Guide to New Taipei’s Jiufen Old Street

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Jiufen acts as a relic of an old mining city in Taiwan’s New Taipei City by Keelung Mountain. It’s one of my favorite places in Taiwan. Throughout this guide, I’ll share how to get there and what I recommend doing.

I’ve been to Jiufen several times. And I want to help anyone visiting this mountainous town to have the best experience possible.

So, I’ve put together information that’ll cover:

Let’s plan your day trip.

How To Get To Jiufen Old Street

Below are what transportation options you have to get to Jiufen Old Street. If you’re coming from Taipei or New Taipei.

1. Taipei or New Taipei City Bus

The cheapest and easiest way to reach Jiufen from Taipei is by bus—but at a cost.

If you were to miss any of the buses, or if they’re too full, you’ll have to wait at least 20 minutes before the next bus arrives.

If you’re around Banqiao, I recommend taking bus 965 from Banqiao Bus Station to Jiufen.

You won’t have to transfer. And it’ll take around 80 minutes to reach Jiufen Old Street.

During off-peak hours, the bus will come every 40–60 minutes. During peak hours, buses come every 30–40 minutes.

Bus 965 runs 7 AM–9 PM on weekends and 6 AM–9 PM on weekdays.

If you’re in Taipei, take bus 1062.

It comes every 20 minutes and will take close to a couple of hours to reach Jiufen.

It runs between 7:15 AM and 9:20 PM on weekdays and 7:05 through 8:50 PM on weekends.

You’ll also need to pay NT$15 when getting on the bus and NT$85 ($2.90) when departing, which totals NT$100 for a one-way trip.

When taking bus 1062 back to Taipei, I recommend stopping at Raohe Street Night Market if it’s not too late.

There’s a bus station in front of Raohe. From there, explore the various eateries and a couple Michelin-recommended food stands.

You’ll want to buy an EasyCard and load at least NT$300 into your funds. NT$200 ($7.00) for bus fare and NT$100 for backup funds.

2. Taiwan Railway Administration Train

Take a Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) train from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station.

Once you leave the station, take buses 788 or 965 to Jiufen Old Street.

This journey will take between 1 and 2 hours. It will cost NT$49–76 ($1.70–$2.66) for the train. You’ll need to pay NT$15 ($0.52) for the bus ride.

I don’t recommend this option. Because it’ll take the most time and require multiple transfers. You may as well take the bus.

3. Uber or Taxi

An Uber ride to Jiufen from many parts of Taipei city will cost around NT$800 ($28). However, these rates will vary by location and time of day.

That’s for 4 people. If you were to go to Jiufen with 4 people and split the bill four ways, you’d only pay NT$200 ($7.00) apiece.

If you want to optimize your time budget, I recommend paying the extra NT$100 ($3.00) if you’re in a group. It’s not much more than a bus ticket.

Otherwise, you can hail a taxi. It costs around NT$700 ($24.50) for a one-way trip from Taipei Main Station to Jiufen Old Street.

7 Things To Do in Jiufen Old Street

Plan your day trip to Jiufen Old Street by exploring some of the various things you can do.

As you read this section, I’ll cover details about each place including hours, prices, and other recommendations.

Looking for Luggage Storage?

Store your luggage at nearby businesses, hotels, or lockers without paying an arm and a leg. If you’re worried, each bag will include up to NT$10,000 ($364) worth of insurance.

Take the load off and don’t haul your stuff while adventuring

1. Venture Through the Alleys

Once you get off the bus, you’ll see a 7-Eleven next to the Old Street entrance.

Many call this ‘Jishan Street’ (基山街).

You’ll first see a souvenir shop and a couple food places. I recommend holding off until you discover more branched streets and staircases.

As you venture through this alley labyrinth, explore the various souvenir shops, abandoned buildings, and viewpoints that overlook the Yinyang Sea vista.

Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures, relax at tea houses, and try various foods.

I’ll cover these in a moment.

If you were to move at a snail’s pace, it’d take you a couple of hours to explore Jishan Street.

It’ll take around half an hour to make your way toward the village’s peak and back to the entrance.

