I learned a lot about Taiwan’s history while on this trip, especially about significant landmarks along the northern coast of this beautiful country. For example, this photo of multicolored dolosse is actually a picture of the Ying Yang sea, which is two different colors, hence the name. This duo is because of the minerals that leak out from the old gold mining factory just up the mountain behind this lovely fisherman.
This is the view from the factory where the Chinese and Japanese worked extracting all the gold they could find. They worked in tunnels as well and were searched before they exited to make sure no one stole any gold for themselves. They even searched inside the tunnel to see if anyone hid any in secret hiding spaces.
The pollution was also deadly because of the sulfuric acid fumes used to extract metals so they built all these tunnels that lay in the ridges of the mountain as a ventilation system leading to the top and over the peak where no one lived before to release such exhaust. These tunnels lead us to the gorgeous city of Jiufen!
Although the sign points to the right, the touristy destination lies to the left. Jiufen is the beautiful city where the setting for the anime movie, 千と千尋の神隠し, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi in Japanese, or “Spirited Away” in English was inspired.
Here is Haku and “No-Face” in front of the tea house that is in the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, please watch it! It may be a little creepy but I really enjoyed it. It’s about a girl named Chihiro who is traveling with her parents who come across this seemingly abandoned amusement park where mysterious, supernatural creatures come to escape.
The entire city is in the mountains so no matter where you live, you get a beautiful view…
All of the miners who worked at the factory lived here and still do as do their families.
Last stop, Chiufen: Chiufen is a beautiful little town that is lined with these lantern making businesses and souvenir shops since this activity has become so popular amongst tourists. Visitors from all over the world come just to release their hopes and dreams and wishes that are painted on thin tissue paper into the air.
I got to participate in this special ceremony where you make your own life-size lantern and paint your wishes (or pictures if you’d like) on each side of your lantern!
After following specific instructions on how to construct your wish vehicle, you stand on the train track as you release your wishes toward the sky and hope they don’t burn into thin air (like some lanterns did *sad face).
This all day tour is available on TripAdvisor for 100.00 USD and is highly recommended. My tour guide, Ting, was very friendly and informative and shared a lot of history behind each destination we passed by. Her English was impressive and I would do it again! See you all again next week for another post about Taipei!
A hui hou ❤