Jiufen Old Street

Wednesday I decided to surprise mom a bit and give her a list of several day trips to choose between...it only took her like 4 years to decide, but eventually she settled on Jiufen Old street, east of Taipei. We headed up to a rainy Taipei Tuesday after school let out and after many failed dinner attempts and crazy angry stomachs...we ended up with a late night McDonalds night for dinner {sorry mom!} We made it a tad more authentic by throwing in a side of green tea/red bean ice cream for desert {I was a fan, mom...not so much!} After dinner we headed back to our luxury hostel [seriously if you're coming to Taipei check this place out!].

Wednesday morning we grabbed a non-traditional Taiwanese breakfast {who am I to deny my mom her new found love of sticky bun dumplings for breakfast?!?!} and hopped on a nearby bus for the nearly hour long drive to Jiufen. One quick nap later, and we were there! :P  [Fun Fact: Jiufen translates to 9 pieces in Chinese as there were 9 families that originally lived in this town]

Climbing off the bus we immediately began soaking in the views. Jiufen is situated part way up a mountain, thus allowing you both breathtaking views of the villages below and the mountains that continue upwards. Win, win in my book! It didn't take us long to make our way to the Old Street in town and quickly get pulled into the steady stream of tourists that run up and down both side of this Japanese-era street. We made quick work of locating several food stands and throughout the day sampled fish balls, red bean "pancakes", taro ice cream rolls, teas, and braised pork {our stomachs were not wanting today!}

We leisurely spent the afternoon checking out the street stands, absorbing the amazing views, munching on snacks, and people watching to our hearts content. Mid afternoon we ventured to the bus stop and grabbed a bus headed to our next attraction that we thought was just over a mile away. Well, a mile on flat, straight Ohio roads and a mile through the windy, mountain roads are 2 very different things...long story short, I'm glad in our 20 minute drive that everyone was able to keep their lunches down!

Finally, we arrived at the Golden Waterfall in Jiufen. Although, sadly!, there is no real gold in this waterfall, the water takes on a golden color due to the amount of heavy metals that are found in its riverbed. No matter the reason though, the falls are beautiful! We hung out at the falls for a bit before we realized there was only one more bus back to civilization the Old Street. We bought some last minute trinkets and snacks before we hopped on one more bus headed towards Taipei and ultimately my house. Today may have been our last outing together while my mom was here, but we had a blast!

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