Release Sky Lanterns
This is the main reason why people flock to Shifen, to write prayers and wishes on paper lanterns before releasing them into the sky. Lanterns come in different colors and combinations, each color representing a wish like good health, success, luck, and love.
Located about a 20-minute walk away from Shifen Old Street is this 20-meter tall cascading waterfall. It isn’t the biggest waterfall but it’s a pretty sight, with plenty of viewing platforms set up all around. You can spend about half an hour here taking pictures.
Jiufen Street Foods
It’s one of Taiwan’s most popular food streets. From glutinous rice cakes to peanut ice cream rolls, there are tons of delicious streets food snacks to be had here.
Take Photos in Qipao costumes
Aside from eating, the one other thing people like to do in abundance in Jiufen is to take pictures. It’s a picturesque town with plenty of Instagram-worthy spots. If you really want to look the part and ramp up your #OOTD game, then why not rent a qipao? A qipao or cheongsam is a one-piece body-hugging dress traditionally worn by Chinese women.
Traditional Tea House
Drinking tea is a popular pastime in Jiufen. There are several Japanese-inspired traditional teahouses here, especially A-MEI Tea House and Jiufen Teahouse. A-MEI Tea House is the most iconic building in town, the one that’s often featured in pictures of Jiufen.
Get Studio Ghibli Merchandise
Part of the reason why Jiufen’s become such a popular tourist destination is because of its resemblance to a town in Spirited Away. If you’re a fan of Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro, then you’re going to love Jiufen.
Shengping Theater is one of the oldest movie theaters in Taiwan. Badly damaged by a typhoon in 1986, it was renovated and reopened in 2011 as a tourist attraction, but I believe they do have showings here from time to time.