Jiufen, Taiwan: Street Food, Ocean Views, and Memories of Gold

Epoch Times
Date: November 1, 2019
By: Crystal Shi

Jiufen, a town tucked into the mountains. (Shutterstock)

JIUFEN, Taiwan—The picturesque town of Jiufen, nestled in the green, perennially fog-shrouded mountains that hug Taiwan’s northeastern coast, once pulsed with the promise of gold. At the height of the region’s gold rush, this was the center of the action.

But on a recent visit, I joined crowds of tourists in search of other riches: stunning ocean vistas, legendary local eats, and a sort of nostalgic charm that permeates every narrow, lantern-lit cobblestone street. The days of gold mining have long gone, but the former mining town has since struck a new kind of gold: tourism.

Golden Days

The story begins in the early 1890s, when a group of railroad construction workers, in the midst of washing their rice bowls, found specks of the precious mineral in the Keelung River. The unexpected discovery triggered a gold rush, and crowds of hopeful prospectors descended upon the riverbanks to try their luck.

In 1894, the source of that gold was traced to a huge deposit in the mountains around Jiufen. The region’s gold mining era soon took off in earnest—spearheaded by the Japanese, who colonized the island the following year—and as the industry boomed, the mountain towns at its center swelled with miners and newfound riches. By the 1930s, Jiufen had gone from an isolated farming village to a mining hub so prosperous it earned the nickname “Little Shanghai.”     [FULL  STORY]

LIST: Flight cancellations for August 9, Friday

Date: Aug 08 2019

MANILA – Local airlines have announced the cancellation of flights to Basco, Batanes and Taipei, Taiwan and their respective return trips on Friday due to the effects of Typhoon Hanna.

The following are affected flights as of 8 p.m. Thursday:


  • M8 816 Manila – Basco
  • M8 817 Basco – Manila


  • PR890 Manila – Taipei
  • PR891 Taipei – Manila
  • PR2696 Clark – Basco
  • PR2697 Basco – Clark
  • PR2688 Clark – Basco
  • PR2689 Basco – Clark

PAL said affected passengers may rebook and refund within 30 days from their original flight date, with rebooking or refunding fees waived.    [SOURCE]

Fewer Chinese tourists make Taiwan more attractive to Japanese travelers

Japanese tourism in 2019 expected to increase after news of China's tourist ban

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/08/05
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

JAL 767-346 and ANA 767-381ER at Osaka Intl. Airport (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Aug. 1, the Chinese government announced that it would be suspending all individual permits for travel to Taiwan, forcing Chinese citizens hoping to visit the country to join officially approved tour groups instead. The move is widely seen as an attempted political maneuver to damage Taiwan’s economy ahead of the January 2020 elections.

While Taiwan is likely to see a major dip in tourism from China in the coming months, there are reasons to be optimistic, as the sudden drop in Chinese visitors will make Taiwan’s popular tourist destinations less crowded. Japanese website Zakzak is encouraging Japanese vacationers to consider visiting Taiwan in 2019 on account of decreased crowds and potential travel deals offered by hotels and tour operators to make up for losses.

According to the article, now is a “great chance” to visit Taiwan, which is regularly a top destination for Japanese tourists. In 2013, there were 1.24 million Japanese visitors to Taiwan, but by 2017 that number had increased to 1.9 million, reports Zakzak.    [FULL  STORY]

Head to Tainan and Alishan if you want to see more of Taiwanese culture

Metro News
Date: 12 May 2019
By: Qin Xie

Taipei is always the first port of call for first-time visitors to Taiwan – and rightly so, given that it’s the capital.

But if you really want to delve into Taiwanese culture, heritage and explore the lesser known parts of the island, you need to head south.

I decided on Tainan, the former capital, as my first port of call.

On the train down, I spotted an article on some of the craftsmen in the city – that’s how I ended up at Tainan Kuang Tsai Embroidery Shop.

Mr Lin, who’s owned the shop for decades, creates these incredible embroidered pieces for everything from Chinese opera costumes and wedding outfits to decorations for temples.    [FULL  STORY]

Southernmost Taiwan cape named one of most welcoming places in the world

A considerable number of properties in Eluanbi Cape won 2018 Guest Review Awards

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/09
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Eluanbi lighthouse in Kenting (Flickr/paularps)

TAIPEI (Taiwan) — Eluanbi Cape (鵝鑾鼻) in Pingtung County (屏東縣) was named one of the friendliest travel destinations in 2018 by

Digital travel platform released its annual list of “the most welcoming places on earth” today (Jan. 9). According to the hotel reservation website, the list honors its “accommodation partners that consistently deliver great guest experiences with a 2018 Guest Review Award.”

Eluanbi Cape in Kenting (墾丁), Pingtung is one of the areas known for hosting many such accommodations and was named alongside Niagra on the Lake in Canada, New Zealand’s Lake Tekapo, and Newport in the United States.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Pinglin tea zone is a Top 100 Green Destination

The award will be handed out at ITB Berlin next year

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/12/21
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Pinglin, New Taipei City (photo courtesy of New Taipei City tourism department).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Pinglin district of New Taipei City, known for its hillside tea plantations, has been named as one of the world’s Top 100 Green Destinations, reports said Friday.

