Gold mountain city: Unforgettable Jiufen


Jiufen, a familiar place.

Jiufen garnered fame in the West thanks to the 1980s blockbuster film A City of Sadness, its old colonial architecture, sloping land and amorous feelings attract the stares of both domestic and foreign visitors to Taiwan.

Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation master whose “Spirited Away” also took photo from Jiufen oldstreet.

Jiufen is located in Ruifang District, in Taipei County, it is said that the village in this place had 9 families in the early Qing Dynasty, whenever they went out shopping, they bought nine items of each goods on the market they wanted to buy, later, “Jiufen” became the name of the village, still in use today. Jiufen once thrived on rich in gold, it was downfallen largely due to vanishing gold mining.


Seen from a distance, the houses in Jiufen following the gradient of the land are in tight rows. As I walk, sometimes I feel like I walk on the rooftops of nearby residences.


The streets of Jiufen are narrow, narrow streets, steep stone steps, high and low, twists and turns. There are more than 100 tiny shop fronts on both sides of the street, traditional snack shops, gift shops, arts and crafts shops, all aspects of life which include clothing, feeding, living.


We frequently meet a number of lovely cats on the streets of Jiufen.


The listless silence, time stands still, we randomly sit down, calmly to be in a daze, nod off, have a dream,  imagine that soft time give us more comfortable feeling.


We overlook the seascape in the daytime and feel the atmosphere of people’s enthusiasm for Jiufen oldstreet, after nightfall, everything rest in peace again, I sit quietly in the teahouse and taste the tranquil atmosphere of Jiufen, looking outside, the lights of the fishing boats glimmered in the bay.


We stroll along Jishan Street, a string of red lanterns hang above each store, all sorts of homemade bamboo baskets hang on some stores.


The joy of life sometimes consists of a lot of small details, for example, various kinds of small bamboo baskets, hand-knit by a skilled landlady.


I come to Jiufen because I like Cheer Chan’s “Jiufen’s Coffee Shop”. I always prefer to select a coffee shop and sit quietly by the window drinking coffee, leaning on the windowsill, looking at the shining lights in the fishing port, enjoying the peace of the night in the mountain city, it will be cosy.


Almost every girl has a dream: open a shop like that on street corner, receives different customers every day and listens to them telling their stories of their trip, with a nice cup of coffee and a delicious cake, light smell of of book, light music lingering ear from time to time, and there are some potted flower, sitting by the door.



The sun and moon and stars, the beautiful scenes in Jiufen, like the scenes in the film, constantly switch from early morning to dark night in our eyes, plus beautiful family hotels and all kinds of tempting snacks, Jiufen is really makes us be infatuated with in which, lets us forget to return.


As the night deepens, the sights become more and more beautiful.


Many lovers are here for an wedding photo shoot.


The beautiful Amei Teahouse, scenes from the film A City of Sadness.


A string of red lanterns are hung highly.


I watch sunset in the distance and feel fresh air on my face, on the teahouse, very beautiful.


Don’t feel that the three big mask are scary, the characters design in Japanese animation “Spirited Away” directed by Hayao Miyazaki takes inspiration from the three big mask.


The face is clearly visible. What it have inspired you? Aha


Teahouse is permeated with the charms of antique oriental art, the Chinese style classical decoration attracts more Japanese tourists to drink tea.


The teahouse is ornamented with a lot of Japanese cartoons and puppets.


Early autumn night, moonlight dim, night appears to be so beautiful.


The crowed and noisy oldstreet


There is plenty of lovely handicraft works, many of them are all hand-made by the shopkeepers.


The shopkeeper proudly introduce us to all postcards hanging on the wall which are originally created by his wife, lovely picture post.


Jiufen is known for handmade owl ornaments in Taiwan, too. A little-known small store in Jishan Street operates home-made milky tea and handmade owl ornaments, business is going so well, better than I could have ever imagined, the shopkeeper is uncommunicative, the shopkeeper’s wife gifted with a silver tongue can speak mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, English, Japanese, we are fascinated by this, this is a man of God. Many Taiwanese from southern Taiwan and northern Taiwan buy handmade owl ornaments in their shop. Besides offering a huge selection of owl ornaments. Plus, the shopkeeper’s wife will be happy to help you choose the owl ornaments with reference to your requirements.


Hand made owl is very exquisite, each one is different from all others, the small one costs NT75 dollars, the medium one costs NT150 dollars, the large one costs NT300 dollars.


All three members in owl’s family


The eldest brother shows us the ocarina which he make himself, it is a cat-shaped ocarina.


Here had previously ruled by Japan. So small clogs is the characteristic craftwork in Jiufen, it saled everywhere.


When I go over to a candy stall, many children are fighting for their favorite candy.


The crystal cartoon candy give us a momentary good mood, we still retain childlike.


The lovely lollipop


Grandma gives a radiant smile, occasionally, she is colourfully dressed for a better mood.


The never-ending steps seem to step by step into the sky, very beautiful.


It is already night, all arts and crafts shops are closed, the teahouse’s lights are on.


The exquisite doodads in a residential courtyard show the homeowner’s love to life.


Hush, Huang Doggie to sleep, and slept very soundly.


I am busying on taking pictures for the night scenes and I forget everything, my way back to my hotel is quiet.


The mountain city after nightfall is more enchanting and beautiful.


It’s my last night in Jiufeng, I have a sweet dream.


yu ning

yu ning

Welcome to my blog.

I'm Yuning - I'm a back-packer. I'm passionate at Food, Travel, Photography. This blog is a place where I want to share my traveling experiences.

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