If you want to hike to a volcano and watch the azure blue ocean from one of the high mountain trails while tasting delicious Taiwanese tea, then Jiufen is your answer. No trip to Taiwan can be deemed complete without spending time in this cool mountain town, located just a few kilometers away from Jinguashi, along the northeast coast of Taiwan.
This once mining town, has been transformed into one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country. The winding mountain streets, emit their own magical charm, reminiscent of 19th century China. One can get to Jiufen from Taipei by various modes of transportation, both public and private.
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How to get to Jiufen?
Reaching Jiufen using Public transport
Public buses depart every 20 minutes from the MRT station at Taipei, and takes around an hour to reach Jiufen. Bus number Keelung 1062, from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT terminal pass through, Ruifang Train Station and Jinguashi before terminating at the Old Street in Jiufen. The bus ticket costs around NT $100, to cover the distance of 35 km from Taipei.
Jiufen via Train and Bus combo
There is no railway connectivity between Jiufen and Taipei, or that matter any city in Taiwan. The only alternative is to take a train from Taipei station to Ruifang Railway Station. Once out of the exit, turn left and walk down for about five minutes till you reach the bus station at Mingdong Road.
The train ticket costs around NT $60 and the bus will charge you around NT $ 20 till Jiufen. Just remember one thing, the train to Ruifang comes once in 50 minutes, so if you miss on the first one you have a long wait ahead of you. There is no problem with seats on weekdays, but Saturday and Sunday is different as hordes of tourists head for Jiufen. The bus trip from Ruifang to Jiufen takes about 15 minutes.
Taipei to Jiufen by Taxi
If you can afford it, or in case you have missed the last bus to Jiufen, you can hire a cab to get you there. A taxi will whisk you away in not more than 30 to 40 minutes, but will set you back by at least NT $ 1200. This is the most convenient way, but also the most expensive.
Conducted tour (My Recommendation)
The perfect way to visit the historical town of Jiufen is to opt for a conducted tour from Taipei. This not only eliminates the hassle of finding suitable transportation, but includes the services of an English speaking guide and saves considerable time in sightseeing.
There are many different tours and operators but I went with KKday and absolutely loved my experience. Not only are they pioneers in the tour industry but also offer convenience and ease at a very affordable price point. You can get a course in “Teaism” for just USD 11 or this half day tour for a mere USD 33.
Pro Tip to save $$$ – Take the USD 33 (or any other based on your preference) tour from Taipei main station to Juifen, like I did. Get your bags and request to be dropped off once at Jiufen (Ensure your tour ends in Jiufen so you don’t miss out on anything). Simple! If you book a taxi, it will cost you USD 40 one way, just for transfers. So why not enjoy a fully guided tour as well at lower price? Its a win-win.
Taipei to Jiufen map
I jotted down both destinations on this easy Google map so you can get an idea about distance and route.
The town of Jiufen is situated in the Ruifang District of New Taipei City and is the ideal destination to begin your holiday to Northern Taiwan. Just keep in mind that that signage in English may spell Jiufen differently at places like, Jioufen, JiuFen, Chiufen or Jiu Fen.
All in all getting from Taipei to Jiufen main area is pretty easy and convenient. So, there’s absolutely no excuse to miss this magical town of Jiufen and be “Spirited Away” by its beauty.