KeeLung X JiuFen X Taiwan North Coast Trip Summary:
- Self ride & drive.
- Staying location: KeeLung City 基隆市.
- Ride Starting Location: near RuiFang train station 瑞芳車站
- Ride Ending Location: FuLong Visitor Center 福隆遊客中心
- Bike Length: ~ 66 km. Elevation gain: ~ 800 m.
- Route Highlights:
I’ve always wanted to bike at Taiwan north coast, seeing its great mountain-by-the-shore scenery. Thus we planned the trip during the Dragon Boat Holidays. I expected the trip to be rainy, so this time I merely planned for a shorter route just for fun (sort of).
Night Before: KeeLung
We planned our stay the night before at KeeLung, a Taiwan north coast harbor city. A former busy harbor, now KeeLung looked a bit old and outback.
A few military ships.
The buildings looked old.
At night we went to the famous KeeLung temple front old street (廟口老街), a street section in front of a temple that was full of street food at two sides.
Busy old street entrance.
The old street was easy recognized by these yellow lanterns.
The street vendors each had a number, so you could plan your eating just by creating a number list.
Popular store #1: Frying Tempura. Not the typical Japanese tempura but Taiwanese style, light-fried fish cakes.
The temple where the old street got its name.
Popular store #2: Wu’s DingBienChuo rice noodle 吳記鼎邊趖.
An illustration of how DingBienChuo was made: rice paste was slowly applied at a water-filled cooking wok’s side, simultaneously being baked and steamed. Compared to normal rice noodle DingBienChuo was harder and more chewy.
Also popular item: one-bite grill sausages 一口吃香腸.
Popular store #3: Nutritious Sandwich 營養三明治。There were so many people that you had to first get a ticket.
The vertical Chinese on two side were: (eating this sandwich) strengthens your body and increase your lifespan. Duh.
Waiting at back since less people here.
Battered sandwich breads.
The bread was deep fried.
Some swag street food kung fu.
So the “Nutritious sandwich” was a deep fried bread with lots of mayonnaise and toppings. Not sure if this would increase my lifespan but definitely my cholesterol level.
Finish the street food visit with some thickened crab soup!
After the old street visit we walked back to the hotel and enjoyed KeeLung’s night view.
“Rich Dawg Bridge”
The island far away was the “Peace Island”, named in remembrance of a local incidence that was part of the 2/28 massacre.
Bike Start: RuiFang
The next day my ride started somewhere close to RuiFang 瑞芳, a district east of KeeLung. Already at start it bagan to rain, blurring my camera lens.
RuiFang elementary at left.
Busy northern Taiwan street.
RuiFang train station.
Train tunnel! Many big towns near Taiwan north coast were built along side of train tracks.
KeeLung River. Unlike wide but dry rivers in other parts of Taiwan, rivers here had more water year-round due to constant rains.
Soon we began our climb along #102 to JiuFen 九份, probably the most popular old town in Taiwan.
Left to JiuFen. Right to a popular cat village HouTong 猴硐.
Local hiking trail.
Beautiful Taiwan north coast bay.
Normally to JiuFen you would continue on #102. Since I was riding a bike I took a secret path below to avoid traffic.
Taking the secret path right. The road was adequately named “Easy Road” 輕便路。Warning: not so easy for cycling.
You could see the main town far away.
There was a very narrow tunnel at the end of the road.
After passing the tunnel, the main JiuFen district was clearly in sight.
Like many bay cities such as Seattle and San Francisco, JiuFen was built on steep hillside.
A small park with old tunnel.
Bay view again and JiuFen gold mine museum. JiuFen was used to be a popular mining district.
Inside the town the Easy Road crossed JiuFen’s most famous street view place: the long steep staircases called ShuChi Road 豎崎路. Many of JiuFen’s popular restaurants were along the staircases.
The staircases view.
A 80+ year old theater ShenPing Theater 昇平戲院, the oldest in New Taipei City area。
A cool JiuFen theme was the many red lanterns. Must be Spectacular at night.
Before the tourists JiuFen was dogs’ territory.
Staircases downward to #102.
Cool local art gallery.
Gold refinery museum.
JiuFen’s local big XiaHei City Guard temple 霞海城隍廟。
At the temple we reconnected back to the crowded #102. We took a peek at another busy JiuFen road, the JiShan Street 基山街，before we leaved and headed toward the Golden Waterfalls.
Many stores were not opened yet there were already so many people.
JiShan Street, another popular street food street in JiuFen.
Gold Museum & Golden Waterfall
The road toward Golden Waterfall was at top of JiuFen.
We would be taking the left road.
some hipster Korean themed store here.
The road toward Golden Waterfall followed a valley opening from JiuFen to the Taiwan north coast. Beautiful narrow , steep mountain valley scenery could be seen here.
Beautiful Taiwan north coast mountain valley.
The town here was called “JingGuaShi 金瓜石“, which literally means “golden melon stone”.
Here the old gold mining facilities were converted into a big Gold Museum park area. There were many staircases leading to different parts of the town.
old town staircases.
Old Japanese mining workers’ dormitory.
Local police station. Likely converted from a Japanese wooden building.
Gold Museum entrance.
Having enough of the museum I continued my journey downward into the mountain valley.
The mountain valley went all the way to the sea. Having mountains by the sea was the main feature of Taiwan north coast.
The great Mt. KeeLung 基隆山
Curved path downward.
Old mining building ruins far away.
At the bottom of the curved road was the stunning Golden Waterfall 黃金瀑布 just at roadside. The yellow color was from local minerals. Rains made the waterfall more spectacular by adding the water volume.
Really cool waterfall. Beautiful mixture of green, white and yellow.
After the waterfall I decided to take a detour and visit the local mining ruins. Just a short climb.
Seeing hilly the path we went as well as the near-shore town.
The tunnel was closed due to heavy metal contamination old days’ mining activities.
Not so impressive mining ruins…
Although the mining ruins were a bit disappointing, here you could clearly see the so-called “YinYang Sea 陰陽海”, the two-color bay water caused by mixture of seawater and yellowish mineral-rich local water.
As the rain got bigger, it was time to head back to JiuFen and continue on #102.
The ruins were more cool viewed far away.
Back to Golden waterfall!.
Local GuaShan Elementary.
BuYian Pavilion & ShuangXi
As we got back to #102, we continued along it and rode southward ShuangXi 雙溪, a place literally means “two creeks”。
After JiuFen, #102 had very few traffic.
Local branch fire station.
Super green hills here.
JinGuaShi Ecology Park, having many local trails to old mining sites.
More trail heads.
As we passed through the highest point, there was a ShuangXi District entrance sign, as well as a lone pavilion called BuYien pavilion 不厭亭, a popular destination for cyclists and photographers.
The BuYien pavilion. At nice days this location provided spectacular views at two sides of the mountains.
From here the rest of #102 was all down hill. Having some fun descending in the rain, we entered a small town MuDan 牡丹，then to ShangXi main town.
Train tracks through the small MuDan town.
Entrance of the local SanDiao sport park.
Just like RuiFang, here ShuangXi also had river passing through.