The award will be handed out at one of the largest tourism events in the world, the ITB travel fair in Berlin on March 6, the Liberty Times reported.

2018 was the fourth year that a Dutch-based foundation made a selection of global tourism destinations based on criteria such as sustainable development, social, cultural and economic conservation, and environmental protection.

Pinglin amounted to the back garden of the greater Taipei area, with its water sources protected from pollution, the Liberty Times reported.    [FULL  STORY]

12 Taiwan national forest recreation areas accept mobile payments

The 12 national recreation areas will accept the four smartphone payments–Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Taiwan Pay.

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/12/17
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Shuangliou National Forest Recreation Area (photo courtesy of the Forestry Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Twelve national forest recreation areas in Taiwan have adapted themselves to accepting mobile payment, which has become a trending payment in recent years, according to a recent news release posted by the Forestry Bureau, which administers the country’s national recreation areas.

The bureau said in the news release that from now on, the 12 national forest recreation areas, as well as the Bong Bong Train in the Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area, and the sightseeing mini trains in Wulai, New Taipei City, will accept the four NFC-enabled smartphone payments linked to visitors’ credit cards–Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Taiwan Pay.

The 12 national forest recreation areas are Taipingshan, Manyueyuan, Neidong, and Dongyanshan in northern Taiwan; Basianshan, Dasyueshan, and Aowanda in central Taiwan; Alishan, Shuangliou, and Kenting in southern Taiwan; and Jhihben, and Chihnan in eastern Taiwan, the bureau said.

The national forest recreation areas are rich in natural resources, the agency said, adding the levels of negative ions and phytoncides, which are beneficial to human health, in forests are several times higher than those in metropolitan areas. Forests can directly intercept particulate matter and reduce the level of PM2.5, the bureau added.

Preserving social cohesion at all costs is still the bedrock of Taiwan’s social morality.

Here, placing the larger clan, the society, before yourself, the individual, is key.

BBC News
Date: 1 November 2018 
By: Leslie Nguyen-Okwu

Saying ‘buhaoyisi’ in Taiwan can open a Pandora’s Box of profuse politeness (Credit: Keitma/Alamy)

Yun-Tzai Lee and Joanne Chen are one of those sickening couples that finish each other’s sentences, lace their fingers together and just won’t stop oozing adorable. But the three little words ‘I love you’ don’t come as easily to Lee as they do to his fiancée Chen. His face turns beetroot-red at the thought of uttering the phase, and causes him to feel ‘buhaoyisi’(pronounced ‘boo-how-eee-suh’) – one of the many ways to feel mortified or to be sorry in Taiwan.

“Most people here will feel this way,” Lee said.

Welcome to the linguistic minefield of apologising in Taiwan, where simply saying ‘buhaoyisi’ can open a Pandora’s Box of profuse politeness. The word is made up of four characters that literally translate to ‘bad meaning’ or ‘bad feeling’, and serves as a tidy catch-all that can be deployed in all kinds of situations, from meekly catching a waiter’s attention to expressing a guilt-ridden apology to your boss to the paralysing feeling that washes over you as you struggle to confess your love.

Buhaoyisi is forever on the lips of Taiwanese, according to Prof Chia-ju Chang, Chinese professor at Brooklyn College City University of New York. “We use it all the time as Taiwan is a verbally polite culture. So, we use it when we interrupt people or asking of a favour. We can even use it to start a conversation.”    [FULL  STORY]

VIDEO: 5-star hotel gives away furniture and appliances as it closes

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 01 November, 2018

This five-star hotel is closing and is giving away furniture for free!
A five-star hotel in Taipei that’s closing at the end of the year lets you take home pillows, electric appliances and furniture for free. That is if you book it on its last day.

As many as 60 hotels around Taiwan are likely to close their doors due to competitiveness in the hotel industry. A room in a five-star international hotel that’s been open for 20 years in Taipei costs more than US$970 a night.    [FULL  STORY]

Relax and enjoy a bike tour along the unparalleled beauties Taitung County has to offer 

So why not join a bike tour organized by Taitung County Government that allows participants to relax, experience the slow pace of life, and enjoy wonderful views along the way

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/09/20
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The Diamond Avenue bike path is also called “King Kong Avenue”

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Taiwan’s eastern county of Taitung is the best place to ride a bike as it is full of scenic views and has the best air in the country. So why not join a bike tour organized by the Taitung County Government that allows participants to relax, experience the slow pace of life, and enjoy wonderful views along the way.

The county government has organized four cycling routes that span the best parts of the county—one along the east coast, one in the East Rift Valley, and two in the county’s south.

The organizer combines bus service with cycling to provide seamless one-day and two-day tours that bring participants to explore the county’s secret places.

For example, one of the tours will take participants to the Diamond Avenue bike path, sometimes called “King Kong Avenue.” The bike path, located in Changbin Township, offers a poetic view over the vast paddy fields to the sparkling Pacific Ocean far beyond the horizon. There are no electric poles along the route; and there are no buildings either, except for a pavilion for rest. The legendary view of the sea and the sky merging into the horizon can also be seen along this route.     [FULL  STORY]