Many people, especially tourists will know about Yangmingshan yet they do not know that a beautiful place named Jinshan is rather near to Yangmingshan. If you want to leave the urban city, it would definitely be great to visit a place where high mountains and wide oceans are within reach because it would mean more variety of food, drinks and fun. Jinshan Wanli is the ideal paradise. It takes about one hour and thirty minutes’ drive from Taoyuan Airport. Along the way, you can start enjoying the scenic view of crystal blue sky and ocean. Jinshan District is located in the northern part of New Taipei City.
According to Wikipedia before the mid-seventeenth century, Taiwan’s Pingpu aborigines, the Ketagalan Jinbaoli community “Tappare”, lived here. In the early days’ people found gold dust in the Sulphur stream and that is how this place was named. “Jinbaoli” is one of the few areas in Taiwan there is the link for the inheritance of modern aboriginal cultures. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the name “Jinbaoli” was later changed to “Jinshan” during the Japanese occupation. It has historical trails left behind by the Spain, the Netherlands, the Qing Dynasty and Japan.
History & Culture
One of the promo videos from Hong Kong tourism board has such a Chinese slogan which translated means “Shopping, eating”, but travel can also be “Seeing, Learning”. When you are in Italy, you might be reading and learning the history of each architecture or art pieces in the museums. Every time you travel to a new place, you can learn about the culture and history of the place so that you could understand their lifestyle or culture. Arriving at Jinshan Old Street, also known as Jinbaoli Old Street, you should know that this is the only commercial street in the Qing Dynasty on the North Coast. Walking in this old street, you can see the traditional buildings and streets left behind during that era. You could imagine the sight of the prosperous old street in the Qing Dynasty surface in front of you.
At the end of the old street, you can visit this Hakka Folk Belief Temple – Kai Luan Sheng Wang. It is believing that to some locals, Kai Luan Sheng Wang was shipped by native patron of the Luzhou movers and greeted by the locals, who pray for blessing and smooth sailing life. They believe that it will bless those followers to be kept safe from the diseases and for protection. To this day, the belief has become one of the top three folk religions in Taiwan.
When you come to Jinshan, another “must-go” will be Zhu Ming Art Museum. Founded on September 19th, 1999, it is an Elysium created by the Modern Art Sculptor, Mr. Zhu Ming containing his lifelong creation and obsession for arts. This museum combines Art and Mother Nature, allowing guests to appreciate it as a whole. In the Zhu Ming Art Museum, you can deeply feel the aesthetic understanding of Mr. Zhu Ming and his belief in life – “Art is practice”.
Because of its geographical location, Jinshan has numerous hot springs. Also because of the ocean sited nearby, Jinshan has more than 2 types of hot springs – Sulfur springs, Carbonate springs, Chloride springs, White Sulfur and Ocean Hot Springs. Ocean Hot Spring is very unique as there are currently only 11 countries in the world that has them. The water is slightly acidic which not only moisturizes the skin but also stimulate blood circulation. In 1939, during the Japanese occupation, the Governor’s Office of Taiwan had built a second-floor house-style hot spring guesthouse. This gave Jinshan Hot Springs a legacy of history.
“The king view his people as the world, and the people view food as the world” –this is a statement translated from a Chinese philosophy. Food is definitely one of the joys of travel. When you visit Macau, you will definitely eat an egg tart, and when you go to France, you will definitely try their pastries. Therefore, when you come to Jinshan, there will be delicacies which are “must eat”. When it comes to Jinshan Wanli, people will think of Wanli Crab. According to Wikipedia, Wanli Crab is a sea crab caught by fishermen in Wanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. It accounts for more than 80% of the crabs in Taiwan. The origin is mainly from the “Northwest Fishing Ground” in the outer sea of New Taipei City.
Going to Jinshan Old Street, you need to get ready to gain weight. In the middle segment of Old Street, you can find the most popular duck stall – “Golden Mountain Duck Meat”. Because of its popularity, the owner has rented a few shop fronts on the street, thus you can see waiters carrying dishes bustling between the shops throughout the business hours. This creates the atmosphere of the banquet throughout the street making it looks particularly prosperous. When you come to the Old Street, you must also taste the local snacks such as pickled sweet potatoes, red sweet potatoes etc.
Lastly before leaving, don’t forget to go to “Ayu Sweet Potato” to buy a gift for your family and friends.