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Taipei Day 3 – We woke up late today because we were exhausted from the previous day’s activities. (Read: here for Taipei Day 2 itinerary) Think we got up only at around 10am.
We had a simple breakfast just right below our hotel. Roy had chicken burger and I can’t remember what I ate lol.
Yes I had a pimple on my face throughout the trip, so if you see some pictures where the pimple doesn’t exist in, that means I photoshopped it away. *disclaimer(
Off we went for our 3rd day of adventure in Taipei! For today, we went to Mao Kong Gondola and Jiu Fen Old Street.
Took the train to Taipei Zoo Station and walked for around 10 minutes before arriving at Mao Kong Gondola. The queue was CRAZY, as you can see below.
Me looking really pissed while being jealous of people entering the cable car.
Okay here is a trick! There are 2 lines for you to queue, the first being for the NORMAL CABLE CAR without the glass flooring. The second (and of course longer) being the one for CRYSTAL CABLE CAR with glass flooring.
A normal person would definitely queue for the second one since it was a one in a life time opportunity. I don’t know of any other places with a crystal cable car. Of course I wanted to take that!!! But Roy suggested we took the normal one FIRST and then take the crystal one on our way down. Genius? Sure it was! Because people were busy on the hills with their own activities so there wasn’t ANY QUEUE for the crystal cable car down at all!
I was hoping to hop onto a red Hello Kitty cable car and viola, my wish came true!!!
We had to share the cable car with 3 other Japanese tourists.
Happy happy me in the cable car.
Love the cartoon decals.
Then I started to look down.. Zomg we were travelling from one mountain to another!
HAHA SERIOUSLY LOOK AT ROY’S FACE.
The ride was around 30mins long so we got bored. There were a few stations in between.
Got irritated at Roy because he kept wanting to take pictures and re-took a gazillion times.
Hence my non-smiling face here.
Then we finally arrived at the Mao Kong station.
Saw that there was a bustling street so we decided to follow the road leading upwards.
And then we chanced upon a lot of teahouses! There were quite a few traditional ones but the one that caught my eye was this cute cafe called 猫空茶屋.
Other than the interior, it was the air-conditioning that caught my eye! But the thing is, they didn’t switch on the air-conditioner until we told them to do so. Well, maybe because we were the only customers and they just opened. Still, I think the service there is pretty bad. There was an aunty (whom I presume to be the mother of the boss) who was being mean and bitchy. First of all, we WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SIT ON THE SOFAS MEANT FOR A GROUP OF PEOPLE. I understand if your cafe was freaking full and if there was a long queue of people outside but SERIOUSLY THERE WAS NOBODY. She kept telling us we couldn’t sit there, and we told her all right just let us snap some photos. After that, we realised it was hot (dude it was 12pm on top of the mountains) so we requested for the air-con to be switched on but she only switched on ONE air con.
Erm, how could one air con be able to cool the entire cafe?? So we told her it was getting hot and stuffy. Guess what she said? 就忍吧！天气热也不是我的错。- which means “Just bear it with! It’s not my fault that the weather is hot.” Yes it’s not your fault because you cannot control the weather, but YOU CAN CONTROL the temperature in YOUR CAFE.
Anyway I refused to get angry there because it would just spoil my trip and holiday so I just didn’t bother.
Really jidan. But the photos turned out quite nice la hor. So next time if you guys want to come here to take photos, just order ONE CHEAPEST ITEM FROM THE MENU, take nice photos and leave.
Wouldn’t be bothered with that aunty if it weren’t for the nice decor.
We ordered a high tea set for two.
Clueless with all the tea stuff.
Anyway guess how much this high tea set cost?!?! TW250!!! Only SGD10, super cheap! Food was okay, not impressive but decent.
Matche soft serve with brownie was good.
We sat for about an hour, but the air con still wasn’t cold lol wtf -.- And look at the amount of people in the cafe, one of the big sofas was still not taken lor. As you can see, the cafe was empty and they did not allow us to sit on the sofas. -.- What logic. #stillharpingonit.
