Jinguashi and Jiufen are neighbouring villages on the north-east coast of Taiwan. They’re tucked into the foot of the mountain, but still have fantastic views of the ocean. These two little villages should definitely be on your itinerary; they’re quaint and small, but have a lot of character and history to explore.
Both Jinguashi and Jiufen were prolific mining areas during the Japanese rule. Jiufen was nicknamed ‘Little Shanghai’ because of its success. Jinguashi is mainly known for being the site of a prisoner-of-war camp called Kinkaseki during WWII, however it had a rich mining history, too. Now they are quickly transforming into tourist hubs for adventurous travellers.
Start off by exploring the hills that surround the town. It’s a great area for hiking, but also good for history fans. You can also take a look at the old mining facilities in Jinguashi. They’re a bit dilapidated, but it’s easy to imagine the incredible place this once was.
The Gold Ecological Park is an ambitious project to try to restore the old Japanese remnants of Jinguashi. Over time, the old mining tunnels and ruined temples will come back to life and will be a great sight to behold. For now, they’re still ruins, but it does mean you get to see the genuine structures rather than a modern approximation.
During your travels through the mountains, visit the Golden Waterfall. The distinct yellow hue sets it apart from the other falls you might see on your journey through south-east Asia.
You should make sure you try some of the tasty snack food available here, too. Jiufen is known all over the country for its delicious treats and the snack shacks, vans and stalls, so try some dishes from there. There are also several atmospheric teahouses set in atmospheric, picturesque alleyways, and its famous ‘waking street’ – a must visit.
These two small villages are an easy day-trip from Taipei and Keelung. The stunning hillside spot is made better by the fantastic view of the coast. But it’s the rich history that really makes this place appealing.
The gold and copper mines transformed this area, and you’ll see exactly how when you come and visit.
Plan your trip to Jinguashi and Jiufen today.