I know what you’re thinking… God, this is never ending isn’t it? Don’t worry, after this, only 1 last day to go and the chronicles of my Taipei trip will officially be over… That is, until the next time I go there. Hahaha!
Day 6 does not begin with my face (shock horror shock horror)!
Say hello to the craziness that is Taipei traffic. Look at the sheer amount of motorcycles! No wonder 机车族 is such a common appearance in Taiwanese dramas.
Our itinerary for the day is Shifen – Jiufen – Keelung – Miramar.
Off we went to Taipei Main Station! From there, we took the railway to Ruifang 瑞芳.
From Taipei Main Station to Ruifang and then from Ruifang, change train to the Pingxi Line 平溪线 to get to Shifen十分.
Train tickets from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang cost 59NTD each and 20NTD each from Ruifang to Shifen.
The journey from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang takes about 40 minutes while the Ruifang to Shifen journey is about 20 minutes. Do bear in mind that the Pingxi Line 平溪线 train frequency is very low so be sure to check out the timetables in advance and purchase round trip tickets.
Interior of the train. You can also opt to purchase slightly cheaper tickets whereby you don’t get a properly assigned seat which means if there are no seats then you’ve just gotta stand at the front of the cabin. Should be perfectly fine for shorter journeys but I wouldn’t recommend it if you are traveling from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang because spending 40 minutes on your feet in a moving train is not fun.
Mum grinning ear to ear with our tickets.
I look awful after a night of shitty sleep. And to top if off, bad hair day. -_-
Complimentary snacks from our hotel which was also our breakfast.
Tunnel at Ruifang station.
Pingxi line 平溪线. We waited quite a bit for the train.
Temperature wasn’t too low but the wind! Threw on my jacket hastily while my legs froze.
And we’re here! Mr. 站长 scared the hell out of me when I first walked past him.
Train tracks! Our train just departed on these very tracks.
Mum on the other side of the tracks. On the left you can see the town basically just stretching on in a line along the tracks.
Centre of the Shifen 十分 town. Majority of the shops sell sky lanterns which the town is famous for.
They even have a menu for it. >.>
Further down the street.
I think this dog is even fatter than my dog. And that’s saying something.
These are either Malaysians or Singaporeans. Lol.
Food! 鸡腿卷 which literally means boneless drumsticks.
12pm and all we had to eat was a packet of crisps. These positively looked like heaven to us. We bought 3 for 100NTD. There’re different flavours to choose from. Basically it’s just different flavoured powder sprinkled on top. We went with Original, Garlic and Spicy. I liked the Original & Garlic ones better.
With a bit of food finally in our stomachs, we became much cheerier too. This is the 静安桥.
My mum is afraid of heights. This is her nervous panicky smile. Note how she leans away from the railings? xD
We then went to get our own sky lantern! I’m very kiasu so I picked the multicoloured one. This was 150NTD. If you opt for the plain white one then it’s 100NTD. We also bought some miniature sky lanterns as souvenirs.
Us releasing the sky lantern!
Another rare photo of us! Thanks to the kind proprietor of the sky lantern shop. 🙂
If you’re up for walking, there’s also the Shifen Waterfall which is further away. We chose not to because we didn’t feel like walking that far and the entrance fee is about NTD50-70 which we just didn’t feel like paying.
We then made our way back to the station but as luck would have it, we missed the train by less than a minute… We literally watched the train pass us by. T-T And because I am slightly OCD and have our itinerary planned down to the T, our schedule was completely thrown off. Ah well.
Hanging around the station after watching the train leave without us. Here’s a mailbox for you to send postcards back home.
They also have these really cute stamps for you to stamp on your postcards but since we don’t have any, we stamped it on the itinerary instead. Here you can see my OCD planning. The date on top is off because we switched up the days due to a delay we had on Day 4. I wonder if I should make the itinerary a downloadable? Not sure if anyone would be interested in it though.
