Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chiufen - An Old Mining Town

After our 5-day bus tour around the island concluded, we chose an afternoon tour to Chiufen on our last full day in Taiwan. My husband randomly picked a tour from the brochure to visit this small town by the coastal hills. We have never heard of this place, but we were not disappointed of what we discovered.

This once abandoned mining town is now thriving especially on the weekends where visitors from all over come here to enjoy the food and atmosphere.
The center of activity is this historical narrow pedestrian street that stretches endlessly for blocks. Vendors on both sides were busy hawking their merchandise as customers pushed and squeezed through.
This is not a fun place if you do not like crowds although I have seen pictures of it almost deserted posted by blogger Eastcoastlife here.

We arrived close to noon on a very cold day so food vendors were busy preparing for lunch.

There were a number of peanut vendors selling their product by weight.

Then there were other vendors who sold a dessert made up of peanut brittle and ice cream folded into what looks like a rice paper wrap and topped off with cilantro.
People were buying these to eat like it was summertime, but I was already too cold to try one.

There were grilled giant mushrooms.


This vendor sold fresh off-the-grill Sponge Bob character sweets. Yes, I could not resist and bought a set to snack on.

Some of the vendors did not look happy when visitors were taking pictures of their shop unlike this guy.

There were also a number of tiny sit-down restaurants if you do not want to eat while walking around.

My one pet-peeve was there were not enough dumpsters around to throw away used plates and cups. The few that were around were stacked with garbage already so waste was lined up on stairways, ledges, and wherever convenient.
This brave kitty tries to get to the last bits of food left on the ledge. I was nervous he might fall over.

Note: This concludes my trip report on Taiwan which spanned for a few months. I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did. Thank you for reading!

- Karen


rainfield61 said...

I have completed reading all about Taiwan from you.

Thank you for sharing.

Mandy said...

I certainly enjoyed your trip around Taiwan and you've convinced me to visit now (although I've been interested for a while)!

I love your first photo here -what a lovely vista. I think it is great that this town came back from the brink of being a ghost town. I looked at ECL's photos too and I agree - I would prefer it less busy! I don't like a lack of dumpsters either!

eastcoastlife said...

I love Taiwan and do not have enough of it. I am going again. :)

There is more to Jiufen than that food street. There are tea and fruit plantations up in the mountains. I am planning to stay in this little town for a night just to see the stars from uphill.

There is a wide variety of snacks here, I tried almost all of them. :D

FilipBlog said...

Interesting people, I would certainly buy peanuts.


betchai said...

that kitty looks like having a grand time finishing the food, I guess, it did not know much about the danger, the view from there is very beautiful. i love grilled giant mushroom.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, I could go there for the food!!

lina said...

I love grilled mushrooms!

And I want to get my hands on those cute spongebob characters bun. Red bean, I presume?

Anonymous said...

A fantastic pictorial report of your visit, great job!

Jenny Woolf said...

Great record of your visit. I love the cat. I don't usually worry about them falling off, they seem to have such an amazing sense of balance.

LifeRamblings said...

i enjoy your posts from Taiwan. thanks for sharing your wonderful journey. looks like the cat is enjoying its feast and those sponge bob treats are just too adorable to eat.

AVCr8teur said...

Thanks everyone for commenting. It is good to know you enjoyed the tour. Ever since I started blogging, I purposely look for photos that I think readers might be interested in seeing.

Ecl Tan: I agree with you. Too bad I don't live closer and visit more often like you can. I will look forward to your future posts.

Filip: You would have no problems finding them.

Betchai: The kitty was high on a cliff and it is a long way down on the other side. I guess I should have tried the giant mushrooms too since everyone else likes them.

Lina: The Sponge Bobs have no filling and just plain, but I bet they would taste even better with red bean. Good idea!

Jenny Woolf: You are probably right, the kitties do have 9 lives.

LifeRamblings: The Sponge Bobs are cute and they taste good nice and warm. :) said...

The place not only looks like a lot of fun, but absolutely delicious as well. The view must have been spectacular.