Time for Taiwan 2015-2016, Episode 25: Jiufen and Jinguashi2015-2016年「台灣好好玩」第二十五集： 九份金瓜石
Michella's notes 米雪拉的筆記：
Gold Museum 黃金博物館 http://superspace.moc.gov.tw/en/local_culture_page.asp?rid=3
When European explorers came to Taiwan about 500-600 years ago and saw indigenous people here wearing gold jewelry, they called this the “Treasure Island of the East.” Today we’re in Jinguashi, New Taipei City.
I'm Michella. I grew up in the Silicon Valley and was a journalist in Taiwan for ten years. I like to try new things, play with new toys, and visit old places in a new way. I’m going to show you around the Taiwan that I know. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
To get to Jinguashi, you can take the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Golden Fulong line, which starts in Ruifang and stops at several fantastic places near the northeastern coast of Taiwan. Tickets are sold on the bus.
“Jinguashi” means “pumpkin rock,” and there was a pumpkin shaped rock up there once upon a time until gold in it was found and the pumpkin was pretty literally carved up and taken apart. This is was an old gold mine, now the Gold Museum.
This solid chunk of gold is about 220.3 kg and it’s worth 8 million US dollars today.
So why didn’t European explorers stay and dig for gold so many hundreds of years ago? Because no one could find where it was buried.
Then sometime closer to the 20th century when railroad construction brought workers into the area, the workers would eat their lunch and wash their lunch boxes in the river. And they found specks of gold. Searching upstream, they found that there was gold in these mountains.
The gold rush brought a lot of people to this region of the island, but eventually the mines were exhausted and closed in the 1980’s.
This is Jiufen, the town next to Jinguashi. It was also a mining town, and later the inspiration of many, many movies. It’s a really romantic kind of place because of the lanterns, the view, the fog, the sea, the rain… There are lots of tasty snacks here, too.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, also known for the gold rush at one point, but there isn’t a museum as interactive, as memorable and as educational as this one. This is my second here and I still find it interesting. You should come!
The gold museum is really an interesting place to visit, from the exhibits to the mine shafts and the surroundings - you can even visit the old Japanese dormitories where some of the workers lived. I think there are some hiking trails nearby as well.
Jinguashi and Jiufen are not far from Taipei, but a very nice change of scenery. I highly recommend it. If you go to Jiufen, I recommend going early in the morning, before the shops open, because any later, the places will be absolutely packed with tourists.
Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Golden Fulong Line 台灣好行黃金福隆線 http://www.gold-fulong.com.tw/en/default.aspx