After touring Jiufen twice in 4 months and even stayed overnight there, I felt obliged to write a post, and hopefully this Jiufen Travel Guide could help all would be travellers.
Chinese translation is available. Kindly click the button on the right column to interchange the language. ( 本栏设有我翻译的中文版，请点击右手边的翻译切换语言。如有失误偏差，请多多指教。)
Generally I am a DIY tourist, my family too, we dislike being followed and lead by a guide who always seems to hurry you from one place to another, that’s a stressful tour, you cant enjoy the place. But in Jiufen, we’re left with no option but to join one. Why?…… I would come to that later.
Jiufen Tour Packages九份旅遊配套与收费
Though all the tours start at Ruifang Railway Station, you can always start these tour packages anywhere at Jiufen or Shifen, and do a bit of customization. In this instance, we started ours at Jiufen Old Street.
Above are tour packages for Jiufen, Shifen and Yeliu, probably the most essential travel guide for anyone who comes on a DIY ( do-it-yourself ) tour. So many tour options and so many things to do at Jiufen.
For the benefits of those who do not understand Chinese, I had literary made a translation on it :
Package A( TWD$1,000 or USD$29.80): Ruifang Train Station/Nanya Rock Formations/ YinYang Sea/ Remains Of The Thirteen Levels/ Golden Waterfall/ Jiufen Old Street.
Package B ( TWD$1,500): Ruifang Train Station/ Shifen Waterfall/ Shifen Old Street/ Jiufen Old Street.
Package C ( TWD$2,300): Ruifang Train Station/ Jiufen Old Street/ Yeliu/ Back to Taipei
Package D ( TWD$2,500): Ruifang Train Station/ Jiufen Old Street/ Shifen Waterfall/ Shifen Old Street/ Back to Taipei
Package E (TWD$3,000): Ruifang Train Station/ Nanya Rock Formations/ YinYang Sea/ Remains Of The Thirteen Levels/ Golden Waterfall/ Jiufen Old Street/ Shifen Waterfall/ Shifen Old Street/ Back to Taipei.
Currently TWD$1,000 converts to USD$29.80
Take note of the following:
1. YinYang Sea is also known as Bay of Two Colors.
2. Shifen Old Street, is the location where Sky Lantern are found.
3. Jiufen is also known as Chiufen.
As we had stayed a night at Jiufen, the following day before we left we decided to tour Jiufen. So we opted for tour package ‘A’, with an itinerary as follows:
Package A( TWD$1,000): Ruifang Train Station/Nanya Rock Formations/ YinYang Sea/ Remains Of The Thirteen Levels/ Golden Waterfall/ Jiufen Old Street.
There were so many taxis at the entrance of Jiufen Old Street, we negotiated with a taxi captain, he willingly accepted the customised tour, but the charges remained the same as TWD$1,000.
That’s our itinerary, I had them coloured in yellow for easy reference. Our last stop is Ruifang Station( Red dot on the left), where we want to go back to Taipei by train.
Touring Jiufen By Taxi
After a 5 minutes drive, the first stop was to a place I do not even know where till now. But I felt so much for it, as the scenery was just wonderful! We’re almost at the top of the mountain, and looking down from it, we saw cars, trees and houses which became mini in sizes. They look so cute!
You might see it as nothing great, but for someone who comes from a jungle city like Singapore, I do appreciate so much of Mother Nature!
Golden Waterfall (黄金瀑布)
Thereafter we proceeded to Golden Waterfall (黄金瀑布). That’s a unique waterfall where the origin of the water was actually from underground, not form the sea which we’ve usually seen from most waterfalls.
As I already have a post delicated to this attraction, I would not mention any further here. Kindly read Golden WaterFall.
Remains Of The Thirteen Levels (十三层遗址)
Next, another 5 minutes up the mountain, we arrived at Remains Of The Thirteen Levels……a place we initially thought was just an unwanted structure, in the end gave us the most memorable experience!
It was actually a solid structure used during the gold mining period from 1933, and unused after 1981 when gold depleted and the mining works stopped altogether.
Here, you look at the front of the building and then go look again on the other side, it’s all the same, nothing much to look forward to and nothing special actually, afterall it’s just a ruined remains.
Most tourists are not interested in the building at all, but rather on the view of the mountains.
But it was here that we enjoyed the most of scenic Jiufen!
A mountain which through your imagination you could see its facial expression, limps and arms, guided by the red coloured circled area.
Our taxi captain was very friendly, he acted like a tour guide and even showed us the way to enjoy the best view of Jiufen.
To see the best of Jiufen, all you need to do is climb over the short wall just behind the bike. Note, you’re taking your own risk, as there is a signage there warning tourists not to go beyond the wall.
