Today, our relatives brought us to the Yehliu Geopark to see some fascinating geological formations.
The most famous rock formation of all is the Queen's Head (top left picture). Expect to line up for half an hour if you want to take a picture with it. The park tends to be very crowded even on weekdays. If you want some quiet time to yourself, you can hike along the Yehliu Geopark Loop to get to the tip of the peninsula (about 30 minutes). We found that most people we met along the way were bird photographers and it was a relatively quiet but well maintained route.
If you are hungry after the hike, there is also a cafe back near the Queen's Head that serves instant noodles and other snacks.
Jiufen means "nine portions" because it used to have nine families living there and deliveries to the inhabitants were done in nine portions. However, during the Japanese occupation in World War II, it became a gold mining city because gold was discovered in the area.
Nowadays, there are no more gold digging activities but the town has turned into a major tourist attraction recently due to its interesting history, beautiful ancient architectures built on a mountain, and its proximity to Taipei.
The first thing you will notice is the Jiufen Old Street. The street lined with shops and restaurants and is usually packed with tourists no matter what time of the day it is. Of all the restaurants we tried, I would recommed you to try Lai Ah Po Taro Balls (賴阿婆芋圓). The shop has been in business for ages and witnesses the changing industry in this old town.
If you are interested in the lives of a gold mining family, there was also a gold mine musuem Jiufen Goldore Museum. We were getting tired at the end of the day and didn't go there. I later found out that it's highly recommended.
With its gold mining history and its bustling old street, the mountainous Jiufen gave us a unique and wonderful experience. I would definitely visit it again next time I go to Taipei.
A City of Sadness
A City of Sadness is a famous Taiwanese historical drama filmed in Jiufen. It talked about the period when Japanese occupation came to an end and the beginning of the . Many Japanese tourists came here to visit the spot.