One interesting place you should visit when you’re in Taipei, Taiwan is Juifen, also known as Jioufen or Chiufen. This quaint isolated hilltop village which is near Keelung is a popular tourists attraction, and also to the locals during the weekend or public holidays.
Juifen or pronounce as “chui-fern”, which means nine portions.It used to be a rich mining town until the 50s.
Taipei to Jiufen How Long
My partner and I took a bus ride from Taipei town and the journey was about an hour. It is rather far out from Taipei city. The road leading up to Chiufen village is long and winding.
Chiufen’s key attraction is the many narrow pedestrian streets filled with restaurants, cafes, tea houses, souvenir stalls and a couple of guest houses and homestay. There is a tea house which was used as a location for award-winning Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film A City of Sadness.
Juifen or Jiofen or Chiufen was also used as a model in another award-winning and top-grossing Japanese animated movie Spirited Away, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
We were there somewhere in March this year (2012). The weather was cool and the place is shrouded with mist. It is a breath-taking sight up there.
Jioufen Taipei Bus
How to go to Juifen by bus from Taipei:
Take MRT to Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station. Walk out from Exit 1 (one). Then walk for about 50 meter and there is a bus station in front of shop houses.
Take bus number 1602. The fare is NTD 102 (one way). The bus ride takes about an hour to reach Juifen.
If you are not too sure, just ask the local folks. Most of them are extremely helpful and friendly.