[ 金瓜石 ] Mining for Gold in the Other-Worldly Paradiso


” Do you know where you’re going? ”
We knew where we were going but not sure why we went, especially on a rainy and foggy day. The path looks deserted and quiet. Too quiet to a degree that you feel rather lonely in the world (that’s just my own thoughts). Japanese onced called this place “Kinkaseki” (金瓜石). This was once one of the most precious mines on the island for the gold that came out of here. Its value was maximized during the Japanese occupation period and gold still come out of this place.
We went mining for gold,  walking through the dark quiet tunnel, touching the shiny brick of gold that’s still the largest in the world.. And here, we…

could see nothing and feel quite peaceful. This place has cast a spell over your senses. Ths is part of the Gold Ecological Park in Jinguashi (黃金博物園區, 金瓜石 ) . It’s quite close to its most touristy neighbor – Jioufen (九份) and relatively quieter. Not many places to eat or play games. But there are many beautiful remains of the glorious gold rush days.


Precipitating Tank – Turning underground water into bronze with some iron!


This is still so far the largest block of gold in the world. You could touch it but not even close to lifting it!


We went for the gold-digging thing on the roof-top terrace of the museum. Then it got really windy and rainy. Actually it just felt like a typhoon was here!

 

                                    
We got our little botte to collect whatever we could get from our pile of mud and rocks.

It took us a long time to get that whole plate down to this. In the end, an auntie came over and just showed us how to do it and did it for us.. hahaha. We thought we would lose all the shiny stuff in our plate by swirling that in the water. But when we saw how she did it, it suddenly occured to me that this is just like how things in life are sometimes – you have to be courageous and make your way through although you might loose a lot of things that seems precious. You know, in the end, you’ll be left with the best.


There was  A LOT of us sitting here, looking for gold in our little plates.


This was the “entrance” to the mine. A very unique style for building the walls I thought.


After we got our tiny jar of precious stones, we went into a mine.

 

Sorry Mr. Prince Noodle, I’m posting this because it’s too cute. LOL
We had to wear protective helmets when we went in to the mine.


[ 通往異次元的軌道 ]
Path to another world.. another world that we never really knew about.


Follow the footsteps of the ones who have gone before us.
When we went in, it was around lunch time and there was almost no one in there. Pretty scary at times but felt pretty relaxing and relieved too because that way we didn’t have to listen to noisy kids, didn’t have to fight our way through the crowd,  or try to take photos in awkward angles only to find we still cannot eliminate unphotogenic humans in our beautiful photos. :p

   

Figures in the now closed mine. Parts of the original path leading down to the mine are “renovated” and made into a on-the-site museum with wax figures, lighting and sound effects elucidating what it was like and what kinds of work were involved down in the dark world.


A few brave souls like us. Went hiking up the hundreds of stairs (stone steps really) on a rainy, windy and foggy day only to see ruins of what looked like a Shinto temple in its glorious days.

 

     

That looks rather scary eh?
But it was quite beautiful I thought. On a sunny day, you could see the mountain valley and the ocean. But today, you see nothing. Nothing other than this vast whiteness.

The path downward. Looks rather like a haunted path. There was no one in front of us nor behind us really. & It feels like an ideal place to have fields of cemetaries… only we couldn’t see any at the time. Just kidding. I bet this place must look very different and refreshing in another sense when we come on a sunny day. But then there’ll definitely be more people around.

Gold Ecological Park website:  http://www.gep-en.tpc.gov.tw/econtent/about/about.asp


On our way back to bus stop, we passed by ruins of a theme restaurant on a old street. I don’t know why I have started noticiing more of these kinds of “ruins” after having read a book called “The Ruins Book” written by a group of Japanese photographers/writers who have this “affection” for ruins (architectures). This could very well be another shot from that book, only this is a place in Taiwan, not in Japan.

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