Being a huge fan of Studio Gibhli’s Spirited Away, I knew the moment I stepped foot in Jiufen a few years ago, that I had to go back again. Only on my second trip, there would be more time to explore the spidery alleys, and hopefully an overnight stay. Thankfully, my friends were open to the idea, so we included this magical town in our plan, and got ourselves spirited away.
The real story behind Jiufen
Tucked in the hills northwest of Taipei, Jiufen was founded during the Qing Dynasty, and only nine families lived in the humble, secluded village then. The villagers ordered and purchased supplies in nine portions, hence it was called Jiufen (九份), or “nine parts” in Mandarin.