouses along the narrow streets in Jiufen. I managed to find a very quiet modern teahouse operated by young Taiwanese with breathktaing scenic views.

Try not to rush during your visit to Jiufen, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee at a local teahouse is an enjoyment in life!

I had an awesome time at Jiufen, Taiwan in the month of November. I do encourage you to visit Jiufen in different time of the year. There might be some pleasant surprises waiting for you!

If you want to explore other things to do near Jiufen, you can visit tripadvisor by clicking here.

Words.    Vincent Khor
Date.       5 Feb 2018


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