Moving on! Since the next train doesn’t come for another hour, we decided to go eat some more. Yeah, that’s my philosophy in life. When in doubt, eat something.
Aiyu Jelly 爱玉冰 for 35NTD. Pretty meh. Maybe because it’s a tourist area? The shop we went to had next to no customers.
The gooiest oyster omelette 蚵仔煎 ever. And not in a good way. There was just way too much starch and not much of anything else. Give me Penang’s version any day. 60NTD.
After walking up and down the town aimlessly for awhile, the train finally arrived!
View from the train from Shifen back to Ruifang. I dozed off after a bit.
From Ruifang, we took the Keelung Transit bus from the bus stops in front of the train station to Jiufen.
Bus ride was approximately 15 minutes. We used our Easy Card 悠游卡 so I’m not sure how much the bus fare was. Probably less than 20NTD.
And we’re here at Jiufen 九份!
Mum at the entrance of Jiufen Old Street 九份旧道.
A lot of tourists.
This is the famous peanut ice-cream at 35NTD each.
I had really high hopes for this because I love peanut desserts but this fell a bit short. I like my ice-cream really creamy but this was more like Nestle and less like Haagen Dazs. And there wasn’t much peanut taste in the ice-cream itself.
Touristy shot in the middle of the street.
My mum insists that these are snails. I think they’re just some shellfish. What say you?
Jiufen is also famous for these Red Wine Meat Ball with Glutinous Rice Skin 紅糟肉圓.
We saw people buying these by the dozens.
I’m not sure if those are actually submerged in oil or some other liquid…
We ordered one for 45NTD. It was just…gross. The texture is like a gooey blob of glue and the entire thing tasted too weird for our liking. The best thing in that bowl was the coriander on top. This was one of the few things we didn’t finish on the whole trip.
Another doggy! This one’s half guarding and half sleeping at the entrance of it’s owner’s shop. Aww.
A lot of winding streets like this in Jiufen.
The iconic red lanterns.
Shop deco of 汤婆婆的汤屋. You can see my mum’s reflection in the glass lol.
I think this is a signage pointing you to different place of interest? I’m not sure. Bandaged toe because I got a blister from my new flats from Shihlin (what else is new?).
Hopped on a random motorcycle to take a photo with the beautiful scenery. We’re lucky no one chased us off. :p
We managed to get ourselves a bit lost by wandering down random streets which is quite an incredible feat because the town is really just tiny. Luckily we found our way out not long after by stumbling through random alleys and the residential area. =.=
And then we boarded another bus (the entire day is just filled with traveling to different spots) from Jiufen 九份 to Keelung 基隆. Tell the bus driver you’d like to go to Keelung Miaokou night market 基隆庙口夜市 and ask him where to disembark. The whole journey was about 30-40 minutes, depending on how fast the bus driver goes.
The Keelung Miaokou night market is famous for their seafood as it’s a seaside town. It’s a pretty small night market compared to the likes of Shihlin.
Sky’s already dark despite it being only 5.30pm.
A lot of stalls lining up on both sides of the street. Feels a bit like a food court rather than a night market.
Dianji Temple 奠濟宮. The night market is built around the neighbourhood of this temple, hence the name Miaokou which literally means “in front of the temple”.
After wandering around for ages, we finally settled on having braised eel 红烧鳗 for dinner.
Huge mound of eels.
Our braised eel with glass noodles 红烧鳗冬粉 was 60NTD. Nothing very special. I think I enjoyed the glass noodles more than the eel itself.
Ridiculously huge octopus tentacles which we didn’t try. Was very tempted but there’s no way the two of us could polish off the entire thing by ourselves.
Came across this 2 people followed by a crew of camera men. Not sure if they were shooting a commercial or if it’s really for their wedding album. Still, a night market is quite an odd place to have a wedding shoot isn’t it?