Speeds will vary by person. I walk super fast no matter the situation. So don’t take my estimate too seriously.

2. Try Jiufen’s Various Foods

The food is the first thing I love about Jiufen Old Street.

Other than resembling my second-favorite Miyazaki film.

They have my favorite foods, and one of Jiufen’s famous foods, the Shaved Peanut ice Cream Burrito.

peanut ice cream roll stall, Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Place where I got my ice cream burrito. They also have taro ball soup.

Here’s the place where I got my ice cream burrito. They also have taro ball soup.

The staff will first have a crêpe on a stainless steel surface to make this burrito and coat it with peanut brittle shavings.

Then, they’ll sprinkle cilantro on top.

And afterward, they’ll throw on a couple scoops of ice cream.

Taiwanese Ice cream burrito Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Despite Taiwan’s high humidity and temperatures, the burrito’s ice cream doesn’t melt fast. From what I’ve found, I believe it’s because the sheet they use to make the burrito is also cold.

It isn’t as creamy or sweet as American ice cream.

They have taro, chocolate, and peanut butter-flavored ice cream.

These rolls cost NT$40 each. And you can find the stand I visited less than a minute from Jiufen Street’s entrance.

Otherwise, I recommend trying these foods in Jiufen Old street:

  • Taro Ball Soup: steamed or icy taro and sweet potato balls mixed with mung- and kidney beans—great for a hot day
  • Braised Pork Rice: at Lu Rou Fan
  • Hakka Glutinous Rice Cake at Ah Lan: savory rice cakes stuffed with pork, mushrooms, and other fillings that are well-known among the Hakka people

Ah Lan’s Hakka Glutinous Rice Cake

About Ah Lan’s Hakka cakes.

Ah Lan Hakka Glutinous Rice Cake, Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Ah Lan’s Hakka Glutinous Rice Cake

Despite the long lines, they’ll move fast. Once it’s your turn, you’ll move up to the staff, tell them what you want and how many, and afterward, they’ll send you to the cashier to pick up a receipt.

3. Amei Teahouse

Feel free to use these images, but please cite this post: eagernomad.com/jiufen-old-street

Amei Teahouse (阿妹茶樓) is Jiufen Old Street’s most iconic building—the one everyone thinks inspired Spirited Away.

The hours for Amei Teahouse are as follows:

  • 11 AM–9 PM (weekdays)
  • 8:30 AM–12 AM (Friday and Saturday)

It’s one of the village’s most maintained places and has become a destination always filled with people.

I recommend pre-ordering a tea set at least a day in advance.

If you come early on a weekday, you may find a walk-in seat.

If you want a tea set, which allows you to sit on the top floor, you’ll need to choose between iced or hot tea.

Amei will group several snacks with your tea:

  • Green bean cake
  • Sweet plums
  • Sesame crackers
  • Brown sugar mochi

The waiter will show you how to set up your tea and pour it. Don’t worry. They speak fluent English.

Otherwise, you can get desserts or cocktails if you want a sub-par view.

4. Shop for Souvenirs

You’ll find awesome Taiwanese souvenirs at various shops spread throughout the street.

Various vendors hawk Spirited Away merchandise. But you can find that anywhere.

I recommend getting handcrafted goods, Taiwanese tea, pottery, candies, and Jiufen-themed souvenirs.

5. Skyline Tea House or Its Counterparts: Don’t Just Stick To Amei

If you can’t get a spot at Amei, or want to explore the village’s other teas, I recommend trying the tea houses like:

  • Tree Grove (樹窟奇木樓): a rustic-looking tea shop
  • Skyline Tea House (海悅樓觀景茶坊): another tea house adjacent to Amei
  • Shan Cheng Creation House (九份山城逸境民宿): you’ll find that the first couple floors are pottery for sale, and the third has a tearoom

Next to Amei, you’ll find the Taiwan Sweet Potato Teahouse (芋仔蕃薯茶坊). You have to pass through a rock tunnel to reach it.

Taiwan Sweet Potato Teahouse, Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Once you arrive, you’re more likely to find walk-in seating compared to other tea houses.

