The Gold in Pumpkin Mountain

Many tourists go to Taipei will visit the popular Jiufeng where a famous movie was filmed a long time ago. Tourists like to visit Jiufeng for unique scenery of concentration of small houses built on the hill with small alleys and stairs connecting each other. And it’s a place for the gold-digging dream back in the glorious gold mining period. Not that many people know that Jinguashi was a even bigger mining site that left abandoned. Jinguashi literally means “golden gourd rock” in Chinese.  Local people named the area according to the pumpkin shape of the gold mines. Taiwanese call pumpkin “Jingua”.

Now, you may complete the picture of the good old days of gold mining industry in Taiwan by visiting the Gold Museum in Ruifang district. Opened in November 2004, the Gold Museum is designed to be a Eco-Museum, retaining the historic and cultural assets, encouraging participation of the community, and showcase the history of precious metal mining industry.

The Gold Museum is not a confined space with walls and gates. It covers a large area on the hill side where the gold mining industry took place. You are free to visit the well-maintained Japanese houses which were once the dormitory of senior mining employees, get a taste of the miners’ lunchbox, browse the exhibition halls, take a walk in the mining tunnel, learn all about the mining history and living of the miners, and touch a 220kg of 999 gold brick!

The entrance is free! You only have to pay for the experiment activities which are very affordable. It is a very good museum in a natural green environment, check it out next time you visit. Highly recommended.

Four joined Japanese-style residence in New Taipei City Gold Museum 新台北市黃金博物館四連棟
The Four Joined Japanese-style residence is the first themed attraction after you walk pass the tourist information office. It was a dormitory of senior Japanese employees of the mining companies back in the old days. The four houses are attached together hence called four-joined building. You have to queue to get in because it only limits certain number of visitors each time. It’s free. 當你走過遊客服務中心後,第一個景點是四連棟。這四間連在一起的日式房子是日本礦業株式會社時代興建的高級職員宿舍,各有自己的空間,前園。參觀要在門外等候,因為每次只可以讓少數遊客參觀,是免費的。
Four joined Japanese-style residence in Gold Museum 台北黃金博物館四連棟
The interior of the houses is well maintained with the original wooden structures, floors, and furnitures. 四連棟保持了原有的木建築、地板和傢俬,參觀時也要放輕腳步。
Four joined Japanese-style residence in Gold Museum 台北黃金博物館四連棟
The wooden horse toy, floor mats and other decorations present a cosy simple living condition over half a century ago. 室內的裝飾佈置、木馬、坐墊展示了超過半世紀前的簡約而溫暖的生活。
Four joined Japanese-style residence in Gold Museum 台北黃金博物館四連棟
There are beds in the bedroom, which I believe were moved in after the Taiwan government took over after 1945. 睡房有床,不是傳統的榻榻米,相信是台灣光復後接管礦場時才加入的。
Four joined Japanese-style residence in Gold Museum 台北黃金博物館四連棟
These chairs are considered modern furnitures. Not very Japanese. They may well be set up during the Taiwan management. 客廳有座椅,很不日本,也許是後來台灣管理時代設置的。
Four joined Japanese-style residence in Gold Museum 台北黃金博物館四連棟
The kitchen is small and there are only a few utensils in display. 廚房面積很小,用具也簡單。
Four joined Japanese-style residence in Gold Museum 台北黃金博物館四連棟
The worn out wooden wash board carries the memories of the past. 經過歲月的洗衣板令人聯想到昔日的簡樸生活。
Gold refining building of Gold Museum in Taipei 台北黃金博物館煉金樓
The Gold Refining Building was once the gold storage during the Japanese occupation, then it was used briefly for refining gold when the mine was managed by Taiwan. Now it is an exhibition hall in the museum. 煉金樓在日治時代曾是存放黃金的場所,在台灣管治時期曾用作煉金樓,現在是展覽館。
Alchemy Cafe and Gift Shop煉金文創咖啡
The Alchemy Cafe and Gift Shop behind the Gold Refining Building. 煉金文創咖啡位於煉金樓後面。
Police station in Gold Museum 黃金博物館內的警局
It is interesting that there is a police station within the museum area. I suppose it serves as an extra security for the museum and to provide service for the community. 在黃金博物館內居然有一間警局,也許可以為黃金磚及古蹟作額外保安同時為附近社區服務。
New Taipei City Gold Museum 新台北市黃金博物館
As a eco-museum, the Gold Museum strives to retain its cultural history, natural environment as well as to encourage participation from the community. Geographically, there are roads and paths connecting to the residence. 黃金博物館以生態博物館概念而建立,除了博物館的管理,要配合自然環境、文化及社區的參與和活動,地理上,有通往附近民居的路。
Jin-Shuei Exhibition Hall of Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館金水特展館
The ground level of this wooden building (Jin-Shuei Exhibition Hall) is the Miners’ Cafe & Restaurant. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating areas and the popular “miners’ lunch box”. The upper level is an exhibition hall. 這座棟木建築下層是「礦工食堂」,設有室內及室外餐桌,其礦工便當最受歡迎。上層是金水特展館。
Miners' lunch box 礦工便當
The miners’ lunch box set is the most popular item on the menu. There is a limited number of lunch boxes for sale every day. Apart from the bottled water, the traditional Japanese-style lunch box imitates the look of the old days. 礦工便當餐最受歡迎,每天限定數量,除了那瓶可愛的礦工礦泉水以外,便當的特色是保留以前日治時代的布包鐵飯盒的便當造型,插一雙木筷子,光是造型便吸引遊客購買了。
Miners' lunch box at New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館礦工便當
The standard lunch box is pork with rice. The tin lunch box with a cute miner’s character embossed on the lid is a great souvenir after you finish the meal. 礦工便當只有一款:豬排飯。許多遊客都是為了那個可愛的鐵飯盒而吃的,吃不完也會帶走做手信。
Waffles at Miners' Cafe & Restaurant in Gold Museum
There are other food available in the Miners’ Cafe & Restaurant. I had this home-made waffle and a coffee. It was also very good. I like the touch of the cardboard miner decoration. 礦工食堂有其他食物選擇,我吃了這個新鮮鬆餅和喝了一杯咖啡,鬆餅也是人氣推介。最可愛是這個小礦工點綴。
Jinhuashi Crown Prince Chalet 金瓜石太子賓館
When you walk up the stairs next to the Miners’ Cafe & Restaurant, you will see an entrance to the Jinguashi Crown Prince Chalet. It is believed to be built in 1922 for a planned visit of Crown Prince Hirohito. He did not come in the end but there were other delegates stayed in the guest house. 從礦工食堂旁邊的樓梯走上去,就會看見「金瓜石太子賓館」的入口。賓館相信是建於1922年,原定是為了招待當時預定視察金瓜石礦業的日本皇太子,最後他並沒有到訪,但有其他日本皇室的特派員入住過。
Jinguashi Crown Price Chalet 金瓜石太子賓館
The Prince Chalet is considered one of the finest wooden Japanese buildings left in Taiwan but it is not open for public any more. However, you may still access the spacious Japanese garden. Okay, the weather wasn’t that good when I visited. Yet you could still see a nice landscape. 太子賓館話說是台灣僅有最佳日式建築之一,但已不對外開放,只能參觀外面的日本庭園,風景不錯,天氣雖然不太好,但仍可以看到大草坪和優雅的樹木庭園。
Tea House in Gold Museum 黃金博物館金水茶坊
If you spend time walking around the museum, there are a few options to take a rest. This is a Tea House that serves simple meal as well. 如有你有時間慢慢玩,博物館內有很多休息的地方,這間茶坊有簡餐供應。
New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館
The mining tunnel and the Gold Building are above this staircase. Be prepared for a little hike. 往黃金館及本山五坑主要景點要爬樓梯上山。
New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館
As you reach the top, you will see the old railway track on wood path which leads you to the main attractions. 走到樓梯頂後,你便會看到舊鐵路軌,這裏才是大景點!
New Taipei Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館
Turn left, follow the track and take photos along the way. 沿著左邊鐵路走,邊行邊拍照。




