We woke up Sunday morning and decided to go to Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park, located up in the mountains north of Taipei (but still part of Taipei county).
The park is two bus rides, a jaunt on the subway and one train trip away from our front door. And we literally never waited more than five minutes for any of those things. I could sing the praises of Taiwanese mass transit for eternity. It's amazing.
When Taiwan was a colony, the Japanese operated a gold mine at Jinguashi. The picture above is me standing outside a renovated mining tunnel, complete with wax-figure miners.
|Japanese-style chalet built for visiting crown prince|
|Japanese propaganda photo of prisoners|
Prisoners were made to mine copper in abysmal conditions. James and I left the gold park and tromped down to Jinguashi to see the POW memorial. Unfortunately, I dropped my camera before we got there and the memory card popped out. Since it was raining and the card got wet, I couldn't take any more pictures (thankfully, there was no damage to my camera or the card).
After the Gold Park, we took another bus (which we only had to wait five minutes for) down the mountain a ways to Jiufen, which is a touristy olde town type of place - crowded little streets without cars, lots of teahouses and gift shops.
James and I were starving by this time, but we couldn't seem to find a dining option that wasn't either fried snack food or pricey teahouse fare. So finally we stumbled into a little restaurant selling translucent, gelatinous meat pockets. That's right - I ate a clear, jello-like pocket filled with red mystery meat. I wish I could've taken a picture, because these things looked just like something a mad scientist and/or alien mother would incubate in some dank, secret laboratory. And they sold them in four-packs to take home!
You'll just have to trust me, it was disgusting.
But Jiufen and Jinguashi on the whole was a great day trip!