Gold Ecological Park

sights / Historic

Gold Ecological Park information

Location
Jiufen & Jinguashi , Taiwan
More information
www.gep.ntpc.gov.tw
Opening hours
9.30am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 6pm Sat & Sun
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This park, set high above the village in green, quiet hillsides, is a true slice of 1930s Taiwan, with restored Japanese-era residential and office buildings connected by narrow walkways bordered by aged brick walls. The remains of the gold-mining industry that once drove the local economy are also well preserved, including one of the original mine tunnels.

The Crown Prince Chalet (太子賓館; Tàizǐ Bīngguǎn) at the back of the park was built to house the Japanese royal family on their visit to Taiwan (which alas, never came). It's the best-preserved Japanese-style wooden residence in Taiwan, though unfortunately you can only wander the gardens and peek through the windows.

The former working Beishan Fifth Tunnel allows visitors to go inside and glimpse mining conditions of the old days, while the Gold Museum (黃金博物館; Huángjīn Bówùguǎn) lets you touch what is reportedly the largest gold bar in the world. Sitting high on the steep slopes above the park, the ruins of the Gold Temple (黃金神社; Huángjīn Shénshè) look like something out of Greek mythology.

It may be interesting to note as you walk around that not all the gold in this area has been collected. Even today there remains a 250-tonne reserve estimated at more than NT$200 billion (US$6 billion) lying underground.