The Golden Waterfall (黃金瀑布) is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New Taipei City’s Ruifang District (瑞芳) in Taiwan. The water from the Golden Waterfall has a yellow hue, resulting from the heavy metal elements that seep through the old mines and get deposited in the riverbed.
Please watch this video of the Golden Waterfall and the Gold Museum in Taiwan:.
Although the waterfall is not very big and there is no real gold flowing down the stream, it is quite unique and magnificent. The rocks in the stream below the waterfall have a yellow hue. They look gorgeous and attractive, but the water contains high amounts of arsenic.
In fact, the area used to be an important location for gold mining during the Japanese occupation period (1895-1945). The ruins of the abandoned 13-story Mine Selection Plant are still strikingly situated on the hill nearby.
In the back of the plant, there are three grey giant snake-looking concrete pipes winding up the hills. They were the exhaust pipes built to direct the toxic fumes generated during the cooper refining process to the top of the hills. They were constructed to protect the health of the local residents and miners.
At 1.2 miles (2 km) in length and 6.5 feet (2 meters in diameter), they are the longest gas pipes in the world. They are very impressive, but visitors are not permitted to enter the pipes due to the possibility of fatal accidents.
The yellowish water from the Golden Waterfall and the Liangdong River actually flows into Shuinandong Bay (水湳洞灣) at the foot of the hill. The sea water in that vicinity has two different colors — blue and yellow. As local people compare these two contrasting colors in the sea to yin and yang, it is thus called the Yin-Yang Sea (陰陽海).
At Shuinandong Bay, besides viewing the unique and magnificent Yin-Yang Sea, visitors can also take in the beautiful scenery of the northeast coastline of Taiwan and the Keelung Islet in the blue Pacific Ocean.
The Gold Museum (黃金博物館) is another popular tourist attraction in Ruifang District’s Jinguashi (金瓜石). The museum contains Taiwan’s largest collection of mining-industry relics, and was designed in accordance with the eco-museum concept. It has perfectly preserved the Jinguashi’s gold-mining culture, relics, special landscape, and heritage.
The Gold Museum is an open-air museum composed of several buildings and sites, including the Gold Building, the Benshan Fifth Tunnel (本山五坑), the Crown Prince Chalet, the Jin Shui Special Exhibition Hall, the Gold Refining Building, and the Four Joined Japanese-Style Residences.
On the first floor of the Gold Building, there are exhibitions about the mining history of Jinguashi and Shuinandong, old mining equipment, mining artifacts, and an introduction to Jinguashi’s World War II Allied prisoner of war camp (1942-1945).
On the second floor, the history and culture of gold and its applications in the arts and science are on display. In particular, there is a world-record 485.7 pound (220.30 kg), 999.9 percent pure gold brick for visitors to see and touch. Additionally, there is a real-time counter on the worth of this gold brick, which is about NT$269 million (US$9 million) at present.
The Benshan Fifth Tunnel allows visitors to walk through a part of the original mining tunnel with waxworks and recordings of miners’ conversations, allowing visitors to experience what it was like to work in a mine.
The Jinguashi Crown Prince Chalet was originally built for the visit of the Japanese Crown Prince during the Japanese occupation period. It has a typical royal-palace layout with a lovely garden. It is especially liked by tourists from Japan.