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This is part 3 of our Taiwan travel blog, you can check out the rest of our Taiwan posts at Overall post on Taiwan (Taichung, Taipei), Taiwan travel blog Part 1: Taichung, Xinshe, Cingjing, and 2nd series at Taiwan Part 2: Taichung, Nantou, Lugang
DAY 7: 九份,十分 (JIUFEN, JINGTONG STATION, SHIFEN)
Today is the day we hit Jiufen and Shifen before moving onto our Taipei leg. Woohoo, the land of taroballs a la Blackball awaits!
九份老街 (Jiufen Old Street)
Jashuat says: Must Go
Jiufen Old Street is not a place to be missed! The entire area is like an open-air pasar malam (with stalls set up in a more permanent fashion), and when walking along the street in November/December, the weather is absolutely delightful. We really enjoyed browsing the stalls, thinking about what souvenirs to purchase. Jas bought some bottled caviar (It is AMAZING WHAT WOMEN CAN BUY. Have you heard of anyone buying caviar in Taiwan?) and some yuzu drink thingy and had she not been distracted by bubs, I am SURE she would have gone wild there.
There are also many food stalls that line the streets, and unoe what? You’re on a friggin holiday, so go ahead and stuff your faces! Some of the food we tried that were pretty good included 豎崎路, 鱼丸伯仔 (pics below). The vermicelli was QQ and the sauce was rather nice. Try it!! Another food stall of note is 阿蘭草仔粿. It is best described as a glutinous kueh with fillings such as yam, caipoh, tau sar etc. Didn’t think it was fantastic but many rave about it, and since it is cheap and snackish (doesn’t take too much space in your tummy), just buy a few with the fillings you like to give it a try!
Besides the many food we sampled to keep our tummies happy, we originally wanted to make a trip to 九份金礦博物館 (Jiufen Gold Mine Museum), but got too distracted by the many food stalls that we gave priority to the nourishment of our bellies instead of our minds LOL. So no reviews on that!
賴阿婆芋圓 Lai Ah Po Taro Balls
Jashuat Eats: Can’t beat Blackball/Ninefresh in Singapore
I loveeeeeeeee blackball and of course, Ninefresh (this stuff is awesome possum! If you haven’t tried it, you totally should!!!), which is opened by my uber talented friend, Vanny, so naturally, you can imagine how excited I was to hit the land of where this taro ball goodness originates from. Lai Ah Po Yu Yuan ranks right up there with Ah Gan Yi Yu Yuan (further up the hill), so we knew we had to check it out.
The place itself was rather crowded for a Tuesday, and we had to keep a lookout for tables and seats that could seat all nine of us. Thankfully it didn’t take too long, as the turnover was rather fast. Upon sinking our teeth into the taro balls though, we were kinda disappointed. The balls were very floury and didn’t have enough bite to them. I like my balls with more taro feel, so nope. Not liking this famous stall. Heard that its other famous rival, Ah Gan Yi Yu Yuan has more bite to it, so I think you should go for that rather than this!
昇平戲院 Shengping Theatre
Jashuat says: Can go, pretty interesting
An interesting bit of info about this theatre is that it’s the first cinema to have opened in Taiwan, and this was back in 1914, for the sole purpose of providing some entertainment to the miners in Jinguashi and Jiufen. There’s a couple of funky looking knick knacks around this place, and it’s pretty quiet inside compared to the busy streets outside. the theatre also plays movies on certain timings and days but nah, who watches movies overseas when you’re there for only a short time? You won’t need to spend too much time here, but it’s pretty nice to just soak in the quaint atmosphere of this place with so much history behind it.
十分老街 (Shifen Old Street) 放天燈 Paper Lantern
Jashuat says: Must Go
As with Jiufen, Shifen Old Street is also a place not to be missed! If you had watched that fantabulously romantic and funny movie, 那些年，我们一起追的女孩 (You are the Apple of My Eye. A WONDERFUL MOVIE that really brings back old memories of school days!) , you would know that there is this scene where they lit the paper lantern with their wishes and hopes? You can do this in Shifen!
As a traveler who is big on experiences, I was pretty pumped up about lighting the paper lantern and letting it soar into the sky! There’s something magical about shelling out cash in exchange for hopes and wishes. Kinda like buying toto yeah? The only booboo about it is I don’t think it’s gonna be too good for the environment erps. Still, it is beautiful and magical.
十分大瀑布 Shifen Waterfall
Jashuat says: Can go, if it’s convenient for you!
Address: 226, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Pingxi District, 乾坑10號
Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan, on the upper reaches of the Keelung River.
Shifen Waterfall is a picturesque area that’s totally instaworthy. It is also the broadest waterfall in Taiwan, reaching a height of 20m, and 40m in width. As we had private transport though, it was actually pretty easy for us to get to this area, so I’m not too sure if it’d be a huge hassle via public transport. There’s also a pretty big bridge nearby, which is quite cool. My SIL though, refused to walk across the bridge because she was scared and Ray also decided to throw a tantrum there too lol. Well, I’ll let the pics speak for themselves!
菁桐 (Jingtong station, Old Street)
Jashuat says: Must Go
Jingtong is the terminal station on the Pingxi Line, and is a delightful place to explore. The station itself was built by the Japanese back in 1931, and boasts an old school charm with its wooden furnishings. See the pic of bubs above holding a bamboo thingy with some chinese writings on it? That is found at Jingtong station, as with the pic below. Some of the classic scenes from the movie You are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我们一起追的女孩) were also filmed at this tranquil, beautiful place. Pics here, as you can tell, are definitely instaworthy. The old street here is also worth exploring, if only to see what quaint knick knacks they offer. I would definitely recommend that you head here! (i’m a traveler that’s more into scenic places and experiences than architecture or cafe hopping)
Do check out our part 4 of our Taiwan trip on Taipei, which should be out next week! Fingers crossed!
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