Thursday, March 6, 2014

Taiwan Diary: 黄金博物馆 Gold Museum + 九份老街

And so the Taiwan journey continues! 

It was my the third day in Taiwan. Upon leaving Taichung, we traveled to Ruifang district of the New Taipei City 瑞芳新台北市 to visit the Gold Museum located in the Golden Ecological Park  黄金博物园区. :) This was the only day during our Taiwan trip when I felt chilly. I was complaining a lot when we were back in Taichung, "I expected it to be so much colder!!". But when we reach the mountains, I instantly regretted what I've said. Plus the heavy rain, it was freezing up here.

On our way to the ecological park, we made a stop at this special waterfall called the 黄金瀑布. 

The upstream of the river used to be the location of the mines. The residue of the metals in the river then settled and oxidized downstream which gave the soil it's bronze gold color. Supposedly the view of the sea is amazing from up here, but we were not lucky enough as it was raining and really cloudy.

First attraction in the park was the old Japanese styled house 四连栋. During the time when Japan conquered Taiwan, this was the style of houses the miners lived in. The houses could stand alone, or have 2, 3 or 4 combined together and differ in it's interior style and space depending on the wealth and social status.

The beautiful courtyard.

One thing to note is that the Gold Museum is also one of the many Cherry Blossom spots of Taiwan. Spot the Sakura trees behind me, soon blossoming in the coming spring. 

With Teri on the mine carts. :) It was so cold that day Tim and I both had under shirts beneath our denim jackets. I salute her for only wearing a tee through the rain and wind lol!

Love the ambiance of this picture with Tim. :)

In the Gold Museum. Tim being gold-obsessed lol, while we touched a brick of gold worth TWD 280 million. :OOOO

Then we went into the mines to learn how miners carried out their daily jobs back in the days. Wax figures were placed along the mine track in different sections to show us how each stage of mining work was carried out back then.

In the midst of such coldness a bowl of hot tofu fa with ginger soup did the trick! Finding this silken tofu shop on the hill top was like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. It really helped to warm up our bodies.

We then went to the restaurant there in search of its famous lunchbox 矿工便当, completed with the metal container and scarf, both of which you could bring home as souvenirs. (Picture from Google)

BUT SADLY IT IS OUT OF STOCK. :C So we had the lunchbox meal- chicken chop with vege and rice- without it's lunchbox. :C And beef noodles.

After the Gold Museum, we then traveled further up into the mountain to visit the old streets of Jiufen 九份老街. :) 

It was a really beautiful place and I felt like I've traveled back in time to the olden days of Taiwan. It was non-peak season and it was raining heavily so a lot of the shops were closed at as early as 7pm. But the heavy rain however, didn't stop crowds of people from visiting this lovely place.

We then stopped at this restaurant/home stay called Chin Chun Dint. Had the stew lamb set, Tiramisu dessert and also thick toast.

We then had some of their famous delicacies, the yam balls 芋圆 and peanut wraps 花生卷. I especially liked the peanut wraps because there were ice cream wrapped in the center surrounded by shredded peanuts.

There was also this fish ball soup shop that captured my attention. The walls were fully pasted with photos of in my opinion, the lady owner with famous Taiwanese artists. Some of the photos are repetitive but by the looks of it ,the store must be somewhat famous as it has been graced by the presence of so many artists.

啾咪 (pronounced as Kiu-mi) is something we saw on the Taiwan tv advertisement the first night we arrived and since then, Tim kept saying 啾咪哦~! in an unbearable cute way throughout the whole trip lol! So anyway, when I went to a gift store and saw that chocolate, I know I had to get it for him and so I did. Haha.

Apart from food stalls, the old street of Jiufen also has a lot of shops selling souvenirs.

After reaching the end of the old street we then took the stone staircase down the hill. It was another kind of beauty looking down from the top of the staircase because on both sides of the staircase were many eateries and home stays.

A simple illustration done by me lol, to show the structure of the Jiufen old street. The trail of the old street swirls and wriggles uphill and it is really smart of them to have built the staircases in between to connect the street and serve as shortcuts for the people to get up and down.

Spot the photobomber in disguise as a construction worker with no neck lol.

A wet and messy-haired selfie with Tim at the end of the long but fulfilling day. :)

And this was our accommodation for the night, a home stay designed especially for students on graduation trips. So adorable with its pink and blue theme. Another night filled with non-stop Taiwanese variety tv shows before bed.

The view of the mountains and the sea from our homestay in the morning. :) Despite having everyone we meet tell us that the rain would go on for days and the thought of it stopping was preposterous, miraculously it didn't rain that morning!

Look at how different the change of scenery was along the highway from Jiufen to Taipei city. Next post, Taipei city. :)

With all the love,

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