Gold City of Taiwan

Sorry for my bit of emotional outburst in my last post. I don’t usually do that and I’m sorry if I’ve worried anyone. I’m fine and will continue to be positive while I navigate myself in this game of life.

This little town of Jiufen in Taiwan would be total obscured to the whole if not because at some point in its history, gold was found.

Like the gold rush of San Francisco and Shanghai, business boomed and people from everywhere wanted a share of the gold. During that time, Jiufen was nicknamed little Shanghai as it was a symbol for luxury and a place catered to the rich. The Japanese staked their share in the gold during their occupation in Taiwan.

We took a little trip to the Jinguashi mines, a gold ecological park, to learn more. Since it was Visit Taiwan promotional year in 2009, our entrance was free with every receipt we produced.

There was quite a bit to look around and a lot of information about gold mining methods as well as a look into the old Japanese houses that were preserved from those times.

Not everything in this ex-mine is free though. Certain attractions like visiting the gold tunnel was additional cost. But since we were there we thought we’ll go view it too.

After buying the tickets to get into the preserved actual gold mine, we were given some paper shields and hard top construction caps!

Even my sis’s bunny had a cap!

In we go… all looking like gold prospectors especially mum!

The had some dummy figures in the tunnel showing you work that the miners would have done to mine the gold.  Using explosives, checking rocks for streaks of gold or carting out rock with gold.

Next place we headed to after coming out from the tunnel was the gold mining museum. The museum has a lot of information and history but their most compelling exhibition is on the top floor!

Here’s the main draw for the tourist! The world’s largest man made gold bar! It weighs 220 kg and is .999 pure gold! You can’t take it home but you can touch it! And on the monitor in front of it, you can see it’s value in today’s current gold market. They had guards and security cameras guarding this lump of a fortune.

We took a little time to explore the parks and admire Mount Ji Long away from the maddening crowds.

There were a few cute dogs around as well. Pets of the store owners in that area.

And for those who asked about my boots. Here’s a close up picture. I got them in Taiwan at Wu Fen Pu.

And lastly to share a shot of my parents I took when they weren’t looking. Isn’t it sweet?

Although Jiufen is a little too touristy for my tastes, I do feel that they have a lot to offer nature lovers like me if only I had the right company and the time to spare. The next time I head to Taiwan, I’ll book a night in one of the bed and breakfast in Jiufen and maybe spend a day doing the trails up Mount Ji Long or into the non touristy gold mining areas.


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