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
“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?
CAFE & RESTAURANTS
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. 🙂
JINGUASHI CROWN PRINCE CHALET
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.
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.
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
Physical Properties: Pure 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.
Physical Properties: Gold 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.
Chemical Properties: The 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).
BENSHAN NO.5 TUNNEL
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.
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.
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
Live an Awesome Life,
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.