Jiufen Old Street to Jinguashi and Golden Waterfall
After seeing Jiufen Old Street, Jinguashi and Golden Waterfall should be the next itinerary, or at least go for a 3 hour tour around Jiufen.
At Ruifang or Jiufen we saw many buses travelling to a destination called Jinguashi, and Jinhuashi was even designated as a major tourist attraction in many itininery, so we thought it should be a must-see site. So at Jiufen Old Street we took a 10 minutes bus journey to Jinguashi. The first thing that welcome visitors was Jinguashi Museum Visitor Centre.
Visitors could get all the informations they want from the friendly service staff there. Jinguashi is famous for its gold and copper mines in its old days. Though the minerals has since depleted, the place still attracts many curious visitors who perhaps were lured by the site being named as a World Heritage in 2002.
During the Japanese Occupation from 1942- 45, the place was used as a prisoner of war camp. Following picture : A traditional Japanese house.
Go play with the tools for grinding the minerals.
That was it for the place, nothing spectacular. Over here visitors walked through many out-of-bound site like this…
We felt rather bored seeing the many enclosed and deserted area almost instantly upon entering. Many visitors were seen simply walking past the site without much to do.
Perhaps, the only interesting thing here was the long queue for a taste of the lunch box said to be enjoyed by the workers in the old days. Had it not been on a tight schedule, we would want to try it too.
Feeling bored with the lifeless exhibits, after a 30 minutes walk through, we took a shutter bus at the museum entrance down to Golden Waterfall.
Jiufen Golden Waterfall (黄金瀑布)
The Golden Waterfall was located some 20 minutes down the mountain of Jiufen Old Street. Even though we had seen much spectacular waterfalls such as the Niagara Falls in America/Canada, we were still very impressed by the huge waterfalls which lie just besides the main road even before the bus stopped.
Above : Niagara Falls- Horseshoe Falls in Canada.
The waterfall was formed naturally through Jinguashi substantial rainfall, which seeps through the rocks and cracks and eventually forming a scenic view for the tourists.
Tour buses and cars stopped here for an average of 30 minutes to make it a photo-stopped. Visitors were seen everywhere, with shutter-bug busying to find the best spot.
Do not just indulge in the waterfall, the exceptionally beautiful scenery surrounding the area should not be missed as well.
Many visitors were elated to see the waterfalls slipped out of the enclosed area and onto the road. Some were even seen playing with the water and wash their face with it……
It was said that during the winter season, the flow of the water would magically stop for 3-4 days before it resume.
Golden Waterfall, yes, it’s nice to see and nice to be with it……but beware, there was a huge worn down signage written in Chinese at one end warning visitors of how toxic the water was, but many visitors never noticed that.
The water which flows down the mountain from the abandoned mineral processing plant is particularly toxic. It is yellow hue due to the copper and iron deposits as it came through the old Jinhuashi mines. Just look at the road, it turned yellowish. We were curious where it flows to, so I took a walk down the mountain, only to discovered all rocks turned into golden colour where the water passed by.
So the ‘Golden-water’ actually flows into the famous Yin-Yang Sea. Visitors who has time to spent could proceed down the mountain to see another 3 more atrractions, mainly Shuinandong, Shuinandong Smelter and Yin-Yang Sea. But do take the bus and do not walked down the mountain from Golden Waterfall, as the road down hill was rather steep, with many vehicles racing up and down the mountain, it was actually quite dangerous.
There was a bus stop just beside the Golden Waterfall. You could also take the bus to Ruifang Train Station and from there move on to Shifen or back to Taipei. The bus comes every 30 minutes, it would not stopped automatically unless someone flagged for it.
Feeling exhausted after a whole day of walking, and suddenly discovered that it was almost 3pm, we decided to take a taxi to Shifen- another highlight of this Taipei tour. The ride to Shifen cost us NT$600, it was a bit expensive, but if I could save some precious time for Shifen, then that’s what they said: Time Is Money.
So what’s so great about Shifen that we’re so excited about? The world’s well known Sky Lantern.
Please continue to see next post on Shifen Sky Lantern