Next stop, seafood! They all have really aggressive people promoting their own stalls and shoving their menu in front of you to make you choose them. We picked this one who claims to be the first in Taiwan – Stall 36 The Old Soldier’s Butter Crabs.
The menu. Aside from seafood, they also have a small selection of beef and mutton.
Eight small prawns – see plastic spoon for comparison – for 150NTD. The broth is quite herby (that’s not really a word, I know) but the prawn was overcooked. Meh.
Griled shellfish 烤风螺. 10 small pieces for 120NTD. Overcooked again dammit.
Butter crab. This is very different from the Malaysian version which is rich and creamy. The version we had was watery with a lot of onion and garlic. 5 crab legs for 200NTD. I didn’t like it at all.
It was one of the more expensive meals we’ve had in Taipei so far (470NTD in total) and also one of the least satisfying. I’d recommend you to try some other stalls instead.
Doggy break time again! This one has it’s very own pram! So awesome to get to bring your dogs everywhere with you. Here we don’t get to bring our dogs anywhere at all. Ugh.
Bubble tea! Another chain selling XL size drinks. The 1L version of the basic drinks – green tea, red tea, wintermelon tea, etc – is only 25NTD! 1 freaking litre! Take that you stupid overpriced Chatime!
Left – 500ml milktea for NTD25, right – 750ml plum ice tea for NTD20.
Third round of dinner. Yeah, I eat a lot. Why do you ask?
Mee sua again. This one doesn’t have any oysters in it and is instead served with meatballs, it’s called 面线羹 (35NTD). I prefer the oyster mee sua.
We also ordered another oyster omelette despite the disaster we had in the afternoon.
I think it’s fair to say that we firmly believe the Malaysian version is superior. This was 60NTD.
We then boarded a bus from Keelung back to Taipei Main Station for 55NTD each. Took about an hour.
And then we came across this madness at the station.
Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake. Each person is only allowed one cheesecake which is sold at 199NTD. No idea what’s the hype about and didn’t bother waiting around as we wanted to quickly move to our next destination.
The Miramar Ferris Wheel! We decided on this pretty much on the spot since it was only about 9.45pm and the ferris wheel operates until 11pm. If you’ve watched Taiwanese dramas before, surely you’d have come across a scene filmed here!
Directions: From Taipei Main Station, take train to Jiannan Road Station 劍南路站 (Neihu Line).
The moment I stepped in, I said to my mum “Oh my god, I recognise this place!”
The Taiwanese drama 換換愛 was filmed here! This particular scene (starting from 7:20) was what triggered my memory.
Tickets! Mine was 120NTD because I had the youth travel card. Normal tickets are priced at 150NTD.
There are two different kinds of cabins – the normal ones and the ones with clear bottoms. There are only about 4 cabins with clear bottoms and when we reached at around 10pm, there were 3-4 couples in front of us waiting to get on the ferris wheel. Since there’s no extra charge for the clear cabins, most of them opted to wait and so did we.
We finally got on after half an hour’s wait!
My camera was dying and I was left with the lousy HTC camera. But hey, can you see the clear cabin? 😀
Did I mention my mum’s afraid of heights? See her death grip on the railing and the same panicked nervous smile she has.
A marginally clearer photo with my camera before it officially died. The green light doesn’t make for very good photos.
We ended the night with supper from 7-11! Here’s the hotel’s pantry. On the left you can see the coffee machine and the tea/hot chocolate machine. They also have a variety of syrups for you to add into your drinks. I LOVE the hot chocolate omg.
The microwave oven (with our suppers heating up inside) and toaster.
Mapo tofu rice 麻婆豆腐饭 for 58NTD.
Grilled chicken rice 烤鸡腿油饭 for 65NTD.
Both very yummy. I’ll ask again, why don’t our 7-11’s have anything like this?!
And that’s Day 6 done! Phew. This is one long post! Day 7 (the last day) will have considerably less photos so that should be out faster! Till then, ciao!