Just an hour or so from Taipei, the hilltop mountain village of Jiufen provides a rich contrast to the busy capital.
The mist-shrouded hills surrounding Jiufen were once dotted with gold mines. When the gold ran out, Jiufen reinvented itself as a tourism magnet.
Today, Jiufen's narrow streets and alleys are for pedestrians only; cars and buses must park at the base of the hill that Jiufen is built on.
Jiufen is a very pleasant place for luxury travelers to explore in Taiwan. They take their time walking around, tasting treats and shopping for handmade crafts and clothing. They get some exercise, too, because many of Jiufen's winding streets are so steep, they were built as steps.
Jiufen's cafés, teahouses, and restaurants have outdoor decks or terraces equipped with awnings. It rains a lot in Jiufen, but when the sun peeks out, the Taiwanese landscape looks radiant.