Travelogue: Taiwan - Day Three

Rise and shine for Day Three! It's quite a long day and we went to a few places, so expect a photo-heavy post!

We went to 永和豆漿 (Yonghe Doujiang) for breakfast which was just in Ximending, about 5 minutes walk from our hotel. Heard quite a lot about it for its traditional Taiwanese breakfast, i.e. youtiao, shaobing, soya milk so I was excited to try it!

It has a very small seating area, less than 20, and the SOP is that they'll give you the menu, you think over what you want, place your orders, then you take a seat.

As you can see they have a lot a lot of food! I was really spoilt for choice but in the end I went back to basics with a 燒餅 (shaobing) and soya milk.

油條 (youtiao), 燒餅 (shaobing)

燒餅, Soya Milk and 培根蛋餅 (Bacon and Egg pancake)

The shaobing was crispy and nice but I think I prefer the pancake aka prata haha. The soya milk tastes the same as in Singapore lol.

After a full and yummy breakfast, we set off to Beitou to visit the hot springs.

Travel tips
To get to Beitou, take the train to Beitou station, then change to Xinbeitou. The attractions and hot springs are nearer to Xinbeitou station.

Can you believe that this is in the train? Haha yeah for the train going to Xinbeitou they have a special 'hot springs' theme.

Upon coming out of the station, you'll start seeing the signs to the various attractions which I think is very useful. (:

This very cool-looking building is the Beitou Public Library! Because this area is a very environment-focused place, this library is an eco library!

We walked up the slope to visit the 地熱谷 (Beitou Thermal Valley/Hell Valley), which is a place where sulphur naturally escapes from the ground.

Tada! Look at that, that's sulphur! Haha, I was quite amazed to see this. And the smell of sulphur is strong, like rotten eggs all over lol.

As usual, this place has geographical value. Haha, I love how my knowledge of Geography makes me appreciate such places more. ((: "Beitou Thermal Valley is a sunken deep valley created prior to the eruption of a volcano. The spring is formed through the hot water deep inside the volcano, acidified through permeation of volcanic gases, and mixed with the ground water when it is ascended to the crust." Do you konw the pH of the water is 1.2 - 1.6? Yes it's super acidic!

Went into the souvenir store and saw these decoration cards. So meaningful. (:

This is an example of the Beitou Rock!

Entrance to the public hot springs bath

Next we went to the Beitou Hot Springs Museum, which is free. We're required to take off our shoes and wear the slippers provided.

It wasn't very big, with some showcase of rocks, the history of Beitou, the important people in history, and this space here that resembles a Japanese home. Well Beitou used to be ruled by the Japanese hence the similar architecture and culture.

Sulphur rock

The museum is actually quite pretty, see there's even a couple taking their wedding photos there! (:

I believe this water comes from the Hell Valley!

Then we went to take a look at the Beitou Public Library. I really like how it looks, so natural yet modern haha.

I spotted these encyclopedia books that I used to have! Wow I was reading these books (the English version) 10 years ago! #nostalgicmuch

They even have a balcony overlooking the nice gardens. The two ladies in the above photo are tourists too haha. Can tell they're enjoying themselves lol.

Xinbeitou station

Cool decor and interactive screen in the train

You can cover Beitou in about 2 hours if you don't intend to soak in the hot springs. For me it was obviously not an option given the super hot weather there lol. So just before noon we headed to our next stop - Tamsui!

Travel tips
Simply take the train (red line) all the way to the last stop at Tamsui. From there we went to 魚人碼頭 (Fisherman's Wharf) first. To get there, you can either take a ferry or bus. We chose the cheaper option - bus - which we took from the bus interchange beside the train station. Take the red 26 bus, and it should take around 15 minutes.

Selfie at the famous 情人橋 (Lover's Bridge)!

No lover yet so... a solo photo at the Lover's Bridge! xP Haha, for now only...

We took the bus back to Tamsui station and from there we walked at Tamsui Old Street.

And this is (one of the reasons) why I come to Tamsui...

THE RED BEAN PANCAKE! Ahhh will you just check out the fillings! :O It's like piled so high and thick! As a red bean lover I was so super excited to eat this okay hahaha. Plus they only cost around S$0.40 - 0.50! I bought the red bean then went back to try the custard haha.

Looook the fillings are oozing out! Whoa I was so happy eating this man! ;D

We walked further then settled at a random shop for our lunch.

滷肉飯 (Braised Pork Rice)

啊給 (Ah Gek)

The braised pork rice was okay, though it's my first time trying it, I'm quite sure there are better ones out there. But anyway it's not really to my liking so no biggie.
Ah Gek is a dish unique to Tamsui, and you can hardly find it anywhere else in Taiwan. It's vermicelli stuffed in taupok skin. It was rather nice!

