Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Sunday, June 12, 2016

7D6N Tour to Taiwan (Ximending & Raohe Night Market), Day 3 - Eat and Eat

Throwback to 15 December 2015
Day 3


After breakfast, it was time to pack up and check out. We decided for the convenient option of hiring the Uber Driver Ken to ferry us to Ximending. Before that, let's save some memories of our Windsor guesthouse 日光涵館1海景套房.


The guesthouse is just right above

Some steps later...

The location was ideal. Climbing a fleet of stairs upwards from our guesthouse would lead us straight to the Old Street of Jiufen, where the hustle and bustle are.

Tadaa~

Some decorations within the guesthouse

The living room where both of us bunked in on the sofa bed.


Left the comfy bed upstairs for Mum

Notice the missing soft toy (refer to Day 1)

Ken wasn't available, so his colleague came to ferry us instead. Was amazed at the timeliness he reached. Taiwan drivers seemed to be a patient lot. While descending Jiufen, there were several occasions when vehicles come to face-to-face on a single-lane traffic, and drivers would have to reverse quite a distance in order to allow oncoming traffic to flow. All these done patiently.

Our accomodation for the remaining 5D4N in Ximending was Go Sleep Hotel Hankou 高絲旅時尚旅館-漢口館. It was a 10 minutes walk away from the Ximending subway station, and a short walk to the exciting streets of Ximending.

Simple lunch

The mango shaved ice dessert at San Xiong Mei 西門町三兄妹雪花冰專門店 was one of its kind. The fineness of the shaved ice gives you a instant-melt-in-your-mouth feel. Topped with the fresh mango cubes, the taste was heavenly. We would find ourselves coming back to this dessert stall several times over the next few days.



Random scribblings... until I saw SG50!

How bitter could a bitter gourd juice be? Extremely. One sip was too much for me.


How can one roam the streets of Taiwan without getting a chicken chop? We bought a packet from this fast food chain while continuing our exploration.



Went into the The Red House (Honglou) 西門紅樓, a heritage and cultural site.





We return to check in to the hotel, took a rest and then ventured to the Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市), few train stops away from Ximending.


Night markets in Taiwan are usually sited next to a temple. One possible reason could be due to the natural crowd in these temple vicinities, and the easier identification of such markets if pegged to a landmark (i.e. temple).



And the food trail began! We were very cautious on which street food were suitable for pregnant lady. We went to a proper dining restaurant to settle our main course, and supplement it with snippets of the savoury street food.

Freshly handmade and cooked Xiao Long Bao



Abalone











We also fulfilled our mission to get new shoes at low prices.


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

7D6N Tour to Taiwan (Shifen), Day 2 - Cats, Cats, everywhere

Throwback to 14 December 2015
Day 2


Thanks to the cool weather and the serenity of the area, it was a restful night! We were greeted with a thick mist of air outside our guesthouse. The dehumidifier was on when we were in.



View from our porch

Dragging the dreadful tote bag




After a 5 minute stroll, we arrived at the main office which is also the 涵館咖啡馆/coffeeshop, where breakfast is provided.

Finding out where we should go next while waiting for breakfast



Freshly made breakfast with distilled coffee


Researching the day's itinerary

Would have been a great place to chill if not for the drizzle

And the journey for the day begins

You got to salute the bus drivers for being able to negotiate sharp bends at such high speed

Ruifang (瑞芳) Station


Bought our one-day train tickets for Pingxi Line (平溪線)

Trail Guide Map of Pingxi Line


As the train comes every hour, it is important to plan your trip carefully to minimise train waiting time. We decided to make Houtong Cat Village (猴硐貓村), just one stop after Ruifang (瑞芳) Station, our first stop to up the morale of my pregnant wife.

Train schedule

Meow

Map of Houtong Cat Village (猴硐貓村)

Cats, cats, everywhere starting from the train station







We gave ourselves about an hour to explore Houtong. Sadly, most of the shops were closed. Having some time to spare, we ventured into the Houtong Coal-Mine Ecological Park 猴硐煤礦博物園區. It was an adventurous 20 minutes, and we dashed back to the real train after our mini-train ride.









Explanation of the coal mining process

Having a try on the traditional mining equipment


Can already start second career



Bye bye Cat Village

We managed to catch the train, and we headed for the terminal station, Jingtong 箐桐.



Map of Jingtong 箐桐


Japanese house that was not open




A stroll down Jingtong Old Street 箐桐老街

We decided to heed the advice of some travel websites to walk for 20 minutes to Pingxi 平溪.


Perhaps better to take the train if it's raining


We had one of the best Peanut Ice Cream rolls at this Pingxi stall. Huge roll with greens (which Jiufen's do not have). From Pingxi, we rode to Shifen. We were advised that it is sufficient to enjoy the view of the other stops while the train rode along.


Huge troves of tourists releasing lanterns into the air. We spoke to the locals who shared with us that they do deploy people to clear up the lanterns from the neighbouring forests. However, taking a glance over to the trees out there, we realised that with so many of the lanterns caught on the branches high up from the ground, releasing an additional lantern might just be denting the environment further.

So, we went to see the famous waterfall. It was a short taxi ride away (we couldn't walk more).

At first, we thought this tiny waterfall was the Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布)

Fortunately it didn't disappoint us

As the day darkens, we decided to end the day. Dinner was at the food centre at the end of Ruifang (瑞芳) food street.

Finally a dog, after so many cats~