Taipei Part II: Itinerary (Day 2)

Itinerary in a Nutshell:
1. Morning: Confucius Temple
2. Afternoon: Lunch at Beitou, Beitou Library, Fountain Park, Beitou Hot Spring Museum, Geothermal Valley and Beitou Hot Spring Experience
3. Evening: Danshui Old Streets and Fisherman’s Wharf

DAY 2: BEITOU/DANSHUI
1. Morning
After a sumptuous breakfast prepared by Doris’ Aunt, we headed out to Confucius Temple (孔庙), which is about 10-15 minutes’ walk from Mudan House. A popular Taiwanese drama 《我可能不会爱你》 sparked off a revival of interest on this cultural heritage site, as it was the place where the female lead, 程又青, first met her ex-boyfriend 丁立威 (and yes, partly the reason why we visited it too) :)

Taipei Confucius Temple
Address:
 No.275, Dalong St., Datong District, Taipei City 10369, Taiwan R.O.C.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 830am-9pm, Sunday and national holidays: 830am-5pm. Closed on Mondays.
Directions: 10-minute walk to the temple from Mudan House (about 1km) OR Take MRT Danshui Line (Red line) to Yuanshan Station, Exit 2.

ImageExterior of the Grand Confucius Temple

ImageConfucius’s Spirit of Teaching: To Teach All Without Discrimination (有教无类)

ImageFigures of Confucius and students paying respect through the 八佾舞

Image

Things to do at the Confucius Temple:
1. Catch the 4D Movie Theater (10am, 11am, 2, 3, 4pm; about 25min) which showcases the life of Confucius and a short history of the historical site. Free gifts are provided too! We got a pack of poker cards each.
2. Play the virtual game of horses and chariots.
3. Visit the gallery to peek into the legacy of Confucius and how current generations pay tribute to the sage of all time.

ImageThe Virtual Game of Horses and Chariots

ImageShooting Arrows at the Raging Wild Boar

ImageCleared.

ImageTypes of Costumes for Different Students

ImageVarious Instruments for Appreciation Rites

ImageArtist Engrossed in his painting

When we were about to leave, we saw a group of children dishing out a song and poetry public performance. They were really cute!

ImageWe love children <3

2. Afternoon
We then headed to Xin Beitou (via Danshui Line, about 25min) for lunch, where we chanced upon this stretch of wet markets and shops with many hidden finds:

Image

ImageRandom Black Pepper Bun Stall

Image

We saw a snaking queue at a stall called 阿泓润饼 which sold gigantic popiah-like wraps. As LG was craving for popiah, she hopped onto the bandwagon (together with the other locals) and ordered one with Tuna and Vegetables filling for NT60. The warm and fresh wrap (made with wholemeal skin) was fully stuffed with cabbage, sweet corn and other vegetables. LG absolutely loved it and continued craving for it even after we left Taipei.

Image

Image阿泓润饼 (Chinese Vegetable Wrap)

After this unexpected gastronomical encounter, we then set off to search for the famous 蔡元益红茶. Nothing great about it, but it was value for money. At just NT10, you get almost 450ml of tea. That’s a great deal and explains why everyone in Taiwan drinks tea.

Image蔡元益红茶

While exploring the wet market, SG Boy chanced upon this indoor wholesale market and suggested taking a look. That was where we chanced upon an awesome discovery: delicious handmade noodles on par with those of Din Tai Fung.

阿婆面(北投市场)
Address:台北市北投区新市街30号(北投市场二楼502、503摊) (Map)
Operating Hours:08:00~14:00

Take the escalator to the second floor and you will see many local enjoying their lunch at the stalls. We stumbled upon a stall called 阿婆面, where the bulk of the crowd resided. With our stomachs half-full, we didn’t know what to order and asked the stall owner for advice.

Image“就来一个招牌红烧肉和干面!” (“One serving of braised pork and dry noodles then!”)

ImageOur Extremely Filling Extended 3-Course Lunch

Although we were pretty full to begin with, the noodles (切仔面) were too good to resist. Upon enquiry, we realised that these noodles were not made by the stall itself, but ordered from another stall which has been running for 3 generations as well. We never got to know who this noodle master was, but if you want to experience delicious handmade noodles, drop by here!

The braised meat (红烧肉) aka local pork chop  was not a letdown. According to (post-mortem) our research, locals here usually order the braised meat as take-away, and it usually runs out by noon! My only grouse was that I would have wanted it fresh and piping hot from the oil tray.

ImageDelicious noodles with springy texture

ImageHandmade Mushroom Balls

Now, take a look at those mushroom balls in the soup – yes they are handmade as you can see from those irregular shapes. I don’t think you can find such mushroom balls in Singapore anymore! All in all, this was a hidden find (the kind boss also offered to refill our soup!) and if you happen to drop by, follow the local’s tip: drop by for noodles and then go for the famous 蔡元益红茶.

After a fulfilling 3-course lunch, we then headed for the iconic Beitou Library and Beitou Hot Spring Museum. The Beitou Library is an award-winning work of art and a conducive spot for late afternoon reading or just lazing around after a long walk. If your water bottles happen to be empty, do feel free to refill your bottles here!

Image

ImageScribblings on the glass walls of the library

Image

Beitou Fountain Park (北投温泉親水公園)
Located across the road from Xin Beitou MRT and outside the Beitou Library is the long and narrow Beitou Fountain Park, which was featured in 几米’s movie 向左走,向右走. Here, you can find cartoon caricatures resembling 几米 characters.

