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New Taipei City Travel

Visiting Qitang Old Street

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螢幕擷取畫面 2022-08-17 095453
Category :
Hiking Trails & Nostalgic tour of the old street & Secret attractions
Travel days :
1 day
適合對象 :
Public & Backpackers




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      In 1889, Taiwan's first railway was under construction at full speed between Keelung and Taipei. Railway construction workers discovered glittering gold dust in the river in today's Qidu area of Keelung. Those who are seeking wealth traced the river upstream, and eventually found the outcrop of gold vein in Xiaojingua and Dajingua, which kickstarted the gold mining era of Northern Taiwan. The previously quiet Jinguashi and Jiufen therefore entered their golden years. Until 1987, Taiwan Metal Mining Corporation closed the mining business and drew an end to Jinguashi's hundred-year mining history.

      Different from the strong commercial vibes of Jiufen, after the mining activities ended, Jinguashi became an isolated and quiet little mountain town. The buildings scattered among the emerald hills, the huge Guangong statue guarding the area, and the occasionally seen hikers in the alleys represent the present life of Jinguashi.

      "Let us never forget." During World War II, Jinguashi was once used as a Japanese war prisoner camp. The locals called it "Dubiziliao," which meant the place where foreign prisoners were held. These prisoners of war in Southeast Asia were from Britain, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the Netherlands. During their imprisonment, they mined copper here under poor living conditions. Most of them did not survive the war and died in Jinguashi. In 1997, Taiwan POW Memorial and Peace Park opened to commemorate the war. "Freedom is not free" reminds the world that peace and prosperity are not easy to come by.

      Qitang Old Street is an important street of Jinguashi. The old street built along the mountain is the main living circle of the miners in the early years. In its most prosperous period, 80,000 gold diggers gathered here! In addition to restaurants and grocery stores, there were entertainment venues such as jewelry shops, pool halls, and bars! During the Japanese Rule period, it was known as the "Jinguashi Ginza." After the gold mining era ended, the number of residents in Jinguashi plummeted to less than 2,000. Today, the once-bustling Qitang Old Street retains a strong nostalgic atmosphere. The renovated rainbow stairs have become a topic in social media, drawing the world's attention to this mining town in the mountains again.

      Follow the rainbow stairs up to Jinguashi Quanji Temple, also known as Qitang (Qi Hall). The temple has been built for more than 120 years. It is the belief center of Jinguashi, dedicated to worshiping the Holy Emperor Lord Guan. The most treasured object at Quanji Temple is the largest Guan Gong statue in Taiwan that is made of pure copper and 10.6 meters in height. This statue of Guan Gong reading Chunqiu (the Spring and Autumn Annals) and standing majestically at the high point of Jinguashi against the mountains and facing the sea is the most visible landmark of Jinguashi. It is also the patron saint, blessing generations of Jinguashi people.

      The 260-meter-high Baoshi Mountain is named after the timed horns here during the Japanese Rule period. From the parking lot of Quanji Temple, you can walk up along the hiking trail and reach the viewing platform in 10 minutes. Facing the sea, Yin-Yang Sea and the North Coast are all within your sight. Looking back at the mountains, you can see Teapot Mountain and Liukeng Slope Cableway right in front of your eyes, surrounded by greenery and between mountains and the sea.

      Teapot Mountain is the backbone of the Jinguashi area, with an elevation of 602 meters. When viewed from the Jinguashi side, the ore rock at the top of the mountain looks like a teapot without a handle, earning it the cute and memorable name of "earless teapot." Teapot Mountain Trail is the most popular hiking trail in Jinguashi. It takes about 30-50 minutes to reach the top of the mountain from the parking lot of Quanji Temple. It is the most beautiful view in Ruifang. With Keelung Mountain right in front of your eyes, the little town of Jinguashi, the winding roads under your feet, and the boundless blue sky and sea, this spectacular scenery can heal you from your stressful daily life.

      "Asia's No. 1 precious metal mine" was the prestige Jinguashi enjoyed in the past. The settlements formed around gold and copper mines in the old days carried the dreams of countless gold diggers. After the demise of the mining industry, what remained unchanged is the beautiful scenery of mountains and seas. They remain the spiritual home of hikers and Jinguashi people.

      One-Day Riding Historical Tour in Tamsui
      "Tamsui is an ancient city incorporated with history, humanities, beautiful scenery and cuisine. New discoveries that differ from time to time are always ready for the tourists with more fun to enjoy!" Take the MRT to Tamsui Station and rent a YouBike. Starting from the "Gold Coast Bikeway", enjoy the beautiful scenery along the river bank while sampling the foods sold by vendors along the seashore. Ride down the way and you should pass the art sculpture built to commemorate the arrival of Priest Mackay. There are 8 hundred-year-old Chinese banyan trees for people to enjoy a cool break and overlook the Tamsui River scenery and the "Gold Coast" with its beautiful sunset, Besides, there are newly built large art installations that use recycled objects like the "Iron Horse King Kong" and "Customs Wharf." Then, you can visit Taiwan's first western-style hospital in northern Taiwan to understand Dr. Mackay's profile and the medical environment at that time. One of the top five companies in Tamsui, the "Douglas lapraik & Co." has great significance in Tamsui’s sailing history. Next, drop by Taiwan's first private house that is equipped with tap water equipment, the "former residence of Takada Eikichi, which is a rare well-kept Japanese construction built with Taiwan red cypress. Then move forward to the artist's favorite, the world famous "Tamsui Wenhua A gei" where it is recommended to order a serving of a gei and a bowl of fish ball soup for a snack. Then, continue the trip to the "Little White House," a Spanish-style white construction which newlyweds enjoy as the shooting site of wedding photos; then go to the "Fortress San Domingo" and the "Former British Consulate", both of which feature western constructions with their display of relics. Afterwards, visit "Oxford College", which was built by Mackay in an integrated style of eastern and western culture and the "Presbyterian Church," a Gothic architecture. The last stop of the trip is to observe the beautiful sunset at Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf, then take a boat back to Tamsui MRT Station as the ending of a one-day ancient city small tour that is both productive and cultural.
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