Taiwan

Spirited Away in Jiufen

Some people say this place inspired the Miyazaki animated film Spirited Away. Although this isn’t a verified fact with all the steps, food, lanterns, and the Grand Teahouse which looks like Yubaba’s bathhouse, I’m starting to feel like Chichiro. Or maybe her parents who wanted to eat every single thing they could find.

When we got off the bus we were greeted by this magnificent view. It was a great way to start things off.

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I love stamps! Whenever I find them I just have to get one. Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Boo! Not much ink left on the pad. Too bad, there were so many stamps in that souvenir shop. 😦

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Chaos greets you as you enter this small alley. The sight of food does as well and it was more than enough to draw me in.

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When you go to Jiufen and you see a tunnel entrance like this, you have to go inside!Image may contain: indoor

 

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For a video of the short walk in and out of the tunnel, click this.

I felt like a little child emerging into a magical new world, when in fact I was just led to another part of Jiufen. Still, it was a bit like magic.

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I can understand why people think this is the inspiration for Spirited Away. If you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you do. It’s one of my favorites.

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There’s just so much to see in Jiufen. Everywhere you turn, you’ll be tempted to go closer and look on. That’s why the snaking cues of people move quite slow, especially on weekends.

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So much work put into every single calligraphy brush!

All the food stalls slow you down too. It had that effect on us. Something catches your attention, you investigate what it is, and sometimes even end up buying.

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These were really good!
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This shaved ice place also sells warm desserts. Look at those sweet potato and taro balls waiting to be served!
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Sweet potato and taro balls, barley, and silken tofu in warm syrup

 

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These look like fish balls waiting to be dunked into broth
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Stuffed tofu

 

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Mochi!
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Grilled king oysters. We had these when we had Dinner at Raohe Night Market.

 

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I want to try these when I go back.

 

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You gotta have milk tea!

 

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Escargot, anyone?

One of the scents which will always remember me of Taipei is the smell of tea eggs. They’re everywhere!

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We were lured into this eatery which had photos of its female owner plastered everywhere. Some of the people who were with her in the pictures looked like celebrities in our opinion. We got to verify that with our Taiwanese friends the next day.

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I enjoyed the broth of this beef noodle soup very much. I could get the taste of spring onions and what looked like cabbage together with the rich beefy flavor.

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Jiufen is just an hour-long bus ride from Taipei and if you have the time, this former gold mining town is worth a visit. Magnificent views, great food, and fun shopping all rolled into one will be best enjoyed if you bring with you an insatiable appetite for all things edible and beautiful.

 

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