Image

Image

Beitou Hot Spring Museum (温泉博物馆)
Address:
2,Zhongshan Rd., Beitou District
Tel: (02) 2893-9981
Operating Hours: Tues-Sun 9:00am-5:00pm; closed Mon
Entrance: Free

ImageThe Composition of Beitou Hot Spring

The Beitou Hot Spring Museum provides an educational insight into the geographical formation and nature of Beitou Hot Springs and famous figures who have visited here (hot springs in Taiwan vary from alkaline to acidic hot springs, so if you have sensitive skin or other ailments, do take note before your onsen experience!)

ImageHokutolite – Discovered in 1905

ImageTatami Halls – Japanese influenced perhaps?

ImageFamous figures who visited the Beitou Hot Springs

Thermal Valley (地热谷)
Address:
Zhongshan Rd. near entrance of Wenquan Rd., Beitou District
Operating Hours: Tues-Sun 9:00am-5:00pm; closed Mon
Entrance: Free

ImageWork of Art along the way to Thermal Valley

ImageEntrance of Thermal Valley

The Thermal Valley is a natural sulphur hot spring where water temperatures can reach 100°C or 212°F. Although it was about 15-20min walk uphill from the Beitou Hot Spring Museum, we were glad that we made the extra effort to head there, because the pictures turned out really pretty.

ImageDescription of the Thermal Valley

Image

ImageThe Crisp Azure Blue (Boiling) Waters

Image

Image新北投温泉浴室

It was late afternoon when we finished touring Thermal Valley and we thought that it would be good to try out the hot springs here. For budget travellers, take a look at 龙乃汤 or 千禧汤 (about NT100). For couples who wish to enjoy some private space (like us), you can opt for the dubious-looking 新北投温泉浴室, which charges only NT250 for almost an hour of hot spring experience. You get a tiny room with very little legroom, but some private space and time.

We felt refreshed after the onsen experience, and then headed for Danshui Old Streets for dinner (take the Danshui Line and alight at the Danshui Terminal Station, then walk about 5 min).

3. Evening

Keko Fish Balls 淡水可口魚丸專賣店
Address: 232 Zhongzheng Road, Dansui District 淡水鎮中正路232號
Tel: 2620-9666, 2625-3777
Recommendations: fish ball soup (魚丸湯) NT$30, fish ball +wonton soup (綜合湯: 魚丸2顆+餛飩3粒) NT$30 and meat bun (肉包) NT$10.

Image

For a start, we headed to 可口鱼丸, a shop which LG visited a few years ago with her Taiwanese friend.

ImageFamous Fish Balls with Meat Filling

Image

Image

After your meal at Keko Fish Balls, feel free to pop by 阿婆铁蛋 (Ah Po’s Iron Eggs) located opposite to try some Iron Eggs (aka Danshui’s specialty).

Image

阿婆铁蛋 (Ah Po’s Iron Eggs)
Address: 135-1 Zhongzheng Road, Tamsui district 台北縣淡水鎮中正路135-1號
Telephone: (02) 2625-1625, 2621-1432, (02) 2629-2838, 2621-1563
Getting there: From the main entrance nearest Tamsui MRT station at Tamsui Old Street (Gongming Street 公明街), walk about 10 mins until the intersection of Zhongzheng Road (中正路), make a left turn and continue walking for another 5 mins. The shop will be on your left.

ImageEvening View of Danshui Old Street

ImageLong queue spotted at a famous cake shop (they were having 50% discount)

ImageSunset at the Pier

As it was too late for us to rush to Fisherman’s Wharf to catch the sunset, we caught it at the pier instead. After the sun went down, we strolled back to the bus terminal to catch Bus #26 which brought us to the famed Fisherman’s Wharf. (Note: don’t try to walk there from the old streets, you’ll take ages!) As expected, the view there was stunning.

ImageNight View of Fisherman’s Wharf

Tired and famished after a day’s walk, we then headed back to Danshui Old Streets to continue Dinner Part 2!

ImageDanshui Old Street At Night: Still Equally Crowded

As many shops were closing by the time we arrived back at the old street, we hopped into a random local eatery, which was still packed with people at about 9pm.

Image

Image

Image
阿給 (Fried beancurd stuffed with vermicelli noodles)

Touted to be the must-try at Danshui Old Streets阿給 is essentially vermicelli noodles encased in fried beancurd and drenched in sweet chilli sauce. It didn’t taste fantastic, but it is definitely a dish you can’t get in Singapore.

Image大腸麵線 (wheat flour vermicelli with pig’s intestines)

For our carbohydrate fix, we ordered the 大腸麵線 which was somewhat similar to Taiwanese Oyster Mee Sua. This soupy dish comprises wheat flour vermicelli with pig’s intestines, which can be shared or eaten individually.

Image紫菜湯 (Seaweed soup)

Our last dish was the Seaweed Soup, which was fairly average as well. On the whole, we found that the queues at Danshui were not indicative of how good the food indeed were, since Danshui is constantly packed with people. If you ever face a dilemma or that most of the stalls are closed, there are also convenience stores in the vicinity.

Pls continue on to Taipei Part II: Itinerary (Day 3) 

3 thoughts on “Taipei Part II: Itinerary (Day 2)

  1. Pingback: Taipei Part II: Itinerary (Day 1) | fatsgboy - sgboy's food and travel blog

  2. Pingback: 一流清粥小菜 | fatsgboy - sgboy's food and travel blog

  3. Pingback: Eat at Taipei 吃在台北 (Chinatown Point) | fatsgboy - sgboy's food and travel blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s