If I could go anywhere in the world right now it would be Taipei. But since I can’t, I might as well blog. In case you need a refresher, I visited Xindian in my previous entry.
As far as the timeline goes, there was a week between that entry and this post. There’s nothing to write from that week because I was at a meditation retreat in Jinshan (金山). It was actually the reason Mum and I were in Taiwan but we extended our trip by two weeks to shop and sightsee.
With that said, we only spent one day travelling around. The weather was miserable during our last week in Taipei. In fact, there was an earthquake the day before we left!
We hired private driver to show us around Jiufen (九份). It left an impression on us ten years ago and we wanted to go back again. On the way there, we stopped by a few places in Ruifang (瑞芳). The first was The Yinyang Sea (陰陽海).
It continued to rain on the day of our visit. It was difficult to see with the waves crashing into one another but there are two distinct colours in the water. The soil nearby is rich in iron pyrite, resulting in the natural phenomenon. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert, so please read this article if you’d like to find out more. It seems to be worth the visit when the water’s calm.
After admiring the ocean view, we continued up the mountain.
This is the Golden Waterfalls (黃金瀑布). The bright colours of the soil is the result of the iron pyrite as I’ve mentioned before. You can see where it gets its name from. From here, you will have a close look of Keelung Mountain (基隆山).
I’m not even joking but the mountain was given this name because of it resemblance to a traditional chicken cage. It is written as”基隆” rather than “雞籠” because the people there weren’t fond of living in a place called “Chicken Cage” Note: the two words are pronounced the same.
We then made a beeline towards The Gold Museum (新北市立黃金博物館). I can’t remember if it was because they were lacking in visitors, but we didn’t pay for entry. There was quite a lot to look at. If the weather weren’t so terrible, I think we would’ve taken our time.
One of the highlights from our visit to the Gold Museum was seeing the Jinguashi Crown Prince Chalet. It’s one of the finest surviving Japanese buildings in Taiwan. The garden was also well kept. It seemed like a page out of Fruits Basket.
The facilities are quite spaced out and you needed to climb a few flights of stairs to reach certain locations. I highly recommend proper footwear.
Mum and I took many photos here. The cherry blossoms were in bloom but the heavy fog and rain made it very difficult for us to capture the beautiful sight.
We made a point to stop by the Gold Building. Contrary to the name, the building was NOT gold. However, they had a giant block of solid gold on display. Many touched it for luck, I decided not to because I’m a little germaphobic and impatient.
The rain didn’t let up throughout our time there. Everything was getting soaked from rain and the cold weather was quickly becoming unbearable. We stopped by a the stall on the hill top.
They served Dou Hua (豆花) served with peanuts, and ginger/black sugar syrup.
Yes, it tasted as good as it looked.
The texture was silky and smooth and the syrup, albeit a little sweet, tasted strongly of ginger and balanced out the bland tofu. Most importantly, it was piping hot. It warmed our cold bodies straight away. We enjoyed each bite as it continued to rain.
I made the weather sound pretty terrible up until now but to be fair, the rain in Taiwan is mesmerising. Each droplet of rain is fine like thread and it adds a picturesque feeling to the scenery that can only be captured in person. Although it was a little inconvenient, I still enjoyed the rain.
There is also an adorable cafe on site but we had a tight schedule, so we couldn’t stay to eat. Instead we purchased these little snacks to go.
I’m unsure of the name but regardless they were delicious and incredibly affordable. Please leave me a comment down below of you know what they’re called.
I suggest visiting The Gold Museum if you intend to visit Jiufen. It’s along the way and there’s plenty to look at if you’re willing to walk. It reminded me of Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, minus the timely costumes. You learn about the local history and the impact of the mining industry in Taiwan. There were also plenty of artefacts on display.
If that doesn’t interest you, it’s worth visiting for a profile-picture worthy photo.
As usual, make sure you hover over the photos for additional side comments!