On Day 2 of Taipei Itinerary, 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.)
Taipei Day 1 – Air Line Inn Hotel （头等舱）| Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall |Xi Men Ding（西门町）
Taipei Day 2 – Fu Hang Dou Jiang | Yeh Liu Geo Park （野柳） | Jin Gua Shi 金瓜石 | Jiu Fen Street 九分）| Kee Lung Miao Kou Night Market（庙口夜市@基隆）
Taipei Day 3 – Mao Kong Gondola (猫空缆车） | Shi Fen Old Street （十分老街） | Shi Fen Waterfall （十分瀑布）
Taipei Day 4 – Ah Zhong Mian Xian （阿宗面线） | Yong He Dou Jiang （永和豆浆）| Hello Kitty Exhibition | Wu Fen Pu （五分铺） | Rao He Night Market（饶河夜市）
Taipei Day 5 – Breakfast at Xi Men Ding | Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall （国父纪念馆）| Shi Da Night Market （师大夜市）
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!!!*