Generally speaking, Jiu-fen, Jinguashi and Shueinandong are collectively dubbed as the Shuei-Jin-Jiou.
Jiu-fen is a little higher than Jinguashi above sea level. The two communities were both initially gold-mining towns. They came to the verge of getting abandoned due to mining coming to a halt.
The movie "A City of Sadness" directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien shot the scene in Jiu-fen. This movie later won the Golden Lion Award at Venice Film Festival.
The international award-winning film allowed the beauty hidden inside this mining village to be seen by the whole world.
Though there is no more gold mining, the place draws the crowds of tourists bringing money into this town.
Jiu-fen is a hot spot, causing traffic jams during holidays. You can take the train to get to T-R-A Ruifang Station and then transfer to a bus or a taxi.
If you take a cab, don't worry about overpaying the taxi fare. There are signs at the cabstand by the train station indicating the definitive price to get to Jiu-fen.
Driving to Jiu-fen, most people take the Northern Cross-Island Highway. It's quite easy to follow the signs along National Highway 1 and then take the expressway.
Be careful driving a car if you come from Jinguashi. The road is both meandering and narrow before arriving at Jiu-fen.
Jiu-fen community consists of four main roads: Keelung Street, Shu-qi Road, Qingbian Road and Qi-che Road.
Keelung Street is the Old Street, and Qingbian Road used to be the trolley track for mine transportation. It was transformed into a normal road after the trolleys were suspended.
Qi-che Road is the community outer ring road, and Shu-qi Road is mainly a stone-step street connecting the other three roads.
There are numerous parking lots in Jiu-fen. You can walk to the Old Street more expeditiously when parked near County Road 102 and Geding Station.
Hiking entrance to Keelung Mountain
You will also come by the hiking entrance to Keelung Mountain.
Due to the shape similar to a chicken coop, the name of Keelung Mountain originated from a homophone meaning "chicken coop." It also resembles a pregnant woman lying on her back when looking at it from Jinguashi.
Some people therefore call it "Da Du Mei Ren," meaning "pregnant beauty."
Keelung Mountain is divided by Jiu-fen and Jinguashi. If you have time, it's worth a hike as it won't be too strenuous. The view up on the mountain is terrific.
Jiu-fen Old Street
Walk toward the Old Street from Geding Parking Lot. You will get to check out the famously beautiful mountain and sea scenery.
The entrance to Old Street is by a convenient store, and the scenic overlook is around the corner.
The scenic overlook is a great place to get a wonderful view of the mountain and sea scenery. Shen-au Fishing Port comes to view first. A bit further are Bah-dou-zhi Fishing Port and Port of Keelung.
Situated between here and Keelung Islet, where the tip of the land extends into the sea, is Shen-au Headland.
You can take some photos and selfies on the first or second floor.
After checking out the gorgeous scenery, it's time to head to Jiu-fen Old Street.
With shops on both sides, Jiu-fen Old Street is very confined. Even the sky seems very narrow when looking above.
There are plenty of choices with many delicious Taiwanese snacks here.
There are famous stands, such as Ah-po Fish Ball.
There is also Fish Ball Uncle.
There is Jin-zhi Vegetarian Bawan with Red Vinasse.
Even Yuan Soap opened a chain store here.
There is Ah Lan Hakka Glutinous Rice Cake as well.
There is Lai Ah-po Taro Ball.
Lai Ah-po Taro Ball is the most popular dessert in Jiu-fen. Many Taiwanese snacks are also called Jiu-fen Taro Ball, giving testament to the fame of this shop.
There was initially only one storefront, but the storefronts to both sides of the stand are now their dining areas.
Arriving at Qingbian Road from the Old Street, You also get to view the sea scenery from a different perspective.
There are many homestays on this road. You can feel the sea right outside the windows when staying here.
The stairs on Shu-qi Road are the popular spots for taking selfies and photos in Jiu-fen.
A City of Sadness film locations, including Shengping Theater, are mostly in the vicinity.
There are people who say that the movie "Spirited Away" directed by Miyazaki also took inspiration from this scenic spot.
There are many teahouses here. Viewing the sea scenery from above while sampling tea further enhances the delightful taste!