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 (金瓜石）, and Jinhuashi is even designated as a major tourist attraction in many tour brochures, so we thought it should be a must-see attraction.
The bus stop to take the bus to JinGuaShi is just 5 minutes walk from Jiufen Old Street.
So at Jiufen Old Street we took a 5 minutes bus journey to Jinguashi.
The first thing that welcome visitors is Jinguashi Museum Visitor Centre. Visitors can 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 are 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 these…
Almost instantly upon entering, we felt rather bored seeing the many enclosed and deserted areas. 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 mineworkers 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 is located some 10 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 Golden Waterfall which lie just besides the main road.
Above : Niagara Falls- Horseshoe Falls in Canada.
The waterfall is formed naturally through Jinguashi substantial rainfall, which seeps through the rocks and cracks and eventually forming a scenic view for the tourists.
I liked this waterfall, it is so unlike others. But frankly, this shouldn’t be called a waterfall at all, as there is no water ‘falling’ from high ground. The water actually streams down from the rocks.
Tour buses and cars stopped here for an average of 30 minutes to make it a photo-stopped. Visitors were everywhere, with shutter-bug happily snapping away countless of megabytes.
Do not just indulge in the waterfall, the exceptionally beautiful scenery surrounding the area should not be missed as well.
Besides the waterfall is a giant mountain which is famous for being look like a giant……see if you can spot its four limps.
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 washed their face with it……
It is said that during the winter season, the flow of the water would magically stop for 3-4 days before it resumes.
Golden Waterfall, yes, it’s nice to see and nice to be with it……but beware, there is a huge worn down signage written in Chinese at one end warning visitors of how toxic the water is, 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 comes through the old Jinhuashi mines. Just look at the road, it turns yellowish. We were curious where it flows to, so I took a walk down the mountain, only to discover all rocks turned into golden colour where the water passes by.
So the ‘Golden-water’ actually flows into the famous Yin-Yang Sea （阴阳海）. Visitors who has time to spent can 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 is rather steep, with many vehicles racing up and down the mountain, it is quite dangerous.
There is a bus stop just beside the Golden Waterfall. You can 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 Old Street