Back again with the second installation of our Taiwan Travelogue! For those who missed out on the 1st part, you can view it here: Taiwan...

Taiwan Travelogue - (Part 2: Day 4 to 6)

3:37 AM Cassandra Tan 0 Comments

Back again with the second installation of our Taiwan Travelogue! For those who missed out on the 1st part, you can view it here:


Here we go!

Day 4: Hsin Chu Green World, Shi Lin Night Market

Day 4 marked our first long journey out from the Taipei City, all the way to Hsin Chu where an Alpacca farm awaited us. We were already hoping and praying that it wouldn't be raining that day, but in a way, our prayers worked because it was only drizzling a little!

 Macs for breakfast! This whole set only cost us around S$4?!




To get to Hsin Chu / Green World Amusement Park:

We took the High Speed Rail from Taipei Main Station to Hsin Chu. and tickets cost us NT315 each. After we arrived at Hsin Chu Station, we then took a Hsin Chu Bus which goes to Chu Tung, all the way to Green World Amusement Park where a shuttle bus would again, bring us in. The forested ride in was approx 2km?

And here comes the interesting part.

We were supposed to call the GWAP operators to arrange a shuttle bus for us to head in, but somehow, I could not make any calls from my phone. Tried Claudia's too, and there was totally no signal at all. The bus dropped us off at the middle of the highway, which was also the main entrance to the amusement park. We were stuck.

Left without a choice, we had to stop the cars along the expressway so as to borrow a phone. Hahaha it was like one of the most YOLO things we have ever done in our lives. But thankfully. this uncle really stopped by and not only did he lend us his phone, he also offered to send us in!!!

I swear the people in Taiwan have the kindest souls in the world. Period.













The Green World Amusement Park had quite a number of animals - goals, reptiles and a house designated for Alpa cas!!! There are stipulated times for them to roam about, but since it was drizzling that day, they couldn't be let out :(

Thankfully, one of the keepers understood our plight (that we travelled all the way there just for the alpacas) and decided to chase the alpacas out of the house for us, and we managed to take some shots with them. (Again, they have the kindest souls in the world)










Left the place around 2 hours later on their shuttle bus (FINALLY) and got on a bus back to Hsin Chu Station, before taking the HSR back to Taipei Main Station again. Oh yes! But if you do have spare time at Hsin Chu, you can also stop by any of the eateries and try out their Hsin Chu Mi Fen, which is a apparently a famed local delight there! But since we decided that we were going to Shi Lin Night Market for dinner, we decided to give that a miss.

How to get to Shi Lin Night Market: 

To get to Shi Lin Night Market, we took a train (Jie Yun/捷運) via the Red Line to Jian Tan Station (劍潭), where the night market awaited us. The Night Market is located diagonally across the train station, but there's also this underground passage you can take which will bring you right to the night market!


 Cheesy Potato - YUMZ

Fried milk - so so only

 The beef cubes that I have to eat at every night market



 大肠包小肠

I was pretty fond of this since I am a huge sucker for glutinous rice. This item essentially comprises a layer of glutinous rice which makes up the 大肠 or large intestine wrapped around a pork sausage, or 小肠 in this case.

 葱油包 which comprises of spring onions, meat and vermicelli. Another item which I would highly recommend you to order since it is not as oily as the ones we can find in Singapore plus they were very generous with the filling!


 If you ever do see this auntie around in Shi Lin, you're in luck! We tried looking for her after our visit to Shi Lin market in hopes of having another bite of her to-die-for kueh tutu, but we just couldn't seem to hunt her down.


 Um, I'm sorry if I'm going to offend anyone by making this comment. Contrary to popular beliefs, we felt that it was clearly overrated. We had this like 3 times to further confirm our claim (even the store at XMD) and we were proven right again and again.
Prata with banana and condensed milk! 

Day 5: Shi Fen (十分) , Jiu Fen (九份)

Of course, everyone who visits Taiwan would definitely have to make a trip down to Shi Fen and Jiu Fen (十分), for the sky lanterns as well as to explore Jiu Fen's Food Street (九份老街).

To get to Shi Fen (十分):
From Taipei Main Station, take a train (Huo Che 火车 ) to Rui Fang Station (瑞芳火車站) which costs around NT60. After which, transfer to Ping Xi Line (平溪線) and drop at Shi Fen Station (十分).

Shi Fen is one of the few places where you can take photos at an actual Railway Track. The train master would signal you whenever a train is approaching, and you would have to get off the train tracks and resume whatever you are doing after it leaves.





It was the same for the Sky Lanterns, which were also set on the tracks itself. For those who are worried about not capturing a good shot, not to fret as the owners there are actually trained photographers themselves (Well, okay in a way) But I have never seen any shop owners taking photos so professionally before. He even gave us tips on the poses we could adopt and kept interchanging between horizontal and vertical shots like say whuttt.










Taiwanese custard balls which we purchased from a random store! We were queuing and waiting for our food. However, just when the stall owner was done cooking the balls, he emptied all of them into the dustbin right in front of us and we were baffled.

He then told us politely that he would make another batch for us because the previous ones were a little charred. We didn't even realise that they were charred since it was so negligible that we could just have passed it off.