Beyond the wall was actually a small platform, big enough for 3-4 people to be there. We’re actually standing at the edge of a cliff. It’s quite dangerous indeed!
Oh, my God, the view beyond the wall is simply stunning! The following picture is not a camera effect, it’s all natural, as I prefer to show picture on what it is rather than through editing, even if the shot is not well taken.
Look at the view, it was marvellous! I hate myself for not learning how to take good photos for the first time!
Oh, Jiufen, Jiufen, you’re so beautiful!
I’ve seen this before,…… miles away right through the window of the hotel we stayed at Jiufen. But being here and experienced it personally is a totally difference thing! The mountains is more curvy and sexy than what we thought it is!
Here I breath fresh mountainous air!
Here, I’m at the most beautiful place on earth!
Here, I’m at the top of the world!
Ying Yang Sea ( 阴阳海)
It was also from here that we saw the Ying Yang Sea( 阴阳海), or Bay Of Two Colours, another attraction in the itinerary. Yes, it was beautiful! The colour of the sea was a result of the acidic water coming down from the Golden Waterfall- a gold mining area.
One of the itinerary in the Jiufen Tour Package was this Lang Man Gong Lu( 浪漫公路 ),which means Romantic Road in Chinese. I was wondering where it was, the taxi captain pointed it was the curvy road with many twist and sharp turns which we had been going through since the tour started.
What a wonderful name I thought! But it was really great when you see it from here, you could see a stretch of road rounding up the mountain.
The Remains Of The Thirteen Levels has structure all over the mountains. It looks rather intriguing when we see from far, but at close-up we’re wondering what it is all about. After all, it’s just an abandoned structure, I’ve seen too many of it, from Qing Tong to Shifen, and now Jiufen.
After enjoying the breathtaking view of Jiufen, we were driven down the mountain.
We have seen the best view of Jiufen right at the top of the mountain, so this one doesn’t excite us. We then realised that the best attraction of Jiufen was not the attraction itself, but the wonderful view which we could enjoyed, a bountiful reward for travelling out of Taipei.
Nanya Rock Formation( 南雅奇岩 )
A 5 minutes drive brought us to Nanya Rock Formation, the supposing highlight of Jiufen Tour.
Interestingly, the wonderful attraction sits just beside a busy road, those who drive could have easily missed this national treasure!
This is one of the two peaks at Nanya Rock Formations. It looks small in picture, but was actually a huge rock!
The only problem over here is the rocky road, with rocks and pebbles all over the place.
But once you get to the bottom of the stairs, the reward is certainly worth it!
An attempt to cross to the other side of the rock had me fallen onto the stream, oh no no nooooooo…….
This is a tourist photography hotspot, we’re lucky we came here at a time when there were few tourists around.
Just when we thought we’d seen the best of Jiufen Tour, the taxi captain lead us to the other side of the attraction. Then did we know that the best has yet to come…
You probably had seen this iconic rock formation picture in many traveller’s brochure. If you think it looks beautiful in the brochure, come see it yourself……..
Damn it, it was beautiful, damn beautiful till you could not believe that it actually exists!
Had I not seen it here, I probably would have thought that it was a movie setup.
The peak simply rises out of nowhere from the coast. It looks like a sexy beautiful lady preparing to have a dance. What a master piece of artwork from Mother Nature!
Not to forget about the earth you are stepping on. Take a closer look at it, it is as smooth as the rock itself. The many curvy lines on it shows that formations is taking place every seconds, perhaps, in another 100 years, this small little curvy lines would be formed into another huge peak!
Do not ignore the warning sign at its entrance.
The Jiufen Tour came to an abrupt end after seeing the Naya Rock Formations. 10 minutes of journey brought us to Ruifang Train Station, it’s about time to go back to Taipei, after two beautiful and memorable days at Qingtong, Shifen and Jiufen.
Overview Of Jiufen Tour ?
Well, overall it was nice, perhaps it was because we had met a very friendly taxi captain who bothered to explain and brought us to explore more. But as a DIY ( Do-it-yourself) tourist, I still preferred to tour at my own pace. On a tour like this which covered so many attractions, the taxi captain tends to rush the passengers from places to places, so they can quickly finish the tour and fetch another business, turning every attractions into a photo-stop instead of letting the tourists to learn more and appreciate more about the place.
My advise is do not attempt to tour the place I’d been by foot, as not only the distance between each attraction is far, but the steep road from the mountain of Jiufen down to Nanya Rock Formations is just too exhausting to walk. We’d seen many dare-devils did that when we were at Golden Waterfalls and Remains Of The Thirteen Levels, even our taxi captain laughed at them when we drove past them. The TWD$1,000 paid for the Jiufen Tour is certainly value for money!
I hope this Jiufen Travel Guide is be useful to you and helps you make more easier decision.