Here is the exterior of the cafe if anybody is interested to go there.
We walked back to Mao Kong station and there wasn’t any queue for the crystal cable car at all! We were the first in line hehe.
Tada, finally set food on the crystal cable car. It was quite scary because we could see the trees wayyyy below us.
Our next destination was to Shi Fen. 十分! Since we were at Mao Kong Gondola, we walked back to Taipei Zoo MRT Station and took one stop to Mu Zha station. From there, we crossed a street and took bus 1076 to Shi Fen. The journey was about slightly over an hour or so. We both slept throughout the bus ride. And finally, we arrived at Shi Fen where we saw the famous train tracks and groups of groups of happy people with their lanterns!
The entire area was filled with families, friends and couples writing their wishes on the lanterns.
Of course, we couldn’t give it a miss! I did majority of the writing since Roy’s Chinese is pretty bad.
Initially, we didn’t know what to write as we are both bad with 成语. Later we realised the existence of a set of cards hanging beside us…
TADA!! JUST COPY ONLY! The different colours represent different categories of wishes you can write for.
For us, we mixed it up during the earlier part so we just wrote whatever we could on whatever colour.
Look at the smiles on their faces! So elated to light their lantern.
Busy Keline still writing~~
Jjang jjang! My masterpiece!! (The part about kids refer to my nephews ah lol.)
We were super excited to light our very own lantern too! The helper lit the lantern with a lighter and we had to hold the lantern while taking photos.. All this time, the fire was burning and we could feel the heat but had to smile for our photos.
OMG it was getting abit too hot for me.
YAY and our lantern went up up up!
After a long day, it was time for some food. We walked down the street and Roy saw this stall… he immediately insisted on buying the chicken drumstick!
It was filled with seasoned rice. Not bad!
There were many many many souvenir shops selling everything lantern related and what not. I didn’t buy any lantern related souvenirs, mainly because I had already received quite a number of lantern key chains from my sister and friends who previously visited the same place before. And I don’t know of anybody whom I can gift the lantern keychains to. It is honestly quite useless to bring around because it’s quite fragile. The only thing is to display it somewhere…… but there is nowhere I can put it at. So, to save myself and others the trouble, I skipped the lantern souvenirs entirely!
The only thing I did? Was to send postcards to myself.
A lot of Taiwanese students on vacation were sending postcards to themselves as well.
Thank you for holding my hand all these years.
Had a piece of fried ice cream while attempting to walk to Shi Fen Waterfall. And then we realised it would take us 20-30 minutes to walk to the waterfall :/So we decided to take a cab instead. It was only a 3-5 minutes car ride up the mountain.
On our way, we had to cross a bridge so here’s a video of me being really excited about going to the waterfall, lol.
And then we saw this…
It was both our first time to a waterfall and it was great to witness nature’s beauty in front of our eyes. The area was misty and cooling, very different from the heat we experienced just earlier on.
Small eyes with the waterfall.
Lol, told you I was happy.
We returned back to Shi Fen Old Street to wait for the last train back and realised we didn’t eat lunch at all. Walked into a random stall and had some small bites.
As you can tell, I was really tired by then. By the time the train came, the train station was flooded with a lot a lot of people. We were afraid we couldn’t get up the train and hence would have to spend our night there. But thankfully the Singaporean in us managed to help us squeeze our way through. When we reached Pingxi train station, guess what!! THERE WAS A BLACKOUT omg. Imagine us waiting for our train back to Taipei in the dark.. What an experience we had!
Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun at Shi Fen. It’s something we can never experience in Singapore. Thank you Taipei for being wonderful.
On Day 2 of Taipei, we woke up early and met my friends, Shao Qing & Jia Wei for breakfast at Fu Hang Dou Jiang at 8am. The nearest MRT station is Shandao Temple. You just have to exit the train station and it is located in the building right next to the MRT.
