Unfortunately, I jinxed myself with the celebratory "Springtime is HERE!" post and now it is incredibly cold, yet again. According to most Taiwanese locals this year has been extremely irregular, with a colder than normal winter, a scant amount of typhoons during the summer, and a extremely late coming spring. The flowers are here though. =) So we get a little beauty on otherwise miserable days.
A couple of weekends ago a local friend of mine invited me to go to 九份with her. It was awesome. Definitely worth the trip out from Taipei. If you're an exchange student or just visiting, I hope you have the time to make it out to Jiu Fen. Although the weather was cloudy the scenery is still very beautiful and the small alleys hold a lot of character. Sometimes it gets a little jam packed with people going this way, that way and which way and all the street vendors are calling for you to buy their wares, but you can still find tranquil moments of peace amongst all the hubbub.
If you're thinking of going I strongly recommend just going the bus route. You get on the 1062 bus at Exit 1 of Zhong Xiao Fu Xing Station. It's a cheap 90 NT, stress free, easy ride to Jiu Fen. Also it's a whole lot simpler than going by train AND if you ride the train you still have to get on a bus anyway.