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JINGUASHI GOLD ECOLOGICAL PARK is a Gold Mine-themed Park that highlights the gold mining culture and lifestyle of the people of Jinguashi, New Taipei City.

Here are the things I liked about the park, and a guide to having an awesome experience…

EN ROUTE TO JINGUASHI GOLD MUSEUM

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After visiting the Sand Art Culture Festival at Fulong Beach, we took the Taiwan Golden Fulong Bus Route to the Gold Museum.

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The Yilan Coastline is very scenic. It reminds me of the mountain roads of the Cordilleras.

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You’ll see this beautiful cascading waterfall on your left before reaching the Gold Museum.

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The travel time from Fulong Visitor Center to the entrance of the Gold Eco-Park is about one hour.

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You walk for a few minutes inside the park to Qin-Shuie square.

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It’s like a town square where you can find nice food stalls and quirky shops.

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Check out the restroom with a vertical garden inside.

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I love the mountain view and cold weather of the Jinguashi community.

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Golden Seeds” is a steel made pneumatic visual art piece. Look closely, do you see the glass beads moving up and down with the tree’s rotation? Do you feel the joy from the bottom of your heart creating by the leaf and seeds’ movement?

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Here’s a map of the Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park.

 

CAFE & RESTAURANTS

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We arrived just in time for lunch. We were excited to eat as the miners did during the mining days.

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Gotta love the architecture of this cafe & restaurant in the park.

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It’s quite packed inside. The place is very popular for its authentic Taiwanese dishes.  

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MENU: Mine Worker’s Lunch Box | Pasta | The Taste of Taiwan | Waffles | Light Meal | Soft Drink | Coffee | Tea | Litchi Flavor Black Tea

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You must order the traditional Taiwanese Lunch Box.

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Mine Worker’s Lunch Box (NT 290) with a black tea.  

A great and delicious meal of Taiwanese pork chop with tofu, pickled vegetables, rice, and black tea. Best of all, you get to keep get to keep the container, the handkerchief cover, and the chopsticks as souvenirs. 🙂

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Highly recommended by our lunchmates. 🙂 

JINGUASHI CROWN PRINCE CHALET 

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After the meal, you make your way to the Gold Mining facility…

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…but with a brief stopover at the Crown Prince Chalet. 

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Crown Prince Chalet’s hallway and roof. The design of the Crown Prince Chalet follows the design of luxury Japanese houses and the building materials are all high-quality. The roof alone is made up of tiles of seven different sizes. The care taken in the building of the chalet is evident from the details. The hallway window is hspaed like Mt. Fuji, the spiritual symbol of Japan. At the side there is a cloud carving. The window design concept is merged into the overall building design. The chalet has 23 different window designs in all.

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You can’t really enter the house but you can admire its architecture from the outside with the local guide explaining the historical significance of the chalet. 

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At the back, there’s an old school mini-golf course!

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I like how the chalet fits very nicely with the surrounding garden. 

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After the chalet visit, we continued our hike to the gold mining facility.

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There’s another tea garden place where you can stop and hang around.

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It’s a steep climb up the stairs, but it’s manageable and only takes 10 minutes to reach the gold mining facility.

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You’ll pass by an old railroad track with carts where you can get a souvenir photo. Take advantage if the weather is good. 🙂

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You can stop by a taho shop before you continue your exploration.

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A tribute to the miners.

 

GOLD MUSEUM

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The story of gold in Taiwan has left an indelible mark on experiences, culture, and religious faith across the island. The legend of an “Eastern Treasure Island” attracted visitors from afar in search of gold. In 1632, the Spanish Missionary Jacinto Esquivel wrote: “Turuboan (located in Sinchen Township in Hualian County today) has abundance of mines…local residents cherish precious stones. There is a mountain there that shines with blinding light every morning when the sun rises, reflecting off what might be crystals or gold and silver ore.” As the Dutch and Spanish searched for gold, Taiwan became part of a wider global quest for that precious metal. However, the most important find did not come until Liu Ming-chuan began to actively promote “westernization” in Taiwan and ordered the building of a railway network. A railway worker, who had previously worked in California, incidentally found alluvial gold dust in the Keelung River. This discovery set in motion a gold rush. Gold Museum-14.jpg

Prospectors flocked to what had been a quiet mountain town, bringing with them ecological disaster as panning for gold severely damaged agricultural fields and riverbanks. The Ching government imposed a ban on gold mining in 1891, but failed to dampen the passions. One year later, the government officially established a Gold Mining Bureau of Keelung. In 1895 China and Japan signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki and Taiwan was ceded to Japan. Under a strategic mining plan by Gold Mining Bureau and various Japanese companies, Jinguashi enjoyed unprecedented prosperity. For a time, it became known as the premier mountain yielding precious metals across Asia, as mining and smelting reached new peaks and the town boomed until after the war.

