Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Taipei - Red House, BeiTou, DanShui, Fisherman's Wharf, Huaxi & GuangZhou St. Night Market

Red House

Nearest MRT: Xi Men 

Before we headed out to BeiTou, we decided to pop by the Red House (红楼) which was just next to Ximending MRT. The Red House often have shows and other theatrical productions. Therefore, if time permits you might want to catch one of them :) 

Strong wind or Bed Head?!

Beitou 

Nearest MRT: Xin Bei Tou
Pretty Cute decoration in the Metro Station

1. Ketagalan Cultural Centre

There were a couple of more interesting places which we went to at BeiTou. This first will be the Ketagalan Cultural Centre which was located right next to BeiTou Park. If you are interested in the aboriginal people of Taiwan, you can check out the museum as it is free admission. Do note that you are not allowed to take photos in the museum.
Checking out the food in their pot. jk. 
2. Thermal Valley (Hell Valley) 

Hell Valley is one of the sources of hot springs in Bei Tou. It's temperature range from 80  to 100 C. Thus, when you are at the Thermal Valley, you can see the water bubbling and large amount of steam at the area. The water is yellowish green due to the green sulphur present in the water.

They used to allow tourists to cook eggs there. However, due to the high temperatures and various scalding cases, they no longer allow that. 
You can really see the water bubbling. 
3. Beitou Hot Spring Musuem 

Once again a pocket friendly musuem with free admission. (Beitou Museum on the other hand requires an admission. And after going in, I really don't think it is worth the admission.)  It doesn't overload you with information just telling you how Beitou used to be when the Japanese were in Taiwan.
As for hotsprings, there are many hotels and bath houses which you can choose from. I will advise people to go for the hotel hot springs as they are a lot nicer and more relaxing.
I did not particularly enjoy the hotspring as my skin felt a little itchy due to the sulphur. I prefer the Saltwater hot spring in LyuDao which I will blog about later. Nevertheless, if you are not going for other hotsprings in Taiwan, you can give this a try. For those just going there fore the experience, you can pay TWD 40 (SGD 2) to use their public hot spring!

For lunch, we went to a ramen place called 满客温泉拉面 which was located previously at the famous 满来温泉拉面, So we were somewhat tricked into going there. The famous 满来温泉拉面 is now located next to the Ketagalan Cultural Centre. So you can tell me if it is good when you go there! Do order their 温泉蛋.

Other places such as Puji Temple were part of our plan but we didn't go in the end as we didn't want to climb the stairs... so can't share it with you.

There were several shrines and temples such as Puji Temple in Bei Tou. However, they were location rather high up. Thus, we decided to give them a miss since we were rather tired from the walking. 

Danshui

Nearest MRT: Danshui

After Beitou, we headed for Danshui which was a couple of stations away. Remember to walk along the 淡水老街 to look at the food and interesting things ( A lot of things to buy if you are interested. Like all places they do tout a bit. You can just move on.)

Do bring a light jacket as the wind can be very strong. Thus, it can be a little chilly. At Dan Shui, do try the following goodies :) 
  1. 可口鱼丸汤
This fish ball is really really tasty. Usually, I like springy fish balls. While the texture of the fishball was not as springy, I would still recommend it due to the filling. The meat filling was fragrant and well seasoned. If you love Fuzhou fish ball, you must try the this. It really does you want to keep eating.

2. 虾猴
Danshui is probably the only place where you can see so many stalls selling these. I suggest that you dont be greedy and just share one or you will eat until you are really really full.
Dust and his greedy face. 
3. 阿婆铁蛋
I didn't take a photo of this. Don't expect the texture of 铁蛋 to be soft. It is more chewy and savoury. For most of us, we will wonder what this is. It is neither century egg nor salted egg. It is actually 卤蛋 braised egg which is reheated and braised multiple times. This tie dan is an accidental discovery by this grandma who kept reheating her egg due to the cold weather!

4. 阿给
Finally, 阿给. Every one who comes to Danshui will wanna try this. There were many stores that sell this, so go to the original one which is nearer and facing the coast. There will be a lot of people there so it is not difficult to spot. To be honest, I didn't particularly like the taste of it because of the starchy gravy (similar to the oyster omelette- Taiwan version)
5. Tall Ice-Cream 
Is there anything special about the ice-cream? Nope. However, it can be a good choice on a hot day. I was just feeling greedy and every one else had one. So I bought it too. LOL. Can you give this a miss? Yes. hahaha. Pretty photo worthy that's all i suppose.

Fisherman's Wharf

From Danshui, we took a ferry to Fisherman's Wharf. You can directly pay for your tickets using your easycard at the boarding area. Alternatively, you can go to the booth and get your tickets (you can pay using easycard at the booth as well). The only advantage is that the booth personnel will give you directions. HAHA.

Take lotsa photos here as there isn't much to really walk around. But the view is really nice. Do bring a cardigan or jacket as it can be really cold as the wind can be rather strong.

Huaxi & GuangZhou St. Night Market

Nearest MRT: Long Shan Temple

By the time we get back to our hotel it was rather late. With all the snacking throughout the day, we were pretty full and no dinner was really required. After watching the TV show, we headed out for night supper (supposed to be a stroll) to Huaxi Night Market. It was pretty near to Ximen but we decided to take one stop to Long Shan Temple anyway. When we were there, there wasn't much at Huaxi Street Night market although it was supposed to be the more famous one. Guangzhou St Night market had a lot of food and snacks. As the greedy ones, we couldn't help snacking even more.
Smelly Tofu for TWD 150. Cheap & Good!
In Taiwan, some night markets are really food night markets while others are more of shopping night market. Guangzhou St. Night Market was definitely a night market for food! With all the food and long day of walking, we got back to hotel to rest for the day only at around 11pm...

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