Rustic streets with red lanterns hanging above the tourists, retro-style buildings and an abandoned goldmine, these might be the first impressions of Jiufen to most people.
But what is Jiufen like in foreigners’ eyes? Well, you should watch “Spirited Away” to find out. Meghan, an American vlogger, documented the old goldmine town for international audiences, encapsulating the beauty of Jiufen within a short, yet stylish video.
Jiufen was once a prosperous town thanks to the local gold mine opened during the Japanese colonization era.
Even though the city went into decline with the shrinking of mining activities after World War II, the unique scenery of the town built on a hill has remained unchanged.
Located between the mountains and the sea, the beautiful landscape and the nostalgic atmosphere of the old town were first captured in Taiwan blockbuster “A City of Sadness.”
The forgotten city returned to public attention as a result, and Taiwan people suddenly remembered the beauty of Jiufen. The town then became a popular tourist attraction, drawing both Taiwan and foreigners alike.
Located on the outskirts of New Taipei City, the small town has escaped urbanization, meaning that the traces of local history have been well preserved, making the town a paradise getaway from the hustle and bustle of Taipei.
Meghan told The China Post in a recent email interview that she didn’t know what to expect from Taiwan at first. She had heard that local people were “friendly and easy-going.” During her stay, she then found out that the costs of living here are low so it’s easy to travel around Taiwan.
She added that Taiwan is very “vlogger friendly;” most of the people she met were happy to let her film, “which is nice for content creators” like her.
Inspired by other popular creators on YouTube, Meghan decided to start filming her journey around the world. “I like to show people the beauty, local communities, food and unique activities of the places that I visit,” she went on.
“Going to Taiwan I grew an appreciation for the region and culture that I never would have known about personally if I had not gone there.”
“Through my videos, I hope to share the beautiful feelings and views of my journeys and daily life. I don’t want people to just see a photo image now without all the layers and depth, I want them to see and feel how it is in person where I am.”
“I do not think humans are really that different when it comes to wants and needs all over the world, but how they build their cities, wear clothes, spend their time and prepare food is very diverse and I love to experience that diversity.”
“Similar to spirited away, things really came alive at night,” said Meghan in the video, describing Jiufen at night.
In the video, Meghan wore a qipao that she rented at a local shop, leading the viewers to wander in winding alleyways, buy snacks on the lively streets, drink tea in retro-styled tea houses while watching the beautiful scenery over the hill.
The vibrancy of Jiufen during night time when the crowd floods in was also captured in a time-lapse shot. Through her lens, she defined the beauty of Jiufen in a new way.
影片授權 | Video Authorization: mevisions, nicholaslau
影片連結 | Video Link: Jiufen AKA Ghibli’s Spirited Away city in a Quipao
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