We Never Made it to Jiufen

Having overstayed its welcome here as in much of the rest of the northern hemisphere, Summer is finally over in Taiwan. The forecast is for heavy rain over most of Northern Taiwan through the weekend, which means movies and Netflix, and maybe a wet bicycle ride. So it’s a good thing I made the most out of last week’s four day weekend by spending much of it outdoors, bringing a friend from Singapore on a personalized tour of Taipei including a food tour of the Raohe Night Market, a tea hike through Maokong, and the all-night art, music and culture party that was the 2017 Nuit Blanche Taipei festival.

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Jiufen and Jinguashi: Taiwan’s Golden Getaways

The story of Jiufen is in many ways a riches to rags (and back to riches, but of a different sort) tale. The small town about an hour away north of Taipei was built just outside of an active gold mine during the Japanese occupation, and it’s said that gold was plentiful during the good days. But the town is also remembered for a darker history during the later days of occupation when it was the site of a POW camp whose prisoners were made to labor under hard conditions.

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Jiufen, Jinguashi, & Shuinandong- Exploring the History and Scenery of Three Attractive Tourist Towns in Northeast Taiwan

While Jiufen, sitting high on a hillside, has perhaps the best setting and the most popular teahouses, Jinguashi (金瓜石), in a valley on the south side of Mt. Keelung is the best place to find out what got the whole gold and copper mining era here started, well over a century ago.

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