Tourist Spot in Taiwan: Jiufen

One of the places that should not be missed when visiting Taiwan is Jiufen. Located in the Northeast Mountains of New Taipei City, expect a view of the Keelung Sea, mountains and let’s not forget the cascading small houses of the village. Jiufen can be reachable by getting a train or getting a bus, but we decided to hire a driver/tour guide/car rent for the day. I will be posting the details before this post ends.
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A long time ago, Jiufen only houses nine families. When the roads in the area were not yet built, ships are used to transport everything that the families needed. During road construction, it was an accident when a gold was discovered. It was then that Jiufen became an attraction to other citizens until the Japanese era took over that it became the center of gold mining.
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Jiufen became popular with tourists when a movie in the 1990s, A City of Sadness, made Jiufen as the setting. It has become a symbol of Old Taiwan. Also, a Japanese anime in the 2000s, Spirited Away, is said to be inspired by the popular A-Mei Tea House located in Jiufen. It has become a tourist attraction to the Japanese. I believe I have a photo of tea house but was deleted probably because I have a bad portrait of it or what.

photo not mine, from TripAdvisor

Enough with the history and let’s go to the adventure my friends and I had.

This is the famous staircase to strike a pose. There are so many tourists even if it was a Monday. Truthfully, it was not easy to have a perfect picture with the rain, umbrella, and the crowd passing by.
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This is the old mining tunnel with graffiti that is converted to a secret passage to another part of Jiufen.

There are so many quirky stuff, tea houses, food to discover here. It is another good place to shop to take home. The road is narrow at the very start and it gets narrower because of the people flocking in. I really had pictures taken here, it’s weird it’s gone.

For the car/tour guide/driver we availed, here are details:
Jerry Taxi Tour
Tel: 0913 967 292
Jerry Kakao Talk ID: jerrytaxiwei, jerrytaxiem,


He’s a Taiwanese but can speak English. He toured us in Shifen Waterfall, Shifen Old Street, and Jiufen. The places you want to visit can be coordinated with him but his service is good for 6 HOURS only. It’s a pickup and drop-off at your hotel.

Check the direction here to go to Jiufen.

Tourist Spot in Taiwan: Shifen

Shifen Old Street is one of the tourist attractions in Taiwan that was originally a place for coal mining during the colonization of Japan. Given that it has existed at that period of time, the people of today are captivated by its old charm and it has become a must-visit to the locals and foreigners. To maximize your time, here are the four things to do in Shifen Old Street.

Shifen Old Street

Four Things to Do in Shifen

1. Make a Wish

Sky Lantern is a popular activity for the visitors in Shifen. Paint your wishes by using the calligraphy brush in the lantern and the sellers will help you fly it up away to the sky. Each color of the sides of the lantern has its corresponding meaning and its pricing. See the picture below.

Sky Lantern Color Meaning

See the video below on how to lett go of the sky lantern.

You might also want to buy a souvenir of a cute version of the lantern to bring home. The lanterns light up when it gets shaken is adorable to look at. Souvenir: Taiwan Dollar 50-75.

2. Fill your Tummy

Walk towards the train station and you will discover tons of interesting food. Like this Taiwanese burger (gua bao). The bread is the same bread used for the siopao but it was no comparison to the siopao. Every ingredient complements one another. (I ordered another one to take home – to the Philippines)

Taiwanese Burger

Quench your thirst by what Taiwan is known for… milk tea!
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Meanwhile, the weather was freezing but the peanut ice cream will shove off the coolness you are feeling. It’s known in Taiwan, so better try it.
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The last but not the least is the stall located at the most end of the old street – the chicken stuffed with rice! The coated sauce was done right and the stuffed rice is savory. Definitely, a must try.


Try all of these; it won’t hurt your pocket!

3. Hear the Sounds of Raging Waterfalls

Getting here would need you to walk 20 minutes away or tell your tourist guide/driver to drop you off at Shifen Waterfall. It is just a 20-meter tall but 40-meter wide waterfalls, calling it as the Niagara Falls of Taiwan. Come here during the sunny days to see the rainbow effect created naturally because of the power of the water as it falls. In the picture below, it was raining so there’s no “rainbow pond” to expect. Nevertheless, the cascading beauty of the waterfalls continues to show off.



4. Strike a Pose

With the liberty of loitering on the railway, who would not think of taking a chance of a cool Instagram-worthy photo?
Shifen Old Street

Also, the sturdy gigantic bridge suggests an eye-catching perspective shot.
Shifen Old Street

Not just that, using the heights from the bridge going to the waterfalls, you can have a nice snapshot.
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It was no wonder that Shifen is the most favorite spot of the tourist next to Jiufen. There are so many things you can do in just one place. Come and experience it yourself!

See the direction here from Guide to Taipei.

Yong Kang Beef Noodles, Taipei

It’s not everyday in your life that you will wake up in a different city with a different culture. Comes to that is also the food that the country has to offer for foreigners who visit their place and we were no exemption.

Upon research with my dear friends, one of the recommended restaurants in Taipei is the Yong Kang Beef Noodles. They said that follow where the crowd is. Well, that advice may not always be true but with food, I may say that it is right. From afar, we already saw umbrellas lined up like wet mushroom and yes, that’s where the restaurant is located. We’re accommodated by them right away since people just go there to eat and leave.
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I ordered the Spicy Beef Noodles with Soybean Sauce while my friends ordered the one with the cattle tendons. It was a fire in my mouth but hell delectable. The cold and rainy weather made it even more pleasing. The Australian beef is very tender and the noodles are just fine. It was brothy with a hint of star anise and worth a yummy hum in our table.

Spicy Beef Noodles with Soybean Sauce
Spicy Beef Noodles with Soybean Sauce
Half Kettle Tendon and Half Beef Noodle (Spicy)
Half Kettle Tendon and Half Beef Noodle (Spicy)

We also ordered the steamed hog large intestines as our appetizer. The flavor is also good.
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Menu here from foodiefc.

Funny thing that I asked for water and the attendant is talking to me in Chinese and I was dumbfounded. I only understood by her gesture and tone of her voice that this is a self-service restaurant and that the water is at the corner that she pointed out. Okay!

Yong Kang Beef Noodles is a two-story restaurant which can accommodate a lot of diners. The place is simple, and a little old because it’s been operating since 1963. The tables are very close to one another and because of the crowd, the table is well-moderated. If you come in solo or pair, you will be most likely be seated with other diners. The price is reasonable and the serving is generous. The service is fast, but I think the attendant just gave me a cold shoulder. The counter was nice, though. The taste is nice but I think that the spiciness of the soup is not tolerable for people who do not eat much spicy food. It was just a good thing that I get accustomed to eating Korean food.

Ambiance: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Serving: 5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Taste: 4.5/5

Yong Kang Beef Noodles
106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District, 金山南路二段31巷17號