Snuggled amongst the slopes of a valley between Keelung and the Teapot Mountains along the scenic northeast coastline, the small towns of Jiufen and Jinguashi were both booming centres of gold and copper mining during their heyday of the Japanese era. Jinguashi later became notorious during WWII (1942-1945) as the site of the prisoner-of-war camp Kinkaseki.
Both degenerated into ghost towns after the minerals were depleted, and Jiufen found new life as a tourist destination after being a set location for the award-winning movie “A City of Sadness”, attracting throngs of visitors interested to learn more about Taiwan’s golden past. Jinguashi only recently hit the travellers’ radar after long-term efforts to restore the old mining town into its 1930s glory, culminating in the opening of the Gold Ecological Park in October 2004.
More on Taiwan:
Taiwan: Blooming Delights and Cultural Richness in Daxi 大溪
Taiwan – Nature’s Wonders at Yehliu Geopark 野柳地質公園
Taiwan – Jiufen’s 九份 Golden Nostalgia
Taiwan – Urban Respite at Beitou Hot Springs 北投溫泉
Taiwan – Tamsui 淡水：Of Romantic Sunsets & Tantalizing Snacks
Taiwan – SHIFEN十分放天灯: Sending Wishes to the Sky
Taiwan – Sun Moon Lake 日月潭: Picturesque Nature
Places of interest in Jingguashi
Gold Ecological Park, Golden Waterfall, Yin Yang Sea, Ruins of Shisancheng, Teapot Mountain, Keelung Mountain, Jinguashi Shinto Shrine, Quanji Temple, Changren Tunnel No. 3 flue pipes, POW Memorial
Getting to Jingguashi
Take the train heading towards Yilan/Hualian and alight at Ruifang station. Take the Keelung bus directly opposite the station to Jinguashi (ticket price NT22).
Taipei -> Jinguashi: Take the train to Zhongxiao Fuxing Station and take the Keelung bus bound for Jinguashi to Jinguashi (ticket price NT95).
Keelung -> Jinguashi: Take the Keelung bus from Keelong train station (in front of I-Mei Foods Co. Ltd.). This passes through Jiufen and passengers should alight at Jinguashi station.
Web Site: http://www.klbus.com.tw
Gold Ecological Park 黃金博物館區
Add: 8 Jinguang Rd., Jinguashi, Ruifang District, New Taipei City (新北市瑞芳區金瓜石金光路8號)
Tel: (02) 2496-2800
Opening times: Mon – Fri: 9:30AM – 5:00PM; Sat & Sun: 9:30AM – 6:00PM. Closed on 1st Mon of the month.
Entrance fee: NT100 / NT70 with Youth Travel Card
Gold Panning Experience NT100, Tunnel Experience NT50
If you are looking to hire a driver, you can consider Mr Liu 刘先生. He’s a burly uncle who used to be a truck driver, and very honest. He charged us a very reasonable per day rate, brought us to all the places where the locals went, and none of those touristy crap. And we felt safe with him. You can give him a try if you wish. Mr Liu’s Mobile: (0)988-121-529
Another contact you can try is Lucky Zhao +886 913 185 157, slightly pricier but good service and speaks well.