Taiwan 2011 Part 3 – Jiufen (九份)

December 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm

(continues from here)

♥Dec 4th – Cloudy♥
After breakfast, we checked out of Li Yuan Hotel, stored our baggage there, and headed to Taipei Main Station (台北火車站) using the Metro. We bought our tickets to Ruifang (瑞芳), our transit point to Jiufen (九份). Adults and kids ticket with numbered seats cost NTD76 and NT38 respectively.

Train was comfortable, and took us about 40mins to arrive Ruifang.

Ruifang Station Underpass was turned into a photo galleryRui Fang Station Underpass

Girls were not interested in the photos, but the ‘sparkly’ pebble washed wall. o.O”Rui Fang Station Underpass

This girl will use the disable ramp instead of stairs; and climbing through barriers, instead of just walking passed it.Zaria Monkeying at Ruifang station

And she’s always eager to do something dangerous. o.O”Zaria Monkeying at Ruifang station again

We wanted to have lunch at Ruifang. We walked through the street market but could not find a place to eat.Pork Seller

Pork sausages.Pork Sausages

So we got a bus and headed to Jiufen (九份), a picturesque town which used to be a prosperous mining town.

The moment we arrived, signs of minsu (民宿) or homestay is every where.Minsu Sign

Using the directions sent to us by the minsu owner, we found our minsu, Windsor B&B/溫莎堡景觀民宿, easily.

The entrance to the reception area of Windsor B&B or minsu.Windsor B&B entrance

We got room no. 3 for our first night. Girls love the spacious room we got. With 2 queen beds; a balcony; bathroom with wooden tub; separate living and dining area (although cooking is not allowed); and a little attic with floor to ceiling window, which the girls loved the most. Zaria called it the ‘secret’ room, and everytime we got back to the room, she would ask us to go there to share secrets.

Our room balcony.Room balcony
Jiufen’s main attraction is the old street, filled with eateries, and shops selling food stuff. It was good place for us to get some snacks as late lunch.

Instead of pop corn, there’s pop rice (a crisp made from puff up rice) Pop Rice crisp

This stall stinks, but it serves extremely tasty fried stinky tofu.Stinky tofu shopDon’t miss it if you were in Jiufen. The shop name is Jiufen 1st Shop (九份第一家).

We actually went back for another serving of this stinky tofu before we left 2 days later. Fried Stinky tofu topped with pickled cabbage

While we had stinky tofu, girls had the fishball there (not bad too).Zaria munching on a fishball

This is a very famous snack in Jiufen. A dumpling made with red yeast and pork or Hongzao Rouyuan (紅糟肉圓).

A group of workers making the dumpling.制作紅糟肉圓

Boiling them in water.Cooking the hongzao rouyuan

And this is how they look like.hongzao rouyuan (紅糟肉圓)As it’s filled with pork, we didn’t try any.

Yam/Taro Balls or Yu Yuan (芋圓) is another famous snack in Jiufen. This is the balls that you get in your Snowflake dessert.

Business is brisk for this famous Taro Balls shop Lai Apo (賴阿婆). Tourists buy them raw to bring home as souvenir.Taro Balls seller.

Taro Balls seller

Making of taro balls in Lai ApoMaking Taro Balls

Most people would just buy a bowl and eat in the shop.Making Taro Balls (we’re not most people, instead we went to another shop for Taro Ball Dessert o.O”)

Vendor selling various stew dishes.Stew dishes

Signage of a herbal tea shop.Herbal tea shop singage

Shaved peanut brittle with ice cream (花生捲冰淇淋) is another popular snack. A big block of peanut brittle is shaved, and laid on top of a springroll wrapper, 3 scoops of ice cream is added, and then topped with some coriander leave and wrapped up.Man shaving peanut brittle We had one without ice cream. The coriander and the crunch of shaved peanut brittle was a nice combination.

Jiufen has some ‘traditional’ toy shops which of course attracted the girls.Girls at a toy shop

Jiufen is a place to sip tea, relax when enjoying the view, so the old street is lined with tea houses with fabulous view. Jiufen Teahouse (九份茶坊) is probably the most posh one. Tea blocks from Jiufen Teahouse

Love the way they boiled water for tea brewing.Water boiling

After checking how much it cost to have some tea here (~RM300 for the whole famiy), we thought better of it. What more, Zaria was touching everyhing, and I was worried she might break something.

We continued walking came to a cafe (988 Cafe).

Zaria decided to hang around and try out riding on a bike while Zara and me went into the cafe to get a table with a view.Zaria trying out bikes

The cafe didn’t serve nice drinks, but the view was spectacular.Around Jiufen

We can see other cafes or tea houses along the old street.View of Jiufen Old Street

As well as Keelong town far away. View of Keelong town

After sunset, Jiufen is still very picturesque.Jiufen Old Street in the night

The restaurant street of Jiufen in the night.Restaurant street

Looking up at the restaurant street.Restaurant street

We took dinner hopping from one stall after another while the girls took the onigiri from 7-11 (which they loved and had it a few more times the rest of our trip).

To be continued.

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