We thought we were early until we saw this crazy long queue of people…
Shao Qiang hurried in line and had to queue at the staircase. I think there were at least 20 people in front of him.
Grumpy me who had to get out of bed at 6am :’(
The deep fried dough sticks aka You Tiao 油条 were freshly made on the spot.
There are a lot of different combinations of You Tiao you can have, e.g. You Tiao with Prata （厚饼油条）, Prata with Egg （厚饼夹蛋）, Prata with Onion. We are all familiar with these terms but have never had prata and dough sticks together before. Kiasu Singaporeans went to chope seats first because it was quite packed! We were afraid we wouldn’t get to sit down to enjoy our breakfast. For some unknown reasons, my hair looks so frizzy and dry in photos but it is not at all!!!
And then we realised it took too much of our time. We queued for an hour or so and then decided to eat on the bus.
This is the 厚饼 aka Prata in familiar terms.
Mine was You Tiao wrapped with Prata. I must say the Taiwanese style You Tiao is a lot more crispy, fluffy and crunchy than the ones we have in Singapore.
Traidtional Soy Bean milk!
After an hour long bus ride, we finally arrived at our destination, Yeh Liu Geopark (野柳).
We had to walk 15 minutes to the entrance and saw these ships docked at the port. Look what’s on the floor?
I don’t know what they are called but my Taiwanese friends said these are dried and sold.. as food. Maybe some sort of seaweed or something!
Please remember to slap on generous amounts of sunscreen on your face and sunblock ALL OVER YOUR BODY!!!! I cannot emphasise how important it is to stay well-covered by sunblock under the sun.
Other than sunblock & sunscreen, I brought along my pink umbrella which I bought at Xi Men Ding at only TW100! That’s only SGD4, so cheap right!!!
We managed to purchase student priced tickets as my friends had their student ID. I’m unsure if you can use your own Singaporean student ID. You can give it a try though.
This rock looks like a gorilla right!
Heart-shaped/turtle rock formation.
There were many many tourists and also primary school students on excursion. I don’t think they were older than 10. And they were complaining about the heat. “热死了！！我不想活了！” – “It’s so hot I don’t want to live anymore!”
I think these rocks are called candle rocks or something.
With the manmade Queen Elizabeth’s Head because the real one had a longgggg queue that I couldn’t be bothered to join under the merciless sun.
The fake one suffices.
We took a bus from Yeh Liu >> Keelung >> Jinguashi.
Visited the museum and learnt a lot about the history and establishment of the gold mine.
Here I am touching 99% pure gold!
It started to rain quite heavily after we came out of the museum and everyone was busy buying ponchos. I had an umbrella and I didn’t want my shoes to get wet, so I got these instead.. Looking like some fashion disaster but that’s okay.
They look like leg warmers don’t they.
Oh yes there was this massive group of butterflies hanging around a used tissue. In this picture, I think there are 8 of them here. We were surrounded by SOOO many butterflies it felt like we were in a butterfly garden or something.
And then we went for an adventure in the tunnels to experience how it was like to a gold mine worker.
Roy busy taking a selfie while I was concentrating on the exhibition in the tunnel.
It took us around 15-30mins. By the time we came out, we were famished!! The last proper food we ate was you tiao at 8 in the morning. Fortunately, we chanced upon a cafe on our way out and it looked quite decent… except that it wasn’t air-conditioned.
There, we had the best deep fried pork chop rice we ever had. I don’t take pork usually but this was hard to resist. Not too sure if it was because of my hunger or what. Roy said it was really nice too and no other deep fried pork rice he ate during the rest of the trip came close to the one here.
You can choose to have it with or without the bento takeaway. We chose the bento takeaway because it makes for such a cute and useful memento of this place.
Our last stop at Jinguashi was a fully restored 4-room Japanese styled apartment which belonged to a high ranking official a long time ago.
The view from the top.
Our second last stop of the day was to Jiu Fen Old Street （九份老街） to of course, have a taste of the fresh taro balls!
