Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Jiufen and Shifen in one day!

Getting to Jiu Fen / Jin Gua Shi:
From Taipei Main Station, take the train and alight at Ruifang Station.
Express train journey time: 35mins, NT 76 per person.
Normal train journey time: 55mins, NT 49 per person.
Do note that if you are taking the normal train, you can tap your EasyCard at the gantry to pay for the train. However, if you are taking the Express Train, you cannot use EasyCard, you need to buy the ticket at the counter at Train station. This information is not clearly shown at the train station nor in the website and we learnt the hard way. We tapped our EasyCard as we thought it can be used for Express Train as well and we were fined when the conductor was doing his check in the Express Train. The fine was 50% extra on top of the Express Train ticket price.
Refer to this link for timing and other information of the train service.

Alight at Ruifang, follow the signs in Ruifang station which show you where to exit to take the bus for Jin Gua Shi and Jiu Fen.
Take the bus to Jiu Fen and Jin Gua Shi at the bus stop opposite Ruifang Train station. The bus stop is not directly opposite Ruifang train station, will have to walk down along the road for about 3 mins to get to the bus stop. The bus will have a signboard at the front window screen stating 往九份,金瓜石.  The bus journey is about 20 mins ride.
Jin Gua Shi is the last stop. Jiu Fen is a few stops before that. The cost is NT 15 per person.

Alternative is to hire a taxi for a one day tour around Jin Gua Shi and Jiu Fen. There were many taxi drivers waiting outside Ruifang Station.

We started late that day and hence, we gave up Jin Gua Shi and head directly to Jiu Fen.

Jiu Fen

Jiu Fen Old Street

Famous Jiu Fen fishballs
Peanut crumps and ice cream roll. It's yummy!

Big Sausage!
The sausage shop is located just beside a fortune cat shop.

There are alot of taro balls shop along Jiu Fen Old Street but the nicest one is Lai Ah Po Taro Balls. It's all the way into the Old Street. Be patient and walk all the way in! 

Super yummy and generous portion of the various flavours of balls (Taro, Pumpkin, Green tea, Black Sesame, Red Bean). I couldn't find back that same taste anywhere else. Miss it.

Walking all the way to the end of Jiu Fen Old Street, not only you will be rewarded with Lai Ah Po Taro balls, you will also be rewarded with nice scenery..

We settled at a tea house overlooking the scenery of Jiu Fen and ordered a hotpot for high tea. Hahaha.

It's time to proceed to Shifen!

Shi Fen

Take a bus from Jiu Fen back to Ruifang station. If you are unsure of where to take the bus, you can check with the people at the Tourist Information Counter at Jiu Fen. Bus 788 or 826 both go back to Ruifang station.

From Ruifang Train station, take the Pingxi Line to Shifen. There is no express train for Pingxi Line so you can use EasyCard to tap at the gantry to pay for the train fare at ease.
Train journey from Ruifang to Shifen is about 30 mins.

Hello! From Pingxi Line Train
Arrived at Shifen train station
There are many  天灯 stalls along the main street of Shifen. So just choose one! Different sides and different colours of the 天灯 represent different categories of life. The people there will explain to you. 

So many 天灯 in the air!
Shifen Old Street night view.
Near to Shi Fen Old Street is the famous Shi Fen waterfall. Walk all the way to the end of Shi Fen Old Street and continue walking for another half an hour to reach the waterfall. We were too late when we reach Shi Fen Old Street and hence have to give the waterfall a miss. 
Entrance fee to the water fall is NT100 per person.
Opening hours: Nov - Jan (0800 to 1830); Feb to Oct (0800 to 1900)

That's all for Jiu Fen and Shi Fen! Stay tune for my other posts on Taiwan, including Kao Hsiung, Cing Jing and Tai Chung!

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