If you don’t care for having a breathtaking view, Jiufen Teahouse (九份茶坊) is your best choice. You’ll need to pay an NTD$100 water fee and NT$600–1200 ($21–42) for the tea, but you have various local tea options.

6. Catch a Movie at Shengping Theater

The Shengping Theater (昇平戲院), initially the Shenping Stage, came to life in 1916, collapsed in 1927, and was rebuilt in 1934.

It’s now a free-to-enter theater that often plays old Taiwanese films.

You’ll find preserved movie posters, memorabilia, a concession stand, and an ancient projector as you explore the theater.

It also has air conditioning, so it’s a great place to go if you want to escape the heat and explore Jiufen’s former social center.

Shenping Theater, jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan

7. Rent a Qipao for the Day

You can rent one of these traditional dresses at various shops throughout Jiufen Old Street. I recommend ordering your one-piece in advance.

A qipao (​​旗袍), or cheongsam in Cantonese, is a one-piece traditional Chinese dress that Manchu women wore. Later on, it became popular among China’s upper class.

These dresses make for the perfect attire to wear while walking through Jishan Street, sitting at tea houses, and other photo opportunities.

Will locals care if you wear a qipao?

No.

Otherwise, they wouldn’t rent cheongsams out to tourists.

Things To Do Jinguashi

Things that you can do in Jinguashi include:

  • Golden waterfall: a waterfall laden with mineral remnants from mines, which means that you won’t want to touch the water
  • Shinto Temple: one of few Japanese Shinto shrines where Japanese workers used to visit to pray to the Mountain God
  • Yinyang Sea: blue- and yellow-colored bay with various pretty rock formations
  • Gold Museum: explore mining tunnels and other relics from when this was a functional mine
Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Distant Jinguashi and Yin and Yang Sea

Once you finish exploring Jiufen Old Street, check out Jinguashi.

The town formerly known as Kinkaseki under Japanese rule is a nearby town in Ruifang District [1].

During Japan’s Taiwan occupation between 1942 and 1945, Kinkaseki was a prisoner of war camp (POW). It accounted for most of the POW deaths during World War II.

Imperial Japan used Jinguashi’s gold mines to produce a good portion of their gold, copper, and silver.

Once the war ended, and Taiwan freed the prisoners, the Taiwanese government preserved this area to educate locals and tourists.

Places To Stay & Hotels in Jiufen

Most shops close around 7 PM. You won’t have many benefits from staying the night in Jiufen Old Street.

If you would still like to stay here, they offer plenty of accommodation options.

When booking a B & B, expect to pay between $45–85 per night.

The Old Street has plenty of nearby hostels that’ll range between $25 and $50.

Otherwise, you will find homestays (what I’d recommend) guesthouses, and hotels.

History of Jiufen

Jiufen’s history began in the Qing Dynasty (1636–1911). During this period, it was an isolated village with only nine families.

In Mandarin Chinese, jiu fen (九分) means “nine portions.” That’s the number of portions the families requested whenever shipments arrived.

When the 1890s hit, someone discovered gold in the area, which led to a gold rush.

Once The Empire of Japan occupied Taiwan, the once tiny village reached its peak and housed various Japanese inns, among other buildings.

After World War II passed and Japan handed Taiwan over to the Republic of China (ROC), the mines closed.

And the village’s population dwindled.

Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan

In 1989, the Taiwanese film A City of Sadness attracted international attention. This attention helped transform the isolated village into a tourist hotspot.

FAQs

You likely have questions that you can’t get out of your mind about Jiufen. Explore these commonly asked questions about New Taipei’s magical village.

Is Spirited Away Inspired by Jiufen Old Street?

In an interview with Spirited Away’s creator, Hayao Miyazaki, he states that Taiwan’s Jiufen was not the inspiration for the animated film [2].

Conclusion

While you’re in Northern Taiwan, explore Jiufen Old Street and afterward Jinguashi.

It’s the perfect day trip to experience Taiwanese culture, get plenty of exercise, and try plenty of new foods.

Check out other places I recommend visiting in northern Taiwan.

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person standing on top of Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan City, Taiwan

About Tee

Tee began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Tee