Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away

Monday, October 22, 2018

Taipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNY
If you've already seen my Taiwan post, you'll know that Jiufen was one of the main reasons why the boyfriend and I decided to stay in Taipei. Upon making the final decisions for this trip, we decided last minute to spend a night and full day in Jiufen despite knowing that most people generally do a day trip here, instead.

We got there at around 5 pm even though we left Taipei around 1:30 pm or so because our driver got lost taking us to the closest drop off point to our hotel. Tip: make sure you find the best route for your driver ahead of time before going since they will generally just drop you off by the bus station for Old Jiufen Street. For those who've seen snippets of our trip there via Instagram, the place we decided to stay at was called 'The Ore Inn Jiufen.' Since we had booked this hotel at last minute, most of the rooms were sold out. Because of that, we ended up getting a quadruple room that had mountainside views and a bathtub (which was super nice to sip bubble tea in, haha).

After throwing all our things down in our hotel room, we immediately went out and got a spot at Ai-Mei teahouse on the terrace for the best view of the sunset. The sky turned purple and pink and it was so gorgeous. We were super lucky since it was typhooning just the day before and even early that morning.

It probably wasn't a good idea to have tea and sweets on an empty stomach since we didn't get to eat anything for lunch. But that gave us the best appetite to try a lot of the food in Jiufen Old Street that night. On the walk back to our hotel, we stopped at pretty much any vendors that were still open and bought everything to go to have dinner back at the hotel. It was this moment that I realized we made such a good decision to stay while everyone else was rushing to get on the last bus back to the city.

Taipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNY
Wearing Pomelo dress, Common Project sneakers, and Proenza Schouler PS11 Mini with a Fendi bag bug.
The next morning was probably one of the highlights of my trip. We woke up to catch the sunrise, and although I'm not an early riser, it was quite easy to get up since our hotel's window was massive. The air was crisp and the town was really quiet. Something about Jiufen was ten times more charming to me in its early hours rather than its lively night scene that so many of us are reminded of from the famous 'Spirited Away.' Maybe it's the hoards of tourist there at night that really ruined it for me. The roads were small and there were so many people that we were literally moving one step at a time. If you're planning on visiting Jiufen, I definitely recommend just finding a quiet teahouse with a good view to perch yourself there for a good hour or two and really try and enjoy the quaintness of being in a place that feels worlds away.

Shops along Jiufen's Old Street doesn't open until 10 am, and despite that, the place was super characteristic. The second photo that the boyfriend snapped of me ended up looking like a screengrab from the part where Chihiro lost her parents because they turned into pigs from obsessively eating at the street stalls.

Taipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNY
Taipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, Ai Mei tea house, Jiufen Teahouse / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNY

Taipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNY
Taipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNYTaipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNY
Taipei Travels, Jiufen, Jiufen Old Street, Spirited Away In Real Life, Jiufen Photos, Photos that will make you want to visit Jiufen right away, Taiwan's Jiufen, / Jiufen, Taiwan / A Real Life Spirited Away / FOREVERVANNY
Aside from being able to really get to know Jiufen since no one was around, we were also able to stumble upon cute teashops that had the cutest ceramics and chat with some locals (something that would probably be impossible during the daytime). On one of the strange alleys that we decided to climb through, we found a photographer's studio who was happy to see us and share some of the photos that he has been taking across Asia. He also laughed at us since he was prideful about shooting with only film and developing everything himself-- seeing that the boyfriend and I both had digital cameras.

By 10/11am, the tourists began to show up and shops started opening. We grabbed a quick bite and some taro buns to go and looked for quiet shelter back at the hotel before checking out. I'm glad we ended up staying the night and avoided daytime there since even on the way down around noon, we saw all the traffic jams that took place for those that were on their way there.

Honestly, I'm no expert on traveling, but I do think that the best way to experience a place is to really give it time. If there's a place that you've been wanting to visit, don't just show up for the photo opp, but make a little time to actually stay and allow it to grow on you. And of course, I couldn't advise this anymore for a place like Jiufen.