Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Travel Tuesday no.34 // JiuFen
Last summer was my first trip back to Taiwan since 2008. As I started researching places I wanted to go to, one that quickly topped my list was JiuFen. JiuFen is a small mining town in northern Taiwan and thankfully, an easy day trip from Taipei. The place first caught my attention when several online articles (here & here) talked about this Taiwanese town being the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki's film Spirited Away, one of my favorite movies as a child. I was excited by the idea of visiting the source of the filmmaker's inspiration so I looked up the route and figured out how we could take the bus there, and off we went!
If you've been reading my blog for a while, some of these photos may look familiar to you. I already posted my mini album from this trip (see all my Taiwan 2015 travel mini posts here) and you can find my pages documenting JiuFen specifically over here. Just thought I'd share some of my favorite photos for today's Travel Tuesday :)
The bus ride took a little bit over an hour as we left the city of Taipei and headed towards the mountains. It was a relatively peaceful bus ride and I caught some great views of the city as we headed north.
Once we got off the bus, we headed for JiuFen Old Street, a long and narrow street filled with vendors selling food, handicrafts, and trinkets everywhere you turned. It was a pretty busy day we were there but we followed the direction of the crowds as we wandered around, trying obscure and unique street food from different booths.
At the end of the long and winding streets is a stunning view of the mountains and the sea. It began to drizzle but I soaked in the view as much as possible before we moved onto our next destination.
Hello, A Mei teahouse! Seeing the famous teahouse in person made me so darn happy. It seemed kind of surreal to be here as I could really imagine how this place was Miyazaki's inspiration for the bathhouse in Spirited Away. At night, all the red lanterns are lit up and the sight is even more magical. Unfortunately we didn't stay until it got dark, so I'm hoping a return visit is in my future to see this scene in person!
The rain started falling harder so we took refuge at a little teahouse called SIID CHA that overlooks the town down below. I fell in love with their branding (tea in test tubes!) and we enjoyed their delicious desserts as we relaxed and waited for the rainstorm to pass.
JiuFen was definitely worth a visit and I'm so glad we took the time to come here during one of our days in Taiwan. Happy Tuesday everyone!