Complete Guide To Staying Overnight in Jiufen – What I Wish I Knew Before
Jiufen is definitely a must day trip when visiting Taipei. While a lot of tourists visit Jiufen for a day tour, spending the night will definitely get you a unique glimpse into this beautiful town that others often miss out on. Here’s my guide for staying overnight in Jiufen and what I wish I knew before!
Don’t forget to check out these Taipei related articles as well:
Once an old village on the mountains, Jiufen experienced a boom after a gold rush led more and more people to the area. During that time, workers from the mountains would come down to the village to purchase food and other necessities. Since this journey would usually take up to 3 days to complete, the people would buy 9 portions of everything; 9 portions of meat, 9 portions of vegetables, 9 portions of salt, etc. Eventually, the place became known as “the town of 9 portions” or 九份 Jiufen.
How To Get To Jiufen
Getting to Jiufen is relatively easy from Taipei and you have several options. Because of the location of my hotel in Taipei, the most convenient way for me was to take a bus to Jiufen. You can take bus 1062 directly into Jiufen and the ride only takes about 50 minutes.
Another option is to take the train from Taipei Train Station to “Rui Fen Train Station” and then change to a bus from there. This option can get you to Jiufen in 30 minutes. So, if you stay close to the train station, you might want to choose this option.
Best Places To See in Jiufen
Jiufen is definitely one of those places you want to explore freely and without much of a planned out route. Especially when you are staying overnight in Jiufen, you’ll have a lot of time to see it all. It’s all about wandering through the little alleyways and taking in the place in its entirety. Nevertheless, there are still a couple of things you should definitely check out.
A Mei Tea House
This place is probably the number one attraction in Jiufen: The Spirited Away Tea House! A Mei tea house is said to be the inspiration for the Bathhouse in the famous animated movie Spirited Away. People line up on the stairway across to take photos but you should also definitely get in and order their amazing tea set. It’s delicious and a true experience! You can also refill your tea multiple times so it’s easy to spend several hours here.
Tip: A Mei tea house is extremely popular and many don’t get a table! Skip the line and get fast-track entry to A Mei Teahouse by booking in advance.
Most people only take a shot of the roof of this temple with the ocean and hills in the background. You can get this view right next to the bus stop in the Old Town across from the 7-Eleven. However, I also recommend going in. It’s a very unique temple with seemingly local gods and offerings and lots of color. I was impressed.
Shuqi Road Stairway
This stairway is basically the heart of Jiufen and will get you those iconic lantern shots. Parallel to Shuqi Road are a variety of alleyways, each featuring shops and restaurants. A-Mei Teahouse is also located along the stairway. At the top of the stairway lies a cute little cat themed shop with an entire room dedicated to lucky cats. My personal highlight when I was staying overnight in Jiufen.
Try the Street Food!
Local Taiwanese and other Asian tourists come to Jiufen for the food! Since there is so much to try, you can get to sample all the good stuff when staying overnight in Jiufen and you definitely won’t leave hungry. What you absolutely should try includes:
- Sweet tapioca and sweet-potato ball soup
- Almond powder tea
- Beef noodles
- Traditional fish balls
- Peanut ice cream roll
Where to Sleep when Staying Overnight in Jiufen
While most people don’t stay overnight in Jiufen, I decided to give it a go and do it anyway – and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a great hotel for staying overnight in Jiufen, I got you covered. I chose The Ore Inn located literally a 5-minute walk from the Old Street.
Rooms are equipped with air-conditioner, TV and clothes rack. The private bathroom has shower facilities, free toiletries and hairdryer. Some rooms have a lounge area for guests to relax after a busy day.
What I Wish I Knew Before
- Stores close relatively early. Most shops in Jiufen already close around 7 PM while most restaurants stay open a little longer than that. That being said, Jiufen is relatively quiet in the evenings.
- Buses back to Taipei are not reliable. I took an Uber back to Taipei for around $20 USD after waiting for the bus to arrive.
- ATMs “close” in the evening. International cards won’t work at the ATMs on the Old Street as we have bitterly found out. The only ATMs that worked after dark were the main ones at the convenience stores near the bus stop.
- Most tour groups arrive in the late afternoon/early evening. We arrived in Jiufen a little after lunchtime and there were barely people there. The later it got, more and more tourists appeared to get a glimpse of Jiufen’s romantic lanterns lit in the evening.
- It rains – A LOT. I overheard a local tour guide say that it rains 80% out of the time in Jiufen. When staying overnight in Jiufen, be sure to bring a rain jacket and suitable shoes. Rain capes are also available for cheap all over the Old Town. Jiufen also tends to be a few degrees colder than Taipei because it’s higher up in the mountains.