Must See Taiwan – Jiufen 九份

JiuFen (Jeoufen), Taiwan (台灣九份) is a popular destination about an hour east of Taipei.  It’s popular with tourists and locals alike, but has a certain charm to it that can’t be missed.

I recently visited Jiufen for an evening and had a great time wandering around.  I wasn’t planning on writing a full blog post about it, but I left with some fun photos that I thought I might share…

Jeoufen Taiwan Old Street at Night

Jioufen Old Street, as seen at night after the tourists have left.

Jiufen was a sleepy fishing village until the early 1900’s when gold was discovered in its hills.  It reached its peak of mining activity during the Japanese occupation around the time of WWII and actually had captured Allied soldiers working its mines.  Influenced by the Japanese, many tea houses and inns sprang up and flourished in the town until the closure of the mines in the early 70’s.

Jiufen received a new wave of attention after a few popular movies were filmed there in the early 1990’s.  The tea houses were then restored and tourism has reinvigorated the local economy with hundreds of tourist shops, handicrafts, and artists’ studios.

Perched on a mountain side high above a beautiful stretch of Taiwan’s east coast, Jiufen is a great place to take an overnight trip from Taipei, and really shouldn’t be missed by tourists or expats alike!  (Again, sorry for the lack of in-depth reporting and photographing, but I was really just there to relax!)

A scenic of Jiufen, Taiwan and its tea houses.

Old Japanese tea houses line the hill side in Jiufen, Taiwan

selling sausages in Jeoufen, Taiwan

One of the famous vendors dresses uniquely as she sells sausages in Jeoufen, Taiwan.

JiuFen, Taiwan 001

A view of the Jiufen Old Street 九份老街.

a couple sits at the bottom of a narrow set of stairs

Taking a break from Jeoufen's Old Street Market in Jiufen, Taiwan.

After all the shops closed, I walked around with a 50mm to shoot a few fun photos.  I hope you enjoy:

Jeoufen Old Street, at night.

Jioufen Old Street, as seen at night after the tourists have left.

Chinese LAnterns and Shadows

A couple looks at one of the Japanese tea houses still open after decades in Jiufen, Taiwan.

Jeoufen tea houses at night

After dark, a couple strolls through Jioufen, in Rueifang Township, Taiwan.

Shadowy night scene

Jioufen Old Street, as seen at night after the tourists have left.

Jiufen, Taiwan night scene

JiuFen Old Street, just before the shops close, in Rueifang Township, Taiwan.

For travel information to Jiufen, check out Taiwan Adventures Online Travel Guide.


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Categories: Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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44 thoughts on “Must See Taiwan – Jiufen 九份

  1. first shot is sweeeeeeeeet. the steel rollup doors with the light spilling onto them, the red lanterns and the silhouettes….gorgeous. The sausage lady shot is a trip, totally unexpected. keep it up

  2. Great pics Neil! Probably the best capture of the Jiufen sausage lady I’ve ever seen!

  3. Stunning Photos Neil. Light, shadows and silhouettes well captured.

  4. dennis

    beautiful pictures indeed. definitely a place i’d like to visit.

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  6. Glad to see what Jioufen looks like after the stores are close and tourists have left! It gives a totally different feeling, especially through your lenses~~

  7. Thank you for sharing these Neil. Did you spend the night?

    How’d you get there; car, bike, bus, other?

    • Yes, we spent the night right in the middle of the old street (at a hotel, not actually on the street, he-he). I forget the name of it, but it wasn’t that great and I probably wouldn’t recommend it. We drove a car, but I’ve driven my small motorcycle there many times from Taipei, and it can easily be done as a day trip. There are also buses that run from Keelung and (I think) Taipei, but I haven’t researched them yet.

  8. Beautiful, well done.

  9. Lin

    wow beautiful photos! i have yet to visit Jiufen during evening time, but next time i will!

  10. These are lovely photos! I’ve yet to visit Taiwan despite having family there. Your posts about Taiwan are so informative that I feel I’m at least more educated about the country.

    • Thanks. If you ever make it here, drop me a line and I’ll give you some advice, if you’d like!

