Located on the northeast coast of Taiwan, Jinguashi [金瓜石] was once a booming gold and copper mining town. The once prosperous area took a major plunge after the mines exhausted. However, in recent years the area has reinvented itself as a popular tourist destination. Jinguashi is home to the Gold Ecological Park [黃金博物園區], which preserves Taiwan’s mining history and serves as a venue for environmental education.
Built during the Japanese colonial period in 1922, the Crown Price Chalet [above] is one of the area’s several Japanese-style buildings. This was built in anticipation of a visit by the then crown prince.
The Benshan Fifth Tunnel provides visitors with a first-hand experience of tunnel working conditions. The copper mines of Kinkaseki [the Japanese pronounciation of Jinguashi] were the most brutal of the POW camps in Taiwan. Click here for more information about Japanese prisoner of war camps in Taiwan.:
A brief hike up will take you to all that’s left of an old Shinto temple:
Visitors can also tour the interior of a restored building once used by Japanese mine technicians and their families:
Despite the weather, the area gives spectacular views of Taiwan’s beautiful northeast coast. Here is Keelung Mountain to the left and Teapot Mountain to the right:
No visit would be complete without viewing [and touching] the 220kg gold brick on display:
The park’s official website includes information on getting there.
A few more pics can be found on my flickr photoset.