20 January 2017

Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

Din Tai Fung And Mango Shaved Ice, Yongkang Street

Today, we headed to Sun Moon Lake for a night.  This is the largest lake in Taiwan, famous for its clear blue water set against pile of mountains.  It is better to avoid weekends, if you want to see less crowds and get the best hotel room rates.  We chose to stay for one night as morning is the best time in the lake, where tourists are still not around yet and the panoramic clear water and mountain is best viewed in the morning. 

The easiest way to get to this place if you go on your own (not tour) is by catching the high-speed train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung High Speed Rail Station (about 50 minutes journey).  Exit 5 that will take you straight into the bus station - Nantou Bus (Downstairs).  There is some English information provided, enough to guide us. 

Once we arrived at Sun Moon Lake, it was late afternoon and we didn't want to travel like tourists.  But just ultimately enjoying this lake town.  Tried their local delicacies, a bowl of lu rou fan and another cold shaved mango ice would definitely enough to make our afternoon.  Do not have to be from Yongkang street, in this small street out of nowhere, we still can get equally good mango shaved ice. 

Lu rou fan

Mango shaved ice

Sun Moon Lake

Full and clear view of the lake from our bedroom window

Clockwise from top left: Spicy beef noodle soup, pork chop with rice, dan dan noodle
We had dinner in one random restaurant here in this lake town.  Not far from our hotel, less than 5 minutes walk.  We turned left from the hotel entrance, passing Starbucks and turn left on the first alley, keep walking down for about 1 minute and this restaurant is on your right.  I gave the direction in very detail, because I highly recommended this place while you were here.  The food was incredibly yummy and homey and cheapey.  Absolutely a happy tummy.

Morning view, calm water, clear mountain and nice breeze

Peaceful and beautiful morning

Breakfast by the gorgeous backdrop
Spahome Hotel
No. 95號, Zhongshan Rd, Yuchi Township, Nantou County

Tel: +886 4 9285 5166
Stay tuned for the next blog still in Taiwan:
Qingjing Farm, Taiwan

18 January 2017

Din Tai Fung And Mango Shaved Ice, Yongkang

One Fine Day In Jiufen

If you are a true Taiwan's expert, you will definitely know Yongkang Street in Taipei.  At first, we didn't know about this area but our local friend brought us there for a good dinner.  Only had a short night here, therefore we only can do like tourist normally do.  Merely covered Din Tai Fung and mango shaved ice, the two most popular food in Yongkang street.  Din Tai Fung in this place is the birth place of it.  There are plenty more other snacks that the locals have such as xiao long bao, spring onion pancake, beef noodle soup and so on.  Probably next time, we will dig more this area for food after food. 

Mango shaved ice
Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐
No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Da'an District
Tel: +886 2 2321 8928
Smoothie House
15 Yongkang Street, Da'an District
Tel: +886 2 2341 8555
Get off at Dongmen MRT Station (Exit No.5)

Stay tuned for the next blog still in Taiwan:
Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

11 January 2017

One Fine Day In Jiufen

Ning Xia Night Market

Spending a full day in Jiufen is totally recommended.  The information desk advises us to go with the bus no. 1062 (Keelung Bus) from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station Exit 1 and costs 102 TWD.  This journey will take a little more than one hour.  However, as we came out from the MRT exit, we look a little confuse to whereabouts the bus stop is, as the direction from information desk wasn't that clear.  That's the time we are kinda be an easy target to the taxi drivers who waive us and luring us to take their taxi.  At first, we were strong enough refused them and asked the locals around there about the bus stop.  But with the toddler who half a sleep and as am unprepared tourist, we decided to catch taxi where we actually shared with another couple.  It costs us 200TWD per person, but the journey took only about 45 minutes.  Not too bad indeed.  And he drop us right in front of the main walking street (the most popular entrance, near the bus stop) plus he be able to give us some tour tips because his English was pretty good.

Jiufen is a mountain town which is small enough to cover on foot.  The main area for visitors is the Historic Commercial District which is consisted of two pedestrian streets: Jishan Street and Shuchi Street.  These narrow hilly streets are built into the side of the coastal hills and lining up with heaps of stores and restaurants.  This area is allowing visitors to sampling local specialties, purchasing handicrafts and enjoying aromatic teas while viewing the spectacular looking of the harbor and the Pacific Ocean below. 

Ah Zhu Peanut Ice Cream - Taro ice cream served on popiah skin and sprinkled with peanut bits

Yu Wan Bo Zai

Kurobuta Sausage

Grilled Sea Snails with five spice sauce

Restaurant with built in food elevator


Enjoying the hot aromatic tea with a top knot view

Back to Taipei early as we had an appointment with our friend for dinner.  We try to slip in some more Taiwanese delicacies before hand.  That would be pork chop and deep fried chicken.  It was definitely an unregretable meal. 

Stay tuned for the next blog still in Taiwan:
Din Tai Fung And Mango Shaved Ice, Yongkang

10 January 2017

Ning Xia Night Market

Longshan Temple And Taipei 101

Ning Xia Market is a night market on one long narrow Ningxia street between Nanjing Road and Mingshen Road.  Packed not only with tourists but also for locals.  Some famous Taiwanese foods are sold here, such as stinky tofu, beef cube steak, tang yuan, oyster omelette, and so on.

Love everything that we tried, especially those stinky tofu.  Taste wonderful, despite all that stinky smelly tofu.  It is actually a great thing, because you won't miss that tofu stall whenever you walk pass. 

Face to face food stalls are lining up

Dining space area

Beef cube steak

Tang yuan (peanut or black sesame)

Stinky tofu

oyster omelette or o-a-chian

Take away and enjoy them in our hotel room, rather than join the crowd, it's pretty hard if you're going with a toddler
Having this dinner, accompanied with my new favourite drink - Peanut milk from convenient store.  It was wonderful.

Not to sure what is this but I saw so many locals buy this - not convince with their strong weird flavor though

Shuanglian MRT stop and Zhongshan MRT stop are the closest to Ningxia Night Market.  From Shuanglian stop, Exit 1 and head west down to Minsheng road for about 15 minutes until you reach Ning Xia Road. 

Stay tuned for the next blog still in Taiwan:
One Fine Day In Jiu Fen