Jiu Fen and Shi Fen are very popular tourist destinations in Taipei, especially as a Day Tour with tour groups.
Taiwan is one of the countries which is known for her accessible transportation system. It can bring you to almost everywhere, in your wildest imagination, at a very affordable price.
Flying to Taiwan as Singaporeans might be pretty affordable. However, it won’t be, if we have limited number of days in Taiwan and a tight budget. There are a lot of private cars hires to tourist destinations in Taiwan, however, it might not be pocket-friendly, or solo-traveler friendly.
Thus, here is a quick guide for you, if you are trying out a timetable, to visit popular spots, 九份 (Jiu fen) and 十分 (Shi fen) within a day. All itinerary will start from Taipei (台北) Train Station 。
You may refer to the bottom, for some train timings, for some flexibility while traveling.
Recommended Timetable (台北 >九份> 十分> 台北）
This is a preferred route if you would like to release sky lanterns when the sun isn’t as glaring, and it looks pretty on images, as the sun is setting. It is also not as warm to walk to Shifen Waterfalls, as compared to the afternoon sun, making the trip bearable.
Other Transportation Options
Ruifang > Jiufen: You can actually cab from Ruifang to Jiufen to save time, which cost around 200 NTD one way, this allows you to save time from waiting for the bus to getting to Jiufen straight.
Shifen > Shifen waterfalls: There is also cab options for you, which drivers charge a flat fee of around 100 NTD one way. You can also rent motorbike, from one of the shops at Shifen station.
Jiu Fen (九份) is located in a mountainous area in Rui Fang, Taiwan. The name was literally translated as “9 portions”, as there were only 9 families staying at that area dated as far back during the Qing Dynasty. Thus, the village will request for “9 portions”, whenever there are shipments to the area from town.
The earliest existence of the town was from the production of gold, dating to 1430, and many discoveries by the early inhabitants such as Japanese and Dutch. In the late 1800s, workers found flakes of gold during the construction of the railway, resulting in 九份 to produce multiple kilograms of gold within a day.
The town reached its peak during the Japanese era, after the gold rush which quickened Jiu Fen’s development. Thus, many features of Jiu Fen will reflect the era when Taiwan was under Japan’s colonization, with many Japanese inns still in operation today. However, as gold mining activities declined after World War II followed by the closure of the mine, Jiu Fen quickly lost her popularity and was mostly forgotten.
Jiu Fen became popular in the 1990s, due to the film “A City of Sadness” by Hou Hsiao-hsien, talking about a taboo subject in Taiwan, the February 28 Incident. This caused a tourist boom, which caused Jiu Fen to be a tourist attraction, with retro-Chinese styled cafes and shops were then built. Jiu Fen became even more popular in the 2000s due to how similar it is to the anime movie “Spirited Away”, attracting tourists from Japan.
Today, Jiu Fen is a very well known tourist attraction, where tourists will stop by from Taipei during their visit to Taiwan.
Train timings from Taipei to Ruifang Station
Train timings from Ruifang to Pingxi Station (NT$30)
Train timings from Pingxi to Shifen Station (NT$15)
Train timings from Shifen to Pingxi Station (NT$15)
Train timings from Ruifang to Taipei Station
For more information and updated train timings, please visit Taiwan Railway Administration.