Jiufen Old Street packs a lot to do within its narrow windy streets
Jiufen Old Street is a diverse day and night market on the northern coast of Taiwan. Famous for its windy and narrow pathways, Jiufen Old Street originated as the centre of a former gold mining town in the 1890’s. Since then it has blossomed into an abundant street market whilst retaining its original architectural structure and charm.
After years of having its image plastered throughout Taiwanese travel brochures, Jiufen Old Street has become an extremely popular tourist destination and is one of Taiwan’s most recognisable landmarks.
Street food is aplenty at the Jiufen market. Try the deep-fried seafood, fish & meat balls with the noodles or the Taiwanese sausages for something savoury. For something sweet, try the infamous Taiwanese ice cream spring roll, the coffee nougat biscuit or the ice cream puff.
A good idea is also to follow it up with a tea from one of the popular tea houses in . All of this you can eat on the spot or enjoy while you continue walking through through the market.
A unique characteristic of Jiufen Old Street is the quaint teahouses spread throughout the market. Many offer stunning views over the north shore of Taiwan, the most famous of which is the A-Mei Tea House.
A-Mei Tea House’s is a former blacksmith shop that has been refurbished into a picturesque teahouse. It is often used in Taiwan travel brochures and has served as the background for many-a Instagram photos. A-Mei Tea House offers a variety of delicious homemade tea, dessert and snack options.
It has long been speculated that Jiufen served as the inspiration for the town featured in the highest-grossing animation film, Spirited Away. Although director Hayao Miyazaki denied this outright in 2013, there’s no denying the stark similarities between the two. Despite Miyazaki’s denial, this hasn’t stopped Taiwan embracing the idea and has even sparked several specialty stores in Jiufen selling Spirited Away novelty items.
Getting to Jiufen from Taipei is easy thanks to Taiwan’s public transport system. The two most common ways of getting to Jiufen is either by Bus or MRT.
Getting from Taipei Main Station to Jiufen Old Street is easy by train. The TRA will take you most of the journey and require a bus for the final leg up the mountain.
From Taipei Main Station, take the Chu-Kang Express (TRA) from Platform 4 to Ruifang Station. From Ruifang Station, take Exit 1 (West) and walk 250 meters to the bus stop next to the police station. From there catch either the 788 or 827 route buses for the remaining journey to Jiufen Old Street.
Getting to Jiufen Old Street by bus takes approximately 90 minutes from Taipei. Luckily the journey is as scenic as Jiufen itself making it a popular method for travellers.
Firstly, you will need to get to MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station to take the 1062 route bus (Keelung Bus). The 788 route bus will also get you to Jiufen Old Street from MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station.
To get to MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, take the MRT Brown Line or Blue Line to Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT Blue Line or catch the Fuxing Shuttle Bus.
Getting back from Jiufen Old Street or Raohe Night Market is easiest by taking the 1062 route bus to Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, and by MRT to your final destination.