Sorry, I just had to share that story to further emphasize on how much they value their customers and their impeccable services towards them. I have also encountered the same problem in Singapore a couple of times, but they just continued to serve me the evidently charred ones without even a word of apology.

We didn't visit the Shi Fen Waterfall (because we were too lazy to walk all the way there), so we just explored the streets and waited for the train back to Rui Fang Station (瑞芳火車站), before embarking on a journey to Jiu Fen (九份).

To get to Jiu Fen (九份):
Take the train back to Rui Fang Station (瑞芳火車站). After exiting the station, cross to the opposite street and walk all the way straight to the bus stop next to the Police Post and board on the Keelung Transit Bus #788 or Bus #825 towards Jiu Fen. The bus trip takes roughly around 15-20mins, and you might want to visit the Jing Gua Shi (金瓜石) while you are there too! I forgot how much the fares cost, but I think it was well below NT30. 

For those who are confused with the directions given, you can always ask any local there who would be more than willing to direct you to the bus stop. That's what we did anyway since it wasn't easy navigating to the bus-stop. 



We spent a whole lot of time eating and buying souveniers at Jiu Fen (九份) sine the prices of the souveniers there were relatively cheaper than the rest of the places. We bought mostly food items like Fruit jelly, Almond Powder, Pineapple Pastries and it was around 8 boxes for around 180NT box? Which amounted to around S$7. If I remember correctly, more of the stores in the prime districts were selling them for more than 200NT. 

I wouldn't go into much details about the food we ate since you can roughly tell from the photos below, but I can tell you some of the must-eat snacks when you're there!

1. Fishball Vermicelli from Yu Wan Bo Zai
2. Lai Ah Po Orh yee
3. Kurobuta Pork Sausages
4. Ah Zhu Peanut Ice Cream
5. Curry Fish Balls










For more information, you can also read this article that I have written which features other food you have to try there!
http://www.ladyironchef.com/2015/07/taiwan-jiufen-food/



After we shopping at Jiu Fen, we took a public bus from the bus stop straight to the Zhong Xiao Fu Xing Station before taking another train back to Xi Men Ding. We were already dead beat by then, so we kept our night activities to a minimum!

Day 6: Long Shan Shi (龙山寺) Temple Visit, H&M Flagship Store, Shopping around the city 

Since we kept traveling relentlessly for the past few days, we decided to take a break and explore the city instead. We stopped by 永和豆浆 before heading to the temple, which has become our go-to breakfast spot since it was only a street away from our apartment!


 蛋饼
 饭团
芒果冰 - 80NT

How to get to 龙山寺 (Long Shan Temple): 
Take a Train (Jie Yun/捷運) from Xi Men Ding (西门町) Station to Long Shan ( 龙山) Station!
After which, exit the train station and walk all the way straight! You can also follow the directions on the streets / ask the Taiwanese for help and they will be more than happy to lead you there because they're really such kind souls! 





You can also feel free to make your offerings and pray to the Gods while you are there!

After the temple visit, it was time for more shopping!!! Of course, we had to give their H&M a visit since it was the one and only flagship store in Taipei! Ok and possibly the only store in Taiwan too. Their H&M store is located at Breeze Center, around a 10-15 minutes walk from the Zhong Xiao Fu Xing Station! (忠孝复兴站). 

I can't exactly direct you there because we also sort of got a little lost before asking around and eventually finding the store, but you can always check with the locals on how to get to Breeze Center! It's also next to a large departmental store with brands such as G2000, Papa Rich, Pandora etc! 






We spent the bulk of our time at H&M because it was around 4 stories high, with even household products to choose from! The price range is somewhat similar to the store here in SG, but I must say that they're around a season earlier than us. I bought a bag for around S$44 at the flagship store in Taiwan and the one in Singapore costs around $$49.90? Plus I was really happy to have found the bag there because it was completely sold out in SG.

We were supposed to head to SOGO Shopping Center and Shi Da Night Market (師大夜市) for more shopping and dinner, but we decided against the idea because we were extremely dead-beat by the end of our shopping trip and just wanted to head back to our apartment to rest for the night.



Stopped at Xi Men Ding to purchase our dinner and decided to give CoCo Milk Tea a try, since it was also highly raved about by our friends. 

AND IT WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER OMG. 


I really regret not trying it on our first day here because the sweetness and fragrance was just right, but this whole cup only cost us S$1.50!

Please, guys. Do yourself a favor and give this a try. I still have dreams about this even till today.

We didn't explore much since we already decided what we want for dinner - KFC! I know it's really unconventional to try out fast food chains especially when you are in another country. since there are bound to be better choices out there but I beg to differ. Yes, it might sound a little too mainstream and for the lack of a better word, lame but this was also one of the best meals we have had while we were in Taiwan!


The set comes with a Zinger burger, Drumstick, Portuguese Egg Tart, Fries and a Drink which only cost us S$6.70!! Plus, they also sell grilled chicken and it was soooooo tender and yummy!

Watched a little television with movies on replay, and turned in for the night in preparation for our long day for the next couple of days!

Will be posting about Day 7-9 soon!
Feel free to email me at cforcassan@gmail if you have any queries! :)

Love,
Cassan

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