Peanut shaving ice cream which I didn’t fancy. :S
The streets were lined with lots and lots of souvenir and cute shops I had a hard time deciding what to buy. There were too many gifts!
Here, you can see many shops making their own taro balls form scratch, mostly by the older generation.
Okay this is the famous Ah Gan Yee Taro balls 阿柑姨芋圆. It is located all the way inside. Do not be disheartened by the long queue, they have seats all the way inside and upstairs! You can get a friend to queue and another to reserve the seats. The place is fully equipped with fans and air con.
Yum yum, fresh taro balls with ice to save the day!! Just what I needed after a long day under the torturous sun.
You can see I was really tired out by all the walking and the crazy heat that day. We spent around 3 hours there, and hopped on a bus to Keelung for Miao Kou Night Market!
Miao Kou Night Market is definitely one of our favourite night markets in Taiwan. There are so many varieties of food and you’ll can definitely get seats while enjoying good food at the same time. Rest your tired legs!
You can see 葱抓饼 (Onion Prata) at almost every single night market. I decided to give it a try here.
Nothing much, tasted exactly like the prata we have back home.
Okay there was this very 不起眼 popiah shop making popiah skin live on the spot. My aunt owns a famous popiah stall in Singapore so I’m very particular about popiahs. When I saw that they were making the popiah skin live, I wanted to give it a try to taste the difference between readymade ones and this. It’s called “Ren Bing” in Chinese.
The end result was a HUGE popiah wrap (bigger than a subway!!) with lots of sweet, salty and crunchy filling that was so good with every bite!!!!! Wow, I totally didn’t expect it to taste so good, and best of all, it was only TW40, less than SGD2.
AND THEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE MARKET WAS THIS:
鼎邊趖! (I don’t know if you should pronounce it was “ding bian mo” or “ding bian cuo”.) Okay it’s something like Yong Tau Foo, a really small bowl with maybe 4 ingredients. The main dish is this rice roll, like hor fun, but thicker and more chewy. The soup is light, sweet and refreshing. I regret not buying another bowl. :’(
I think my Taiwanese friends said you can only get this dish here. There are only 2 shops selling this. The other one with yellow signage right opposite was closed when we were there. But I was told they both taste equally good.
Sorbet that wasn’t very nice despite the long queue. Think I only ate one mouth.
We were dead tired by then and it was already 11pm. Bade Shao Qing and Jia Wei goodbye and thanked them for being such good hosts the past 2 days.
So we headed back to Xi Men Ding where out hotel was and walked into a random shop which was still opened at that hour.
Okay we thought this was a plate of char siew… but it tasted like cuttle fish or too much fats. IDK what is was and didn’t like it. Roy didn’t continue eating it either. :/
Any type of fish ball is good for my tummy!
Some sort of oil noodles which was quite yummy.
There was a long queue at Hot Star (Hao Da) so we decided to give it a try. I’ve never had Hot Star chicken back in Singapore so it was my first time. Tasted like any other ordinary Taiwanese deep fried chicken. I don’t think people buy from Hot Star because it’s the best, but because the food is decent and it’s located EVERYWHERE. Seriously almost at every corner of any streets, I’ll definitely see a Hot Star shop. Even in Shilin Night Market itself, I think I saw 2-3 Hot Star outlets lol!
And that was all for our Day 2. We were extremely exhausted from all the sightseeing that started in the morning at 8am and lasted till 12am. That was more than 12 hours out. Nonetheless, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Hehe. (P/s: Sorry I do not have the maps to the places and travelling information for this post because I only followed my Taiwanese friends. We travelled the real Taiwanese way by taking a buses that no tourists took at bus stops that didn’t have tourists at all.)
By the way, do any of you still read this space?? Please leave a comment to say hi because I haven’t been receiving random comments.. (of course, that’s because I haven’t been blogging!!! I only have myself to blame). But I would love to do some interaction with you guys/girls. HELLO!! *BIG WAVES!!!*