And so the deluge continues. Don’t worry theres only 2 more days!
On day 7, we decided to take a breather from the hectic week by visiting Jiufen and Jinguangshi, two quaint mountain towns. Jiufen was at first a small mining town that became abandoned in the the 1970s. It was rediscovered after the release of “City of Sadness”, a movie revolving around the 228 Incident. Many Taiwanese, disillusioned by rapid and urban development and longing for some reconnection to a traditional, slow paced, bucolic lifestyle, were charmed by the nostalgic scenery of Jiufen. Similarly, Jinguangshi experienced a resurgence of popularity after the decline of gold and copper activities, it’s gold ecological park acting as depository for mining related memorabilia.
But first, we have to get some coffee.
Supposedly the best coffee in Taipei. The coffee was ok, but what was really interesting about this place was the cats roaming free.
More train rides! and more mei meis!
Mei Mei no 2 - Sad Mei Mei
Mei Mei no. 3 - Maki Goto Mei Mei
And then we reached Jinguangshi. The park itself is nothing spectacular.
Got to visit this place which was built for the Crown Prince of Japan for his visit to Taiwan which never happened.
It even had a golf course and archery range at the back.
Then we visited this museum which had gold artifacts on display and mining equipment on display.
Is this a real gold bar? Felt pretty fake to the touch.
Its pretty ok, quite nice scenery, takes only 2 hours to walk finish the whole thing, worth a short stop if your in the area. Next step Jiufen!
Unfortunately the many years that have passed since it has become famous has ensured the utter commercialisation of the area. Its now full of vendors selling knick knacks and food items.
The stuff to see are still there however. The narrow, winding and steep streets and old architecture.
It has also attracted its ah fair share of quirky characters.
Jiufen's Susan Boyle
Jiufen's Harry Potter?
Amazing views from the top
Hello globalisation its so nice to see you
We bought quite a lot of snacks like the seaweed crackers, mochi, ocarinas. And then we were off!
I swear the evening light makes everything look nicer.
Our trip happened to coincide with the Hohaiyan Indie Rock Festival, so we decided it was worth a visit to Fulong Beach. Apparently, so did a lot of the locals.
Just outside the railway station –
More taiwan mei meis!
Mei Mei no. 4 - Carlsberg Mei Mei
We got ourselves a bong of beer.
And prepared ourselves for the festivities. The setup was just like Singfest, there was a secondary area for minor performances and a main area for the big stars. The main area was on a little islet where they had food and drink stalls just behind the performance area, which I think can hold 30,000 people. Its quite a racuous affair.
That soft yellow fuzz you see is part shakiness, part low light, and part golden sand which formed dust clouds.
We got a little closer enough to make out the singer’s face. Then we just hung around the back enjoying the music and the food. No point getting lost in the crowd. Someone left off a sky lantern too :)
We took the early train to avoid the crowd of people. Supposedly over the 3 days, 500 thousand people attended the event.