Ruifang District, Taiwan Dec. 23-24, 2015

Ruifang District, Taiwan Dec. 23-24, 2015

On our third day in Taiwan, we travelled out of the city and into the mountainside to Jiufen, a former gold and copper mining town overlooking the pacific ocean. I stayed a the most beautiful place imaginable, and here are some photos to share!

We got off the bus and entered the foggy air, overlooking hillside temples and beautiful water. Jiufen is very popular among tourists, partially for its beauty but also because it is the town that inspired the scenery for the Miyazaki movie Spirited Away! This was such an awesome experience because both Chris and I love that movie, so it was so so cool to see it come to life. The environment truly felt magical.







There is a long, winding road lined with shops! It is a sort of marketplace in Jiufen, and it was so so fun and interesting to see all the different vendors selling foods, souveniers, trinkets, and more! I bought a couple things for my family, and we mostly enjoyed just looking around and trying not to lose each other, since it was SO crowded. Soon, we arrived at the doorfront of the Windsor B&B, where we stayed for one magical night. Our view was absolutely spectacular! As we were walking toward the hotel, Chris and I kept stopping to take photos of the scenery, but his dad kept saying wait until we see the hotel, the view is better. And he sure was right!












We could hardly believe this was real! It was honestly the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The fog gave it a very spirited, magical feel, and it was so wonderful to see the pacific ocean from the other side of the world. We spent some time inside before going out to explore a bit more, and then eventually Chris, his dad, and I went out for dinner! Chris’s dad wanted to go to a few different places to eat, which made for a very fun experience to try different things.

We took the back route to a little tea house… you could say I was a bit excited about it! The tunnel was underground and mining-style.


I loved looking at the old typewriters in the tea house 🙂




The menu at the tea house… cool, right?






We didn’t actually ring the bell! Haha

The next day, we woke up without an alarm, although it was bright and early on Christmas Eve! It was lovely to walk outside in the cool, misty air toward where we were going to eat breakfast. The food wasn’t too bad, but it was the view that really won me over. It was spectacular to drink warm milk tea while overlooking the ocean and the fog, and the moments spent there are truly unforgettable. We ate sandwiches and fruit before packing up and walking through the marketplace.

The lights were still on outside during this time, so I couldn’t help myself — had to snap a picture of him!


We suspect that this tea house inspired the bath house in Spirited Away! I want to re-watch the movie again and reminisce. 🙂


View from breakfast


Warm milk tea — classic






These women were making the snack pictured below!


Chris’s dad really likes this snack! Corn starch-like jelly with meat and bamboo inside. The filling was pretty good!


Super excited to try squid ink sausage– it was delicious!!
I wanted to try this snack from the moment I saw it the day before. It is like a waffle with sweet red bean filling. It was just as delicious as I thought it would be!!



After the market, we made our way to the bus stop. We had to wait around half an hour, so Chris and I had some fun taking pictures. I love the view of the ocean with the temple rooftops and just had to capture it.



We planned to go to Houtong, a coal mining town-turned-cat village, on this same day! It ended up being smaller than I thought it would be, and the weather was absolutely so SO hot, but it was so fun to see all of the cats. The residents of the town take care of the cats, leaving out food for them and building little cat houses, and it is a pretty popular tourist destination (at least, according to TripAdvisor!). All of the cats wear colorful collars with bells on them, it was so cute to see!















This cat looks so much like my cat, Cicero, back home!! Except this one has a stubby tail hehehe


These little paw plaques were along the pathway! I thought they were cute 🙂






We took a train to Shifen an hour later, where we set off a flying lantern and hiked to a waterfall park!! The atmosphere was so enjoyable, and even though my feet were aching tremendously, the view of the waterfall and the experience was definitely worth it. It is so interesting traveling with Chris’s dad because of how many activities he always wants to do, but I have never been to so many places in so little time, so I am so grateful to be with him and to be having this experience.
Watermelon juice! Sugary, delicious, and cold — perfect for surviving the heat.


Thank you, Chris, for always making me pose in different places so you can take snapshots. I do like this one!


Painting words on our floating lantern!


The finished product! We chose pink to represent joy — there were many colors and each color represents a different thing!


love this photo. love this place.
Even though it was one of the longest days of this whole trip, we saw so, so much that it was completely and wholeheartedly worth it. We have been spending so much time in Taipei lately, but soon we will be in Hualien, near the coast, and there will be even more natural scenes to see. Can’t wait to take even more photos!!
Thanks for reading, if you’ve stayed this far! Leave me a comment if you enjoyed.

3 thoughts on “Ruifang District, Taiwan Dec. 23-24, 2015

  1. Your trip loooooks amazing!!! I've never been to Taiwan but heard so much about the culture, vibe aaaand the food, haha. The view from your hotel is so beautiful as well! I love wheel cakes (the little snack that looks like a pancake with fillings; at least, we call them wheel cakes in Vancouver) is one of my favourite. I'm not that big of a fan of red bean but wheel cakes with nutella is the bomb dot com.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip and have a happy new year!


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