If you find yourself visiting Taipei, chances are you will consider a day trip to Jiufen. The mountainous town in northeast Taiwan is one of the most popular day trips from Taipei and for good reason. For starters, it is incredibly picturesque with narrow alleyways, teahouses and old world charm. Secondly, there’s an incredible choice of Taiwanese food and local delicacies (plus some of the best bubble tea you will find in the country!)
Getting to Jiufen from Taipei
The easiest way to visit Jiufen is by bus. While trains are also on offer, it is quicker, easier and cheaper to hop on a bus in Taipei that will take you directly to the old town of Jiufen. The travel time from Taipei to Jiufen is around 60-90 minutes depending on traffic. The price of the bus is only a few dollars, making it a cheap day trip to take on your own (though there are many companies offering day trips if you prefer to go with a guide).
Which bus should you take?
Take bus number 965 from Taipei to Jiufen, which operates between Banqiao and Jinguashi. Buses run every 30-40 minutes during peak times, and every 40-60 minutes off-peak. The best time of day to visit is outside of peak traffic times in Taipei, as it took as noticeably longer to return to Taipei when returning after sunset from Jiufen.
What to do in Jiufen
Jiufen is commonly regarded as the foodie capital of Taiwan. It’s also here in Jiufen where I had the best bubble tea of the trip, so be sure to arrive hungry and ready to try the local delicacies!
If you enjoy sweets, there are an abundance on offer in Jiufen. This suited me well being a vegetarian, as I had previously missed out on a number of local food offerings – but alas, Jiufen didn’t disappoint! Some of the best sweet delicacies on offer in Jiufen are:
- Brown sugar bubble tea
- Peanut ice cream rolls
- Taro ball soup
Another highlight for foodies visiting Jiufen is the traditional teahouses. These tea houses date back to Japanese rule and feel like a step back in time. Two of the best that I can recommend are A-MEI Teahouse and JiouFen TeaHouse.