Jiufen, A small French village meets Big Sur, California

20130212-210719.jpg photo by: http://www.craigfergusonimages.com/2010/09/the-business-of-photography/
An hour outside one can reach the picturesque town of Jiufen, 九份. Though this town has a lot of charm, it’s only worth it if you can take in the view like the one above. We were not so lucky with our weather experience. Ours was a much wetter day trip.
What is very important to know and what we have discovered, is Taiwan is a microcosm of micro climates. We left Taipei with partly cloudy skies and the sun shining through. We arrived the mountain town of Jiufen, about a 1.5hour drive away with holiday traffic, in cloudy mist. The cloudy mist turned into more of a downpour as the day went on. So view, not so much.

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It is therefore strongly recommended not to travel here in the rain, or even worse, a rainy weekend. You will then be inundated by the small crowded streets and umbrella mayhem.

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At least there are multiple small, high quality craft stores and snacks everywhere.

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Look out for the animal entertainment as well.

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Luckily there are multiple cafes and restaurants, just wander off the main snack street. We found respite in a Swiss style restaurant down a side alley for bowls of noodles. Their risotto bake looked excellent too!

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It’s recommended to enjoy your time in a tea house such as this place. You’ll need to walk through an old mining shaft to get to it.

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Have a Chinese friend call ahead for you to check on the weather. Tea house: 024976314

The best way to experience the area is make it a last minute overnight from Taipei, since the weather is so unpredictable. Arrive late afternoon as the crowds are leaving for the day and stay overnight to enjoy the quiet ambience. We found a great, high-end B&B for between US$60-$120 a night per couple. Check out these rooms:
http://windsor.idv.tw/WindsorE.asp
They also have a secondary location: http://oldhouse.idv.tw
Contact the couple who owns it via email: service@windsor.idv.tw or phone: 0960576258, 0912547078
We plan to come back for the views and overnight relaxation!

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Transportation: taxi, rent a car, or reliable public bus 1062 from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT, nt$90 one way, drops off directly in town and runs from 7:10-21:10.

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