Mine carts in Gold Museum 黃金博物館的礦車
The mine carts are props for photography. 車軌上有兩部礦車供遊客拍照用。
New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館
The old train station, the signage and the railway track make you feel like go back in time in Japan. 這個舊火車站、站名和路軌,好像時光倒流一樣,拍日本古裝片不用搭場景。
New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館
There are notes from the old days still posting on the notice board at the train station. 車站的告示版上還好好保存幾十年前的告示。
Old phone in New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博館的舊電話
There is also an old phone that looks like a cartoon character’s face. 還有可愛的懷舊電話,像不像一個卡通漫畫公仔?
Benshan no. 5 tunnel in New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館
The Benshan No. 5 Tunnel is an experienced area where tourists can walk into the dark tunnel where the miners had to dig for the gold. 本山五坑是體驗區,遊客可以走進一條約180米長的坑道,體驗昔日礦工在漆黑的環境中工作的情況,利用蠟像、燈光和聲音效果,展示當年的採礦過程。
The 220 kg gold brick in New Taipei City Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館的220公斤黃金磚
The 220 kg 999 gold brick! The digital number on the panel is the market price in TWD. 鎮館之寶:220公斤999純金大金磚! 前門一排很長數字是這磚黃金的市場價值(新台幣)。
The gold brick in New Taipei Gold Museum 新北市黃金博物館的金磚
You are allowed to touch it! 這塊金磚還可以讓你摸!
Close up of the 220 kg 999 gold brick. 重220公斤的999黃金特寫。
Too far away, you can’t see clearly? No problem. Here’s a close up. 太遠,看不清楚?給你一個特寫。
The view from Gold Museum
Locating up on the hill, you can get a good view of houses in the mountain. The buddha statue in the residence is a temple. 黃金博物館位置較高,可以看到附近的民居,風景不錯,遠遠看到的佛像是勸濟堂。
Golden Waterfall in Jinguashi, New Taipei City 新北市金瓜石黃金瀑布
On your way down the hill, you may stop by the Golden Waterfall which is just a small area on the hill side. You may just make a quick stop to take some photos. 回程下山的中途,你可以在黃金瀑布停車,其實瀑布就在路邊,可以小心停車,拍拍照,然後繼續行程。
Jinguashi back in 1999. 1999年的金瓜石
It is a scan of an old positive film so the color is a bit off. However, you can tell from the orange color of the rocks that the mountain is rich in precious metal. 這張是我於1999年拍的照片,有點走色了,因為是用舊底片掃描的。但你仍然可以看到橙色的石頭,代表這裏的金屬成份很強。
Jiufeng and Jinguashi in 1999 台灣九份、金瓜石礦山舊照片
The mining factory was abandoned in 1999 when I visited. My photos have become historic images! 我在1999年到九份附近玩的時候,跑到金瓜石看礦坑,整個地方都是封起來的棄置礦坑,我這兩張照片成為歷史照片!
Travelmomo: Smart Travel
The Gold Museum is located up on the steep hill. Your GPS may not be so accurate in the countryside if you choose to drive. And there are only very few parking space in the Zhanding parking lot which is closest to the entrance. So if you go during the weekends or holidays, it may be better to take public transportation or hire a car with a driver. 黃金博物館在山上,而且路很斜,GPS 定位可能不太準確。站頂停車場(最靠近入口)只有少量車位,如果是週末或假期到訪,最好是乘搭公共交通工具或租車連司機。

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