Trip To Taipei (December 2015)

I’m not quite sure how we settled on Taipei for our year end break but had wanted to visit some place nearby which we’ve not been to yet.  Heard from friends and read about the variety of food to try as well as the friendliness of the Taiwanese. Now that we are back, I would also like to add that it’s a place where one feels safe even in crowded places. This being our first trip, we were mostly visiting Taipei and its surrounding areas but should we go back again, we would like to venture further down south.
From a friend’s recommendation, we stayed at Cityinn Plus Hotel just next to Ximen Station and Ximending shopping street. Though the room was a bit small, the location and its facilities are great ….. free self service laundry and hot drinks dispenser in a comfortable common area for the hotel guests. There’s also a family mart just across the street. We also stayed a night at the lovely Windsor BnB at Jiufen and visited Shifen and Jinguashi (Gold Mining Museum) nearby.  I like exploring the various night markets such as Raohe, Shilin and Keelung and was impressed by the beautiful old Ciyou and Longshan temples. Other places we visited …. Tamshui and Fisherman’s Wharf, Huashan Creative Park and Wulai.
Day 1 & 2 …. Ximending, Raohe Night Market, Shifen & Jiufen
Ximending
Ciyou Temple, next to Raohe Night Market
Beautiful interior of the temple with elaborate carvings and roof details (below pic)

Barbequed squid
Yummy prata-like pancake

I like these tasty grilled giant mushrooms
Cooking meat cubes with a blow torch.
Tried the white bitter gourd drink out of curiosity but didn’t like the bitter taste even though it’s supposed to be good for something.
Brown sugar tea cubes with different ingredients for a nutritious hot or cold drink.
We like the taste which is similar to our ‘liang cha’ so bought a few packs to bring home.

A new use for your caps?
Visitors to Shifen writing their wishes on paper balloons and sending them up to the skies.

Shouts of ‘The train is coming’ would send everyone scrambling off the tracks.
Walking over to the Shifen waterfall which takes about 30 minutes.
Saw this lone duck with its koi friends along the way.

Taking the train back to Ruifang and continue up to Jiufen by bus.
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