Ruifang Train Station
Well-known as Taiwan's Mining Town, Ruifang got its name from a local grocery store. Nowadays, as the mining industry has faded, Ruifang transformed itself from a mining town to a mining-cultured tourist spot and has started to attract visitors from all over the island. In addition to traditional cuisine with local appeal, the nostalgic atmosphere and the various historic landmarks make the town a popular attraction on the northeast of Taiwan.
The town was initially called "gan-zi-lai". In the late Qing Dynasty, it was packed with gold diggers after the discovery of gold mines in the mountainside of Jinguashi and Jiufen. At the foot of the mountain, there was a grocery store called Ruifang run by Deng Chen and Shiher Lai. Shortly after that, the store became the midway supply station and resting place for gold diggers digging gold on the mountainside and people traveling to and from Gemalan (Yilan today). As travelers increased, people used to visit and met with one another at "Ruifang", and it was how the place was named. During the Japanese colonial period, the place was called Juifang District under Keelung County in Taipei Prefecture. After the restoration of Taiwan, it was re-allocated as Ruifang Town under Taipei County.
The place was literally called the "monkey's cave" in the olden days. It is said that there were many money's caves on the cliff inhabited by a large amount of Formosan rock macaques, and it was how the place was named. When people dug the coal from local mines, they adopted the original name of this place. Today, not many monkeys are found, and a few are occasionally spotted in the grass around the abandoned Houdong Tunnel. After WWII, its name was changed into other Chinese characters with the same pronunciation. The Houdong Train Station was the hub of coal mine transportation of the Pingxi Line, and some trains running along the Pingxi Line even made Houdong Train Station its departure station. On 27 January 1920, during the Japanese colonial period, the Ruifang and Houdong sections of the railway began operations. On 1 April 1962, the Chinese name of Houdong Station was changed to its present name. In this place, there is a train station, coal mine historical sites and a beautiful bridge. It was once a coal production site, and the abandoned coal mines naturally became the tourist attractions of today. The Houdong Tunnel is located at the intersection of Houdong Road and Ruisan Arch Bridge.
Ruifang Food Street
Minsheng Street, located on front of the train station, is a famous snack street. The chicken roll commonly known as the "dragon and phoenix's leg" and Fuge Beef Noodle Soup in the area are famous far and wide. At the end of the street, there is a food court where people can enjoy great and tasteful snacks at budget prices, such as the $15 whitebait congee, meatball rice noodle soup, Fuzhou pepper cake and stewed pork bun etc. They are all traditional snacks with great taste, which arouses much aftertaste.