For our full trip itinerary, please click here.
Read Part I here. For our travelogue, please click here or here. I’ve completed the itinerary from our June 2009 trip, and now I’m going to do some add ons (from our August 2009 trip) for your easy reference and the following post is part of it (linked under + North East Coast.
Gold Ecological Park, Jinguashi – trying to move the 220 kg gold brick that made it into the Guinness World Records.
One of the highlight of our Taiwan Trip was our visit to Jinguashi, an ex gold and copper mining town. We reckoned if you ever visit Taipei, please plan a day or two at Jiufen and Jinguashi. It’s worth going out of your way just to visit the beautiful towns.
Situated between the mountains and the coastline just like Jiufen Town, the scenary in Jinguashi is exceptionally beautiful. Once a booming gold and copper mining town, Jinguashi was named a potential World Heritage site in year 2002.
Places of interest includes Jinguashi Shinto Shrine, Yin Yang Sea, Ruins of Shisancheng (13-level) Ore Refinery, Gold Waterfall, and most importantly the Gold Ecological Park. Most places of interest are located along the Tea Pot Mountain and are accessible from Gold Ecological Park. Do take note that you need to do a lot of climbing up and down. Or you can opt to spend your time inside the Gold Ecological Park alone.
Visitors from Taipei should take a train heading eastwards to Yilan and Hualian and get off at Rueifang train station. A Keelung Bus Company vehicle can be taken to Jinguashi from directly opposite the station (ticket price NT$22).
Contact: Taiwan Railway Administration
Traffic Information:02-23815226 ext 3135, 2215, 2216
Group Reservation:02-23815226 ext 2538, 2539
(1)Taipei-Jiguashi:A Keelung Bus Company vehicle can be taken from Exit 1 at the Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT station. This passes through Rueifang and Jioufen. Passengers should alight at Jinguashi station (ticket price NT$95).
(2)Keelong-Jinguashi:A Keelung Bus Company vehicle can be taken from Keeling train station (in front of the I-Mei Foods Co. Ltd.). This passes through Jioufen and passengers should alight at Jinguashi station.
Besides taking the bus from Taipei straight to Rueifang and Jinguashi, it is also recommended to take the train to Rueifang Station and then take the coach or share a taxi with other tourists (about $50 NT per person).
the down stream of Gold Waterfall (closed for maintenance as of August 09) - Ferric ions react with air. The resulting insoluble ferric ions precipitate out from the water and produce riverbed rocks that are yellowish-brown in color. On top of these rocks flows an undulating waterfall. The fall is located close to the roadway, so it may be tempting to put your hand in the water. Please refrain from doing so as it is heavily laden with metals and thus toxic. (information source - Council of Cultural Affairs Taiwan)
Crossing the old coal transport tunnel next to the car park behind Cyuanji Temple, you will see three huge flues criss-crossing the hill looking like giant snakes. These were used to take fumes away from the copper refinery to where there were no residents in the hills above. The flues are about two meters high and one and a half meters wide. They were abandoned when Taiwan Metals Mining Corp. closed down. Inside the flue a large quantity of secondary minerals have accumulated making to unsafe to enter. It is claimed they are the longest flues in the world. They are imposing and are one of the unique sights of Jinguashi.
Most buses to Jinguashi Town will stop directly infront of the Gold Ecological Park.
8, Jinguang Rd., Rueifang Township, Taipei County
Opening times: Tuesday – Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday – Sunday: 9.30 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.
Entrance fee: NT$ 100 / NT 70 with Youth Travel Card (remember to apply ya!)
Gold Panning Experience NT100, Tunnel Experience NT50
Environmental Education Center (环境馆). The Environmental Education Center is housed in the former offices of Taiwan Metal Mining Corp, Taipower Company and Rueifang Scenic Area. In the hall, Jinguashi’s natural flora, and settlement distribution are introduced. Also, the ore display area introduces numerous special and rare ores produced in the area, allowing the public to acquire an understanding of the special Jinguashi geology. On the second floor a park guide film is shown.
We were instructed to add water to the sand, pick and throw out the large stones, swirl the plates repeatedly to finally discover the gold sands. It was fun and I managed to do it twice because the instructor gave me a second plate after I ruined the first one.
The second floor of the Museum of Gold has gold as the theme, including gold characteristics, gold art works and a world record 220 kg 999 pure gold ingot which is unprecedented. You can touch it, too!
To realize the eco-museum ideas and give visitors an experience of being in an actual tunnel and a better understanding of the working conditions underground, in cooperation with Taiwan Sugar Corp, the old Benshan Tunnel No 5 was renovated and partly re-opened to the public as the tunnel experience area. Waxworks are used to show the process of ore extraction and how the miners worked in the old days. NT50 for the tunnel experience.
If you want to get some souvenirs, the Gift Shop is next to the Museum of Gold and sells park-related souvenirs. Saw the NT8000 chinese tea with gold flakes? O_o
For only NT200 (including the tunnel experience and gold panning experience), Gold Ecological Park is worth going. It’s only one hour away from the city, so why not?
Most information from this article was extracted from Gold Ecological Park official website