  11. Cool pics. Been in Jiufen few weeks ago and also made nice photos. Only the fog prevented me from seeing the sea, so I need to revisit :)

  12. Haz

    Awesome shots.

    I plan on heading over there soon.. do you know what time the buses from jiefun to either taipei or keelung finish at night?

    • I’m pretty sure that they run late. The whole market closes at 8, and I’m sure they run for a few hours after that. I just did a quick search for you and came up with this on wiki. I’m not sure if it’s current or not, but it’s a start.

  13. Have you given any thought to photoshopping the kid in Pic #4? :D

    • Hahaha…. yes, I did. But on closer inspection, you can see that he has two fingers up and he’s just rubbing his nose! (Might not be able to see that on these web-sized photos though.)

  14. Love your night shots. They look like scenes from a movie.

  15. Joshua

    I just came across this blog while looking at other Taiwan blogs. Great stuff – I’ll be watching this for some ideas as I’m a newbie with photography… I’ll be bringing my Nikon D5000 along when I arrive in August for the next year.

    By the looks of these, I’ll be sure to visit Jiufen – my girlfriend’s descriptions of her visit already have me excited :)

    • Joshua

      …I’m not sure why, but WordPress didn’t link to my blog. It’s found at

      You can delete this comment if it in fact DID link, but nothing is showing up.

      • Thanks Joshua. WordPress is a bit finicky with links sometimes…

        Come on out to one of the photo walks that Craig Ferguson hosts, or check into the Taiwan Photo Club on Flickr. There’s definitely a foreigner photo community here that you can be a part of. I hope you like it here! Let me know if you need any help after your move!


  16. I’ve never been to taiwan but I feel that it is such a fun and bright city to be in, especially at night. I feel that it’s almost like Vegas, it’s so lively and the culture is unique.

  17. Nice pictures you got there! The images are quite good and it seems that you’re a pro on taking pictures. Lovely pictures! Looking forward to go to Taiwan also.. Thanks for the posts!

  18. Tessa

    I want to go here! I’ve looking for areas to go to in Taiwan, it is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing! Truly beautiful pictures!

  19. Deanie Yap


    I am visiting Taipei next year during Chinese New Year (2/2/11 to 6/2/11). I would like to visit Jiufen during my short stay. Do you think it is a good idea to visit Jiufen during CNY?

    • Hi Deanie, I don’t think it will be a big problem. The only frustration you might face is big crowds. If you want to spend the night there, you should look into hotel reservations now. Have fun!

  20. Patsy

    Hey great pictures!
    when you use a 50mm, do you have to use the tripod as well to capture the night photos?

    also, am intending to cover jiufen in a day trip, that is possible right?
    just thinking whether i should spend first half of day or 2nd half of day there.. your hill side picture is swaying me towards the night!

    • Thanks Patsy,
      I don’t usually need a tripod at night with my 50mm because it’s a fast one (f/1.4). My D700 is also good at night images, but still, I often use a tripod just to be sure to keep things sharp. (I didn’t use a tripod for any of the ones above)
      Most of the shops in Jiufen close at 8:00, even on weekends. It is a nice place in the evening, so maybe a “2nd half of the day trip” would be a good idea.
      Have fun!

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  22. kylie

    love your shots :) esp the first and second one :)
    did you use a tripod for your night shots?

    • Thank you! I often use a tripod for night shots, but all of these night time ones were shot hand held with a 50mm f/1.4.

  23. Neil, I will be going to Taiwan next year end Feb till early Mac. I need some tips of where is worth going as me and my friends are totally blur.

    its a 7d6n trip.

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  25. aLicesee

    Thank you for sharing Neil, Im planning a trip to Taipei sometime in February and thought of staying a night in Jiufen, do u know any hotel nearby or any hotel inside Jiufen itself.

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  27. Chris Dunn

    Hi Neil — Could you tell me where you stood (and how you got there) to take the second photo in your post? I’m traveling to Taiwan next month and have been desperately searching how to get this iconic angle. Thanks in advance!

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