Taiwan, Travel

11 days in Taiwan: Jiufen + Shifen on Day 9

Red lanterns, Jiufen, Taiwan

I don’t really have any specific activities or things to look out for in Jiufen and Shifen…it’s mostly about soaking in the atmosphere when you’re there so be warned that this post is going to be more pictorial than anything.

Breakfast at Fuhang Doujiang

To start off, here’s a special mention for breakfast before you head out to Jiufen and Shifen from Taipei: the popular soy milk from Fuhang Doujiang (阜杭豆漿), just one stop away from Taipei Main station.

Fu Hang Dou Jiang, Soy Milk, Taipei, Taiwan

Alight at Shandao Temple (善導寺)  and exit to Huashan market.

Entrance to Huashan Market, Taipei Taiwan

Get there early to beat the crowd!

Fu Hang Dou Jiang Taipei Taiwan

Shaobing Youtiao Fu Hang Dou Jiang Taipei Taiwan

Other than the soy milk, you should try their shaobing with youtiao (think crispy flour fritters inside a fluffy and buttery flatbread). Well worth the calories.

Getting to Jiufen from Ruifang Station

I opted to take the TRA from Taipei main station to Rui Fang and transfer to a bus. The journey takes almost an hour and a half.

Bus to Jiufen

The bus stop was no longer outside the convenience store opposite Rui Fang station as most travel posts shared. You got to walk down the streets for a while, past the police station to get to the bus stop.

how-to-get-to-jiufen-ruifang-station-taiwan

Alight at Shengping Theatre (昇平戲院). Admission to the theatre is free and if you’ve got the time to spare, you might want to take a quick look around the place.

Shengping Theatre, Jiufen, Taiwan

Some of the several nostalgic exhibits they have there.

Jiufen (九份)

I don’t have a guide or list of must-dos at Jiufen, unfortunately. I simply walked wherever the paths led me. Wasn’t really the leisure walking I preferred, due to the crowd in the area brought by the last day of sky lantern festival.

Jiu Fen Xiao Chi Snacks Taiwan

The stalls at Jiufen old streets mostly either sold souvenirs or snacks.

Jiufen, Taiwan

Jiu Fen Xiao Chi Snacks Taiwan

Jiu Fen Xiao Chi Snacks Taiwan

Jiu Fen Xiao Chi Snacks Taiwan

Jiu Fen Xiao Chi Snacks Taiwan

Jiu Fen Xiao Chi Snacks Taiwan

Special mention for snack – this PORK sausage which was BARBECUED PERFECTLY AND overflowing with juices.

Kurobuta sausage - Jiufen Taiwan

You can get them from this unassuming stall:

Kurobuta Sausage - Jiufen - Taiwan

Sipping a cup of hot tea at the tea houses overlooking most of Jiufen may be on most of your itineraries but make sure to check the weather beforehand. Because with the visibility like this, you might want to consider:

Jiufen Tea House Taiwan

Foggy Jiu Fen Taiwan

Walked around a little more, hunting down the spots reminiscent of the setting in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

Red lanterns, Jiufen, Taiwan

And passed by Sculptor Wu’s ghost masks museum…

Jiufen, Taiwan

I found my way to the information centre and was told that there were no direct buses from Jiufen to Shifen. Might have been due to the festival that day that they stopped the buses plying between Jiufen and Shifen.

Shifen (十分)

Regardless, I took a bus back to Ruifang and managed to catch the shuttle bus to Shifen for NT30 (covers the return trip). Please try to get a seat because the road up to Shifen is just way too bumpy. Swear I was going to lose my balance and crash into the windows anytime.

Annnnnd the shuttle bus dropped us in the middle of nowhere. 😰

The only sign of civilisation was the signage pointing us to Shifen waterfall.

No Man's Land Shifen Taiwan

I overheard some locals advising other tourists to a shortcut to Shifen waterfall. Even though it was opposite from where the sign was pointing, I followed them anyway.

If you take the same route, you will enter through this park and view the waterfall from behind:

Shifen Park Taiwan

Shifen Park Taiwan

And the waterfall:

Shifen Waterfall, Taiwan

Nothing impressive, really. You’ll need less than an hour to take in the sights in the vicinity.

Shifen Park Taiwan Shifen Park Taiwan

I headed back in the opposite direction and spotted the colourful Pinghsi line on the way.

Pinghsi Train, Taiwan

You could also take the train on the Pinghsi line up to Shifen that day but it would have been really crowded.

Walk down a little further for the old street.

Bamboo Shifen Taiwan

The tracks were flanked by numerous shops touting their sky lanterns which often came with photo taking services. You will be surprised at how professional and thorough their services are.

Sky Lanterns Shifen Old Street Taiwan

Sky Lantern Shifen Old Street Taiwan

They will make sure to capture all faces of your lanterns before you release it into the sky. All of these takes place on the railway tracks so during the process, you got to look out for the incoming train so you could step back up to the platform for the train to pass.

 

Shifen Old Street Taiwan

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Read the full trip online:

Day 1 in Taipei
Day 2 in Cingjing
Day 3 in Sun Moon Lake
Day 3 in Lavender Cottage
Day 3’s Fengjia food guide
Getting to 921 Earthquake Museum on day 4
Day 5 in Park Lane by CMP
 Day 6 from Taichung to Hualien
Taroko National Park on day 7
Day 8 from Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall to Houshanpi
Jiufen + Shifen on Day 9
Pingxi sky lantern festival on day 9
Ending off with Taipei creative parks on Day 10
Tried and Tested: Accommodations in Taiwan


Useful links:

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Author: Eunice

Hedonist-wannabe enjoying life’s pleasures on a realistic budget.

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