Usually combined in the same day trip as Yehliu is the village of Jiufen (or ‘Chiufen’). Nestled at the foot of a green sugar-loaf mountain, its higgledy-piggledy cluster of buildings date mostly from the late-Qing era and Japanese occupation, when it formed the focus of a gold rush.
Retro-style Chinese cafés have sprung up in the picturesque old streets, which began attracting tourists after they were used as a location in the hit 1989 movie, A City of Sadness, about Taiwan’s infamous ‘White Terror’ period. The best are clustered along Jishan Street, where local specialities include fragrant roasted wild mushrooms and fish ball soup.
Afterwards, settle into one of the wooden booths at the Jiufen Teahouse, which occupies the former headquarters of the town’s gold mining company, and is famous for its speciality local teas, and delicious pineapple cake.
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