Travel – Taipei 2007: Jioufen & Northeast Coast of Taiwan

20 07 2007

Here’s a good place to visit to escape the monotony of shopping and city buzz. Why not take a half day trip to the Northeastern coast of Taiwan and visit the mountain village of Jioufen? That’s what we did by signing up at our hotel’s lobby. For NT1000, a van will pick you up shortly after noon to get out of Taipei city and let you take in the rural parts of Taiwan. With the sweltering heat of summer, we ducked into the van’s aircon interior swiftly to start the 1 hour journey to the coast.

Our first stop was to be Bitou Cape and the drive along the coast line was rather scenic. We stopped at Bitou Harbour for rest and phototaking.

Our guide informed us that the famous delicacy there was something called jioukong (9 holes). As I wasn’t paying attentionduring the ride, I had no idea what jioukong was until Mrs SWFToys ordered a plate of it and I went “Ohh… so this is it.” It’s a shellfish that tastes somewhat like abalone. No wonder its nickname is ‘little abalone’. Anyway, we gobbled down the 2 plates of jioukong and a plate of fish skin and washed it all down with coke. Very tasty! Most heavenly in the summer heat!

Next, we got to see the Nanya Rock Formations. These rocks have been eroded over time by wind and they form these interesting patterns.

Our final destination was the mountain village of Jioufen. The way up involved driving along a curvy road up the mountain. This area used to be big in gold mining in the past but its prominence declined when the mines were shut in the seventies. The abandoned mines can be seen on the way up. Fortunately, the village itself has become somewhat of a big tourist attraction these days.

 

Anyway, we arrived at a crowded Jioufen and were directed to a corridor pathway flanked by shops. What I liked about Jioufen was its rustic environment and beautifully furnished teahouses… And food along the pathway was great… And there was alot of stuff to see… And we were shaded from the sun. I just enjoyed Jioufen very much.

 

I was also surprised to find a Starbucks branch here on the mountain.

The downside to the half-day trip was that the 1 hour allocated here was insufficient to see everything satisfactory. 45mins into the exploration and we were only halfway through the shopping pathway. We had to quicken our pace at the end. Jioufen is one place I would highly recommend visiting. No toys to hunt in Taipei? Never mind. Go Jioufen – pig out , shop and enjoy some culture!

 

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3 responses

25 07 2007
26 07 2007
Kenny

Ahhh… I remember Jioufen. Ate a bowl of the QQ dessert and suffered indigestion for the next 3 days. Lovely.

26 07 2007
swftoys

Ha. Hope you did not feel the effects of indigestion on the way back from Jioufen. Pretty long way from the comfort of the hotel’s toilet.

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