Jiufen is a mountain in the north-east of Taipei. It’s famous for its small alley of old town which sells Taiwanese food. This time, I’ll guide you about what to eat and see in Jiufen.
Part 1: Jiufen
The main attraction of Jiufen is the stone road (Shuqi Road) that is crowded with restaurants and cafes on it sides. Getting to Jiufen is pretty easy as well
From Taipei Main Station (台北車站), take the train north to Ruifang Station. Find the bus stop and get to the bus number 827 or 788 heading toward Jiufen.
From MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復興) leave from Exit 1 and take bus route 1062 to Jinguashi via Jiufen. The ride is about 1 hour and the fare is NT$102. Bus 788 is also available here, the fare is NT$15.
Prepare some exact money because unlike Japan, the bus is not equipped with money exchanger machine and it might be difficult to get change.
You can see the scenic view of Taiwan from the bus. When I went there by bus, almost all the people in the bus was Japanese. My boyfriend tried to speak in Mandarin because he thought everyone was Chinese, turned out we can just speak in Japanese to them lol.
Jiufen: What to Eat
When the guide book said that Jiufen is full of delicious food, cramped with restaurants and cafe.. well, it’s the truth. Prepare your stomach (and your wallet). This is what I got in Jiufen and they’re really delicious:
Taiwan Sausages : It’s a sausage with a savory and sweet sauce. The taste reminds me of the beef that is sold at Bee Cheng Hiang lol
Xiao Long Pao (my faves, yummy!)
Ru rou fan (minced pork rice. I had this one in Japan before, but the original tastes better)
Ice cream sandwich for dessert
Xiao Long Pao (Pork Meat Bun)
I also had a mango. I still think Indonesian Mango is the best but the one in Taiwan is not bad either. While I can’t remember the name of the shops or restaurants where I bought all these food (I can’t read Chinese), I think that no matter where you go in Jiufen, everything will taste good. We also passed by a stinky toufu restaurant. It was so smelly that I did not want to try but my boyfriend says it’s good. So if you’re brave enough, you should try while you were in Taiwan.
Jiufen: What to see
Jiufen is located in the mountain and it’s already pretty enough to see the scenery from the top. However, Jiufen is also the place that inspired the animation Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し). I think that’s why the bus there is filled with Japanese people.
I went to see the tea house that became the inspiration for Spirited away
Of course you can go and have a meal or tea here. However, during the peak season I suggest you to book beforehand because this place is really crowded. They might also refuse you if they have too many customers. The name of the teahouse is A Mei Tea House.
There’s also a beautiful temple at the top of the stone road. I don’t know the name of the temple, but it looks pretty.
Part 2: Maokong Gondola
The next day I went to Maokong Gondola. Maokong is a mountain area close to Taipei that used to be the biggest tea-growing area. To reach the top, you need to take the Gondola from MRT Taipei Station. The Gondola station is really close to the MRT station and the fee is NT$100 round trip.
Scenic few from the Gondola, can you spot the 101 tower?
When you reach the top, you can spot a lot of tea houses and cafe that sells a lot of tea product. You can also opt to hike a bit to get a better view of Taipei.
Maokong: What to Eat
Maokong is famous for its tea and therefore, you should try to dine-in in one of the tea houses on the top. You can enjoy the panoramic view while eating from the tea houses.
They even prepare the tea traditionally
You can also have some delicious sumptuous meal while enjoy your tea. I ordered these dishes because they’re the recommended menu from the restaurant.
Cha Pen Mien (? it’s a noodle with tea) and half portion of Kampong Chicken.
(Seriously, my English is so bad now and I can’t even write the name properly. If you happen to know the name of the food, please leave me a comment).
The price to eat in the tea house is not really cheap. I spent like NT$1000 for tea and meal, but the taste was so worth it.
And that wraps my journey in Jiufen and Maokong. Those two places provide you a scenic view and delicious food and I totally recommended to visit there if you go to Taiwan. The transport fee is not that expensive and it’s reachable from Taipei.
Next one will be my last post about my trip in Taiwan. Stay tuned for it and as always, your comments always make me happy!
See you around!