June 26, 2018

Fun Taiwan Day 8: Taipei (Tamsui Old Street 淡水老街, Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf 淡水漁人碼頭, Fort San Domingo 紅毛城 & Raohe Street Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市)

Third day in Taipei, it was on Monday. We chose to have breakfast at 7-Eleven nearby. I had a cup of hot cappuccino and egg sandwich. My plan for the day, a walk at Tamsui (淡水) then go to Raohe Street Night Market (饒河夜市) in the evening time. It was another hot day in Taiwan.

This sour plum tea is famous at Tamsui Old Street. The taste was good. Its sourness was just nice, not overly sour. An effective beverage to quench your thirst on a hot day.

We embarked ferry from Tamsui Old Street to Fisherman's Wharf at this station here. If you have the EasyCard 悠遊卡, you just need to tap it to the sensor and access to ferry. Don't have to purchase ticket at the counter. If not mistaken, the ferry station starts operating at 12pm.

It took about 15 minutes to get to Fisherman's wharf by ferry ride. Miffy bunnies are welcoming you to Fisherman's wharf.

The Lover's Bridge 情人橋.

Got my mum to pose the love gesture at the landmark of Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf.

It was noon time, bought this cup noodles from the only convenient store here for lunch. My sister-in-law likes this flavour of cup noodles very much. Not bad actually, inexpensive too.

Instead of ferry, we took bus on our return to Tamsui Old Street. Stopped by at Fort San Domingo (紅毛城). The entrance fee is NT$80 per adult.

It was first built by Spanish in 1629. Destroyed by the Spanish after losing the war to the Dutch in 1642. Dutch rebuilt it in 1644. In 1867, the British leased the fort from the Qing dynasty and made it their trade consulate.

This is the former British Consular Residence. The location of it provides a beautiful outlook on Guanyin Mountain and the Tamsui River.

Aletheia University 真理大學, founded by Dr. George Leslie Mackay, a missionary from Canada. Completed in 1882, it was formerly named as Oxford College because it was funded in large part by contributions from the residents of Oxford County in Ontario, Canada. Dr. George Leslie Mackay named the school Oxford College as a gesture of thanks to the benefactors.

The former Oxford University College founded by Dr. George Leslie Mackay. It's now a part of Aletheia University.

We went to Raohe Street Night Market around 5:30pm.

First thing to buy at Raohe, the famous pepper bun 胡椒餅. It was originated from the Foochow region of the mainland China. during Tang dynasty. The same baking method like gongpia 光餅, baking in a high-heat clay oven.

We arrived here slightly earlier so the queue was still short. I highly recommend this pepper bun, it's a must-try food at here. The stall is just located at the entrance, very easy to spot.

The fillings was abundant and juicy, not as dry as the one I bought from Shilin Night Market. The dough was crispy. With the aroma of pepper, it was really tasty indeed.

My mum is very picky in food. She didn't want to try out the pepper bun so we had to seek other food that interests her. Opted this at last. I don't know what's it called. The taste was quite bland.

After dinner, must have desserts. I ordered the original taste of tofu pudding 豆腐花.

The original taste of tofu pudding, NT$45 per bowl.

The map to Raohe Night Market:

There are another two night markets which I liked very much too, Shida Night Market and Gongguan Night Market. Didn't have enough of time to visit other night markets in Taipei during this trip. To try out so many night markets in Taipei, it requires 10 days length of stay at least.

June 20, 2018

Fun Taiwan Day 7: Taipei (Zhuzihu Calla Lilies Farms 竹子湖 & Shilin Night Market 士林夜市)

Day 2 in Taipei, I wanted to bring my mum to Zhuzihu for the festive of calla lilies. Woke up and got ready, we went to the neighbourhood for breakfast. I decided to have breakfast at 永和豆漿 (Yong He Dou Jian). The shop capacity was rather small. Luckily we were able to get a seat.

Ordered a few items. But the taste was quite ordinary.

After breakfast, took MRT to Shipai MRT Station (捷運石牌站). Then searched the location of the bus stop outside the MRT station, looked for the signboard with "小8" bus. I chose the wrong day to visit Zhuzihu, it was the last day of holidays in Taiwan. There was countless of tourists (either local or foreigner) chose to visit on this day too. Waited under sun exposure, nearly fainted. There are different number of buses accessing to Zhuzihu too. You may need to get your companion to ask the bus driver (do not leave the queue yet).

There was incident that a middle-age couple queued then followed the crowd by trying to get on another bus. Unfortunately the bus was not going to route Zhuzihu area. They tried 2 attempts to get on the bus, in the end they queued in front of us after failed attempt because our bus was approaching soon. Of course we as the queue liners got provoked with their act. The family before us asked them to queue up behind, I also voiced out loud. 小8 bus is actually a mini bus with limited seats.

Finally we are here at Zhuzihu. But looking at the first scene, I was quite disappointed because the calla lily plants look so scarce. It was not the same as shown in pictures on Google. Each field has its owner, entering the farm you need to pay for the entrance fee they specified. You can pluck stalks of calla lily too, different quantity different pricing.

I intended to visit Hydrangea farm at here too. Too bad it was not ready to open for public to view yet. Based on the statement on notice board, estimate it will be ready for viewing on the first of May until middle of July. I guess they were still waiting for full bloom.

We passed by a field with most beautiful calla lilies, decided to queue and enter. The entrance fee is much more expensive than others, the ticket can be redeemed for meal too. Since it was about time for lunch. We proceeded with it. If you do not want to have meal here, you can opt to pay the entrance fee for viewing only.

It was a long wait for our two dishes to be served. Luckily the taste worth the wait (or we were too hungry?). The cabbage was crunchy and sweet.

My mum loved the steamed fish. It was quite expensive for me. NT$550? Can't recall the price but the size of the fish was huge.

After lunch, we wandered in the farm and spent time to take pictures.

The moment we wanted to take bus on returning shocked us the most. I took the picture from where our queue was. The queue line was very ridiculously long. Took us another long hours to wait for our turn. So please avoid to visit this place during weekends if you are foreigner. Visiting on weekend during blooming season is notoriously packed and peak days at Zhuzihu.

Map to Zhuzihu:

Next stop, Shilin Night Market 士林夜市. Time to hunt for dinner.

Bought drinks from Chingshin 清心福全, my favourite brand of beverage in Taiwan.

I missed this steamed bun (sheng jian bao) a lot. This is a must-have at Shilin Night Market.

The vegetable flavour.

The pork meat flavour. Both are equally tasty.

This BBQ grilled abalone mushroom was quite a hype at Shilin Night Market. The queue was quite long, I was hesitated at first. At last still decided to get my mum to wait at side and I went on to queue for it.

NT$100 per bowl, can select two flavours to mix.

Not too bad. Slurp.. worth to give it a try.

This vendor was calling passerby to buy his chicken wings. I love chicken wings. Patronised him by getting one piece. He said it's quite a weird day because his business was very good normally. Hehe.. His chicken wings stuffed with rice, it was really tasty.

Walked pass this shop selling pepper bun 胡椒餅. Bought a piece to try too, in hoping its taste can compete with the famous pepper bun at Raohe Night Market.

My verdict, it's still can't beat the one at Raohe Night Market. The fillings was rather dry and not fragrant enough.

Map to Shilin Night Market:

Finally I'm done with this post. Time to go home for dinner. What's next... Tamsui and Raohe Night Market. Stay tuned!

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