Set against the backdrop of majestic mountains and gorgeous sea, Jiufen and its neighbour Jinguashi are two villages in Taiwan that warrant a spot on tourists’ itineraries.

Both overlook the north-east coast and were once thriving mining areas during the Japanese era. They were prosperous in the 1930s when Jiufen was known as Little Shanghai.

Getting here from Taipei is a breeze. There is frequent bus service (No. 1062) from MRT Zhong-xiao Fuxing Station in downtown Taipei to Jiufen and Jinguashi. The ride takes about an hour.

Alternatively, one can take an east-bound train (heading to Yilan/Hualien) to Ruifang and transfer to a bus bound for the two villages or further on to Fulong.

If spectacular scenery, a compelling history and great accessibility are not reason enough to visit, here’s another one: There is plenty to explore in these settlements.

Here are five amazing experiences to immerse yourself in while you’re here.