Wondering how to go to Jiufen or Shifen from Taipei city? In this installment of our Taiwan Travel Guide Series, we show you how to go from Taipei to Jiufen to Shifen in one day.
How to get to Jiufen and Shifen from Taipei
Jiufen and Shifen are both places that you should ideally allocate one day each in your itinerary if you have the time. However, if you do not have the luxury of time, here is a quick guide on how to make Jiufen and Shifen a day trip from Taipei.
Getting from Taipei to Ruifang
To visit either Jiufen or Shifen, you would have to take a train to Ruifang. You could choose to take buses too but we would not advise doing so as the train is faster and more comfortable. The train ride on an express train from Taipei Rail Station to Ruifang takes only 35 minutes.
Getting to Ruifang is easy if you are staying near Taipei Rail Station like we did at Cosmos Hotel Taipei.
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You could choose to walk up to the ticket counter on your day of travel to buy a ticket or you could buy it online and pick up the tickets anytime before your date of travel.
The advantage of buying in advance is that you are guaranteed a seat. The train ride to Ruifang can get packed if you are traveling on a peak day or during school holidays.
Check the monitors to find out the platform to board your train.
Train Map of the route from Taipei to Ruifang. Our train was bound for Hualien with a stop at Ruifang.
Consider grabbing a bento set and some drinks at TRA Boxed Lunch Store before boarding. Eating is allowed on board but do take your rubbish with you when you alight.
Getting from Ruifang to Jiufen
When you reach Ruifang (瑞芳), you can choose to go to either Jiufen or Shifen first. In each case, you would still need to come back to Ruifang after your visit to either before continuing to the other.
Let’s start with Jiufen first. Follow the sign to the West Exit of Ruifang train station to Jiufen /Jinguashi.
You can either take a public bus 1062 or a taxi for the 10 to 15 minutes drive up to Jiufen Old Street.
|Bus Stop outside Ruifang Rail Station (Credits: http://thengveronica.blogspot.sg/2012/12/taiwan-day-3-jiufen-part1.html)|
We chose to take a cab at the fixed published price at the taxi stand as we thought the price was reasonable and we did not want to waste time waiting for the bus. If you are headed for Jinguashi, Shifen or Pingxi from Ruifang Train Station, you can take a taxi from this same taxi stand.
There will be a long queue of taxis waiting for customers from the early morning onwards. Visitors need not worry about a wait for taxis.
How to go from Jiufen to Shifen
To get to Shifen after your visit to Jiufen, take a cab or the public bus back to Ruifang Train Station. Once you are back at Ruifang Train Station, proceed to the ticketing counter to buy a ticket to go to Shifen.
We would advise that you buy a one day pass for the Pingxi Line (平溪线) if you intend to visit the various stops along the line besides Shifen.
Do note that the train only arrives every hour during the day. Once you get off at a station, you would need to wait for an hour before the next train arrives. Therefore, you need to plan your travel carefully.
We had wanted to stop at 3 stations, but have to settle for two (Shifen and Pingxi) due to time constraints.
Return train timings back to Ruifang.
Do note that the return train ride back to Ruifang from Shifen can be very packed, even on weekdays. We nearly could not board our planned 4.50pm train from Shifen to Ruifang as the train was very crowded. The staff at the train station had to urge the passengers to squeeze so that more could board. As you could imagine, it was an unpleasant ride back to Ruifang.
Once you are back at Ruifang, just catch the train back to Taipei Rail Station and you are back at Taipei.
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For those who prefer convenience over the hassle of public transport, check out KKday’s day tour from Taipei to Yeliu, Jiufen and Shifen. This day tour is inexpensive and gives you time to explore the sights on your own, while providing convenient and reliable transport to and from these sights.
We hope you find this article useful in your trip planning. We love to hear from you. Please drop us your comments in the comments box below.
First Published on 6 Jun 2015
Last Updated on 21 Nov 2018