Monday, November 15, 2010

Taiwan - Day 3 - Part 1

We started off the day with "POWERFUL" breakfast.

The shop is located across the hotel where we are staying and they are only open for breakfast. They offered a variety of sandwiches, best of all ~ it's pork.
After breakie we are prepared to visit Jiufen and it's surrounding point of interest. There are a few ways to reach Jiufen. One can go by taxi at NT1000 or by train at NT90, we opted the train.

We head on to Taipei Main Station to get our train tickets. It's a bit tricky here and can get quite messy if one doesn't read Mandarin. It's a self ticket vending machine and there are a few types of trains (lines to be exaxt) to choose from and we have to decide which station to get on and off. Best to equip yourself with the needed information before proceeding (lucky for me, BS does read Mandarin but even that did take us some time to identify the correct train to board).

Soon, we were on the "correct" train and on our way. I didn't manage to time how long it took us to reach because I dozed off after the second station (I think, pai seh).
We stopped at Rueifang and it's raining (what luck). Since it's raining, we took a taxi instead of a bus. The taxi driver initiated some small talk and then started to introduce the tour package that he has to offer. For NT2600 per car, you will have the luxury stop and visit Jiufen and it's surrounding at your own pace. There are a few more package to choose from, take your pick whichever suits you. We didn't pick any as it was raining and we won't be able to see most the places in the package.

We reach Jiufen Old Street after 20 minutes. The town is built at the side of the hills from the Pacific Ocean coastline. The main attraction here will be the town's historic commercial district.

Being me, my first stop was driven by the smell of food. I trail the smell to this small little shop and they are selling something like the tako balls, the one the uncle is preparing here have something extra, succulent prawns in it and deep fried till perfection.

Diagonally across the uncle stall was this shop selling "tong sui". We entered, ordered a bowl and enjoyed it with the tako balls we bought earlier. Enjoyed the warmth of the food and cooling weather.
Pic was taken at the back of the "tong sui" shop.
Take a look at the houses build and the landscape around it. Life looks so simple here and BS playfulled asked if I would like to spend my old age here. Being a city guy, I don't think I can but that's my answer at the age of 29. Who know's I might say yes 30 years from today.

We trail the old street passing endless stalls selling food and gifts (I took so many pictures and I am having a tough time deciding which one to post).
Shells, fresh and tasty (hot hot hot).
Some of the shops offers interesting gifts for travellers to buy back.
Couldn't resist to pictures of them. While I was busy snapping, BS was busy sampling the food.
BS got an item that is used to make the "ang ko" skin for his mum and I got one of the hand puppet figures.

Competition is tough, take a look at how one dress to attract customers. 3 for NT100.
Walking through the streets of Jiufen, you will come across very unique tea houses. Becareful if you are tavelling here during the rainy season, the steps are wet and slippery. We didn't venture further to the top due to this reason.   
Do take note that food sampling is available left and right, get ready your toothpicks (grinning)
I love the shop because it has a purple teddy bear outside the shop, nope that's not the main reason. I actually was drawn by the smell of lavendar that the shop emits. The shop is called "Lavendar Forest".We got to know that they have only been in business for about a year and the shop assistant is very friendly attending to every questions we posted. If you happen to be there, do take some time and pay this little shop a visit. They have many small lavendar products.

We spent quite a long time here and we are running late for our next destination, Jinguashi. Details will be revealed in my Taiwan - Day 3 - Part 2 posting.

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