And because this ice cream thingy is also quite uniquely-Tamsui, I decided to try it even though I was full lol.

This size is considered small already! I wanted to try the big one actually which is easily twice this height, but cannot lah stomach will burst hahaha!

We walked by the sea where there are also many stalls selling food, games, souvenirs etc.

As you can see the whole place is very open and just a lot of space for you to do sports, play games, or have a picnic! I felt very relaxed and at ease here, and I was tempted to sit on the chairs and people watch and while my time away!

While going back we saw this 'statue' performer painted in silver from head toe. I forgot what the name of such acts is, but it's like somebody poses as a statue and his movements are slow, robotic like. I felt so in awe man. Can you imagine how hard it is to stay still under the super hot sun? This is really an art, I salute him!

It was only 3 and too early to go to our next intended destination, so we decided to kill time by going to the underground shopping malls at Taipei Main Station haha. There are at least 4 underground shopping malls at the station alone, so can you imagine how big the station is? Some shopping malls are older and have more local shops, while others are more modern and expensive. Didn't take any picture so *shrugs*

At about 6 we went to Shilin Night Market! But because I was still full from lunch we went to the shopping street first. Yes more shopping haha.

And when the sky started turning dark, we finally made our way to the entrance of the famous 士林夜市 (Shilin Night Market)! :D

Ok the above photo was taken when there just happened to be few people lol. The street was actually very crowded! But I love this atmosphere haha it made me so excited to be eating at a night market for the first time! :D

This was the queue to the Hao Da Da fried chicken stall. And there were more people not captured! But this isn't the stall that sells the best fried chicken, according to most people. It's the one that's nearer to the MRT station, before you reach the main Shilin entrance. Which I missed because we walked the shopping street first ahhhh :( :( :(

In 2011 they built a basement level to shift some shops down so that it's less congested on the ground level. But the basement level has a lot of people too haha.

This was the first thing we bought!

Fried crabs

Because I knew it's not worth it to queue for Hao Da Da (since it's not the best) and I couldn't find the supposedly best stall and my friend recommended this one instead, we went downstairs to this stall to buy the fried chicken!

They sell 棺材板 (coffin bread) too and I was tempted to try! Basically it's a deep fried bun with fillings like pork floss, egg, chicken etc inside. But when I saw how the bread is submerged in the pool of oil... Haha I was kinda turned off. Some more eating a lot of fried stuff already... HAHA.

The fried chickennn haha they don't cut it up into pieces so you just eat from the plastic bag. And true to most standards, it's almost as big as your face! The chicken was really tender, and as someone who seldom eats fried food, I must say that this was pretty nice! (:

Mum wanted to try Oyster Omelette so we got a plate. It tastes too starchy for my liking and mum said the one in Singapore is nicer.

Mum bought a pork roll with asparagus!

And it's time to try some 臭豆腐 (smelly tofu)! Haha, the smell is quite bad but bearable for me. Taste wise it's like normal tofu I guess? Hahaha but as usual it's all deep fried...

Passed by some games stalls...

FINALLY I'M HERE. I was looking high and low for this Prince Cheese Potato stall! Everyone says you must try this at Shilin because it's so good and it's only found at Shilin! Remember I said we entered the market from a different entrance? Yeah so we totally missed this part luh, which was before you come to the main entrance there. And the most annoying part is the best fried chicken stall is just beside this cheese potato one!! Argh so freaking pissed at myself for not walking the normal route, otherwise I could have tried the best fried chicken plus this cheese potato right from the start!! By the time I got here I was very full already. :( Initially thought of giving this cheese potato a miss but... it's a huge pity since I was already all the way there at Taiwan... So I just went ahead and buy hahaha.

And boy, was I glad I did! The potato was surprisingly very nice! (I say surprisingly because I'm not a fan of potatoes.) Plus look at the amount of cheese they splatter on the plate! I had the pineapple toppings and the combination was very nice! Ah shucks I feel like flying back there to eat this now hahaha.

It may seem like I didn't eat a lot but trust me, I was so full that night! The fried chicken was already very filling because it was so big and only shared between two of us. But I was so happy that night, because I got to try all the food that I wanted to! :D I just love the feeling of walking and eating, plus most of the food are small bites so you still have room to try others hehe.

Here's a list of foods/drinks that are recommended at Shilin Night Market:
- 炸鷄排 (Fried Chicken)
- 王子起司馬鈴薯 (Prince Cheese Potato)
- 大腸包小腸 (big sausage wrapped around small sausage)
- 木瓜牛奶 (Papaya Milk)
- 棺材板 (Coffin Bread)
- Fried Milk Cubes (which I didn't see)
- Beef steak (at the basement level)

After that we decided not to walk at the food street anymore because we were too full haha. So we went back to Ximending to do more shopping (and digest our food lol)! Ah that day was so exciting and fun, I miss it so much now! :')