When Marx and I decided to visit Taiwan, I knew I wanted to see Taipei City, but I wanted more to see Jiufen. Thinking about it, it wasn’t about the culture it was more of me enjoying old places, temples, then followed only by culture.
Jiufen means “Nine Portions”. This village housed only 9 families in the past and every time shipments would arrive, they delivered 9 portions only . Once an isolated place until gold was discovered during the Japanese era in this village. So you could say Jiufen is part of Taiwan’s history with a “golden” past.
Today, I guess this place houses 9 out of 10 portions of tourists in Taiwan. You can call it a bustling town. But what can I say, aside from it being famous, I too agree that this is one of the must see places.
Busy alleys filled with food stalls and souvenirs. I was so full during our walk here. My favorite one – the peanut Ice Cream! True enough its a MUST try. The walk may take a while again it houses hundreds of tourists. Yet, very picturesque.
In addition, the famous A Mei Tea House that they said to have become popular by the animated movie, Spirited Away is one great place to relax and see the view of Jiufen. But I was surprised, it may be one of the most expensive Oolong teas I’ve had in my life.
But I love Jiufen, and even today it is still my favorite part of our itinerary.
Our morning was spent in an old street as well called Shifen.
Started our day with a great view of Shifen Waterfalls. Said to be one of the most famous in Taiwan because it may not be that high, but wide and powerful.
But the best part of our Shifen trip my first ever sky lantern experience. Honestly, I love sky lanterns as much as I want to try this at home it is not advisable as it can cause fire.
Shifen Old Street is located in Pingxi District, in the old days the railway station found in the old street was used to transport coal.
In the past sky lanterns were used to send messages or warning signals to those maybe living in the mountains or to those living in different towns. Today, it has outgrown the warning signals and became a means of communicating or sending people’s wishes and prayers to the heavens. All you have to do is write it on the lantern, then release it and your messages delivered.
The four of us decided to pick the lantern with colors Red, Yellow, Blue and Orange which represents Health, Money, Work and Love accordingly.
After painting our wishes, we noticed a group behind us and their lantern was really well painted with drawings and calligraphy, we cant help but say wow, ours was so artless and pretty much straight forward.
I love this experience, I definitely made revisions to my “Must Experience List” adding Sky Lantern Festival in it. It doesn’t have to be in Taiwan of course but I shall experience this!