 

GOLD PANNING EXPERIENCE

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I highly recommend the Gold Panning Experience for NT$100/head.

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You are given some soil in a pan and a small container for the gold you’ll find.

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You sit in front of this huge water canal while the guide explains the gold panning process.

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The first stage is to add some water to your pan to wash off the mud.

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Remove as much mud as you can.

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The next process is to remove the big stones by submerging the pan in the water. Moving in a circular motion removes the objects with bigger mass.

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After the second stage, you should be left with small stones and sometimes, a big shiny object known as Fool’s Gold.

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The last step is to angle the container 45 degrees…

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…and using the same circular motion, separate the small pebbles from the actual gold dust.

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You should already start to see the gold dust by this time.

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Remove the remaining soil particles until you’re only left with the gold.

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You can keep the gold pieces as a souvenir. 🙂

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Check out your gold!

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After the gold panning, make sure to visit and touch this 220kg gold bar.

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It’s current value is $271,629,900!

Gold Museum-46.jpgComposition: Gold is extremely rare. On average, gold is found in the Earth’s crust at a ratio of less than five parts in 1 billion (0.005ppm or 0.005 grams of gold in each metric ton of stone). 

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Parental Love by Wu Ching.

Physical PropertiesPure gold needs to be smelted. Generally speaking, the ore grade (degree of purity) of gold seams worth mining around the world is defined as containing 1.5-2 grams of gold per metric ton. Seams where gold is visible to the human eye have already been pretty much exhausted.

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Grass Bending in the Wind by Wu Ching.

Physical PropertiesGold has the fifth highest density of all elements at 19.32g/cm3. At the same time gold is also the most ductile of all the pure metals. Over two kilometers of gold thread can be drawn from one gram of gold. The same amount is also possible to be beaten into one square kilometer of gold leaf with a thickness one thousandth that of normal paper.

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Playing in the Water by Wu Ching.

Chemical PropertiesThe chemical properties of gold are extremely stable and largely resistant to chemical corrosion, with the exception of mercury, sodium hydride, and aqua regia (royal water).

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You can examine the gold items on exhibit in more detail.

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You can even check for your weight in gold! 🙂

 

BENSHAN NO.5 TUNNEL

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The Benshan Fifth Tunnel experience costs TWD50/ticket. 

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You are given a disposable cap to wear inside the hard hat for hygiene purposes.

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A perfect time for an industrial #00td look with raincoat and hard hat.

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Our guide gives a perspective on the location of the tunnel in the whole mining operation.

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Past Taboos in the Tunnel

  • No whistling. Mainly to avoid the noise that distrubs communications, Also a Taiwanese folk taboo.
  • No women are allowed in the tunnel. While women were employed as diggers in early days, Taiwan Metal Mining Company banned women workers in the mines in the 1960s in light of the Mineral Law regulation and the inconvenience in conducting body search.
  • No mentioning of the word “snake” in the tunnel. Snakes were taken as a sign that the mining would begin well but end badly, with no gold being dug out.

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Check out the photos of the tour inside the Benshan tunnel…

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The entire tunnel tour lasts for 10 minutes.

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TOWER OF INFINITY by Ling Zong-ting. Materials: Half reflective glass, circuit board, LED chips

The Gold Museum aims to preserve Shuinandong, Jinguashi, as well as the social characteristics and history of mining in Jiufen. The “Tower of Infinity” is the museum’s abstract representation of the unlimited allure that the mines offered. Infinity, meaning boundlessness, is based on the Latin word “infinitas”.

It is physically impossible for 2 mirrors to create an infinite number of images, but in the Tower of Infinity, we used this method to produce a near-infinite amount of light sources. We attempted to lead our viewers to a place of  spiritual infinity. Environmental elements revealed by the Tower of Infinity will shine with the energies of the mine, interacting and influencing with each other. This symbolizes that the energy and spirituality of this place inherit the beauty of the mines, while stepping out of Shui-Jin-Jiu’s physical limitations, creating a future of infinity for the mines.

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That ends our Awesome trip to Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park 🙂

Overall, I love the Miner’s lunch box concept, the Gold Panning Experience and seeing the Gold Museum.

It’s a must visit if you decide to explore the North East part of Taiwan 🙂

JINGUASHI GOLD ECOLOGICAL PARK
No. 8, Jinguang Rd., Ruifang District, New Taipei City 224, Taiwan (ROC)
Telephone: +886-2 2496-2800
Website: http://www.gep-en.ntpc.gov.tw/

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: Our Taiwan Fam Trip last June 2014 was courtesy of the Taiwan Visitor’s Bureau, Eva Air, and Jeron Travel. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. There is no gold mining operation anymore in Taiwan.