台湾 DAY 6+7 | 台北自由行 Taipei Free & Easy (九份老街Jiufen / Taipei 101/ Ximending) + Return to Penang

It's been a while (ikr) on my Taiwan travelogue. So this is the second last post of the trip, mainly covering on Taipei city, Jiu Fen and Ximending, including the public transport how-to.

This post covers about:
-阿柑姨芋圆地瓜圆 (Jiu Fen must eat dessert, yam ball soup)
-台北101 (Lunch - basement food court)
-八方云集 BAFANG DUMPLING (Dinner @ Ximending)
- Kuo Kuang bus #1819 from Taipei Bus Station to Taoyuan airport

We got on board metro train in the peak season of morning session. 忠孝复兴站. It's another kind of experience in the train where we got to see the local's lifestyle during working days.

Upon exit 忠孝复兴站, we followed the directions board towards "bus stop for Jiufen" as shown below.
Bus Stop to Jiufen - Follow the direction to exit station

Upon exit the station, turn left and you shall start spot the signboard 

Bus 1062 to Jiufen

While we were queuing for bus arrival, there are a couple of men wander around that area to offer you private tour to Jiu Fen and Shi Fen. It comes in personal vehicle, more like bao che you..We didn't plan for SHI FEN into our itinerary thus we declined the offer...FYI, bus arrival interval is around 15 minutes, I did observe there are some cannot wait for the bus and chose for bus

We got on board, scan our card (100 NTD for one way)
#MableTips Make sure you know to differentiate between 九份 (Jiu Fen) and 九份老街(Jiu Fen Old Street). If you wish to go to the tourist attraction, then get down at 九份老街(Jiu Fen Old Street). Both seems to be same place to foreigners, but you will get yelled by the bus driver if you rushing to get off at Jiu Fen (I mean, if you are unlucky to meet such poor behaviour driver)

传说中的瑞芳车站 - 窗外的雨点把一切变得若隐若现了

View from 阿柑姨 yam ball dessert shop.
It recalls me of Queensland Skyline Gondola somehow 

Jiu Fen must-eat, yam ball soup

50 NTD for each serving. It is indeed a hearty one in the chilling rainy days at Jiu Fen. But still, I side for Malaysian's adapted version of yam ball dessert.
#MableTips Spare yourself umbrella and/or raincoat whenever you are in Jiu Fen as it has averagely larger rainfall than other distinct in Taipei. 

It was raining cat and dog, our plan was distracted thus we decided to proceed for our next destination to Taipei 101. We didn't have any souvenirs from Jiu Fen, but rather only food, the yam ball soup and chinese sausage (quite perfect during pouring days). It somehow a regret as I'm unable to take many scenery photos, hope to go back for a full visit at Jiu Fen in future!

We got on board the public bus no.1062 back to 忠孝复兴站 and direct to Taipei City Hall station (市政府站).

#MableTips If you wish to enjoy and take scenic view including Taipei 101, I would recommend you to get off at 市政府站 Taipei City Hall station, exit 3. However, this would require a short walking distance to Taipei 101, about 10 to 15 minutes. We followed the landmark and walked towards it, with a guide from the direction board as well.

A far view to Taipei 101 from Uni-UStyle Taipei Store

A far view to Taipei 101 from Uni-UStyle Taipei Store

Uni-UStyle Taipei Store 统一时代百货

We had our lunch all settled at Taipei 101 basement food court. We were there at around 1-2pm (peak dining hour) and it was fully packed with both locals and foreigners too. The environment is similar to KLCC level 3 (if not mistaken) food court, fast food outlet, local cuisine and many more. You could see long (yet progressive) queue at most of the stalls. 

Chinese food stall at Taipei 101 ground floor food court

View from hotel room featuring 八方云集锅贴水饺专门店

Our stay in Ximending for 3 nights were in Royal Hours and didn't know about this famous Chinese restaurant is opposite our stay. We observed that the restaurant is full house every day and online search it is specialised in dumpling and noodles. Leaving no regret, we set our dinner spot over there.

Self-collect upon serving where you'll be given an electronic number plate upon checkout.
It will trigger you once it is ready.

Traditional thin noodle clear soup with dumpling

Sesame paste noodle

Signature pan fried dumpling

Traditional Dry Noodle with seasonings

We think it's a good choice to settle our dinner here. Total dine in is less than 300 Taiwan Dollar, affordable for all as we observed that the relentless traffic of local people to dine in or take-away. the food we order is fairly acceptable, quite nice to our liking, except 麻酱干面 (I'm the one who order damn). I ended up have to leave it after trying hard to accept the flavour. It's my first time to try on sesame paste noodle and the super super rich texture+flavour opposed deliberately to my taste buds (我无法了解大多数北京人都爱麻酱的原因在哪呢。)

After dinner, we stroll along Ximending night market and started to pack our stuff to be ready for flight the next day. Indeed my mum and sister think that they have yet enough souvenirs to buy so they actually walked to nearby Carrefour store the next morning (I was still sleeping soundly though)

Day 7 (Return day)
纯粹 喝, a pre-packed tea or coffee beverage which many people rave that it's must-have in Taiwan, available in convenience store  (7-11 or FamilyMart) and supermarket too.
But I'm not in the same line as I think there're even better ones.

I had this from 7-11 store (ground floor of hotel building) and it's not up to my expectation over a decent taste of tea (I purposely picked thick flavour series). I've been knowing people around me rave a lot on it but it's fair based on my personal judgement. 

After nua for a short while and got luggage ready all, we check out the hotel and headed all the way to Taoyuan airport .
国光 Kuo Kuang schedules bus no. 1819 from Taipei Bus Station to Taoyuan Airport

Instead of express train to Taoyuan, we choose Kuo Kuang schedule bus from Taipei Bus Station to the airport. Service is fairly nice, bus come on time (interval of every 30 minutes) and even 5G free wifi service in the bus! Bus ticket is available at the counter, few steps from the bus platform.

We settled our lunch at the airport food court (Sometimes I prefer it to retail or franchise store), strolled around and all set up to fly back to home sweet home. Before ending this post, I'd share with you the in-flight meal that I'd got. I ordered special meal again (Cathay airline serves special meal ahead than normal one, my tamjiak trait ikr)

Vegetarian meal (I really mean for the tamjiak trait as I said, don't laugh me pls)

So that's the wrap up for my Taiwan post sharing. It might not be the good one, my first time trying out sharing like this and I know it could be better for the following one (New Zealand vlog!!). Last but not least, if you have any questions from all the sharing I have, feel free to drop a comment to ask. Or other method like facebook pm or IG DM me (@mablemaeve) which I think you can have the solution/suggestion faster haha!

A big thank you to you who support reading my sharing, you know who you are!

So now I can kickstart my NZ vlog plus some personal experience, coming up very soon on my blog, excited to look back all the happy and relaxing moments in kiwi land again!!

  1. Penang - Hong Kong Airport - Taiwan Taoyuan Airport (Tourist SIM Card)
  2. Little Discover at Taoyuan Airport (Free Photo Session + 24 hr Convenience Store)
  3. Day 2 : 8-hr Cab Tour in Taizhung
  4. Day 3: Taizhung Free & Easy (Ji Guang Street, Yi Zhong Night Market)
  5. Day 4: Taizhung Bus Station - Taipei Bus Station - Ximending