Taiwan: JiuFen - PingXi (九份-平溪)

UPDATES: 08.09.2017

YOU ARE IN LUCK! READ ON! :)

If you are reading this right now, chances are, you are planning for a trip to Taiwan!

Now of course, you can do it like how we did it last time (via public transport and hire 'wikitravel' as our guide hahaha) or you can save all the trouble and get great tips from Round Taiwan Round, an online travel planner. 

I had a look at their website and it is PRETTY IMPRESSIVE (esp the Customised Tour section, I feel like even travelling with kids is no longer a pain lolol!). So do have a look at their site because they have sieved and gathered all the nicest attractions, and all the information is just a click away. 

Oh, they also just launched #Tripool this month! Let me spell that out for you, it basically means:
  • You'll enjoy the cost-saving benefit of carpooling
  • Yet getting the luxury of traveling in a small group
  • And meeting new people who share the same car with you
  • While not sacrificing your customised itenerary!
(That is genius! Now who else would want to risk missing a bus? lolol)

The service of #Tripool comes at the cost of US$30/person (Mandarin tour guide) or US$70/person (English Tour guide).

Now why did I say you are in luck? :D

Round Taiwan Round is willing to SPONSOR* (yes, you read it right!) 3 of my readers its local tour valued at US$30 - US$70. And here is the link to it! [Exclusive coupon code: Elevnow].

I will be selecting the lucky ones for the FREE trip. I'll make it really simple for you, all you need to do is:
1. Share this post on your FB/Instagram with these hashtags.
#Tripool #WeRoamLikeThis #RoundTaiwanRound #EasyPeasyToJiuFen
2. The leave a comment on my blog, telling me who you are travelling with to Taiwan, together with your email.
3. If you are chosen, I'll notify you via email. So make sure you have it entered correctly.

Yes, as simple as that! :) I just want you to have fun and enjoy the trip! (You're most welcome!)

[*Airfare and hotel not included
*Validity September 2017 - 30th November 2017]

Love,
Eleven
08.09.2017




*Continuing from Taiwan: Taipei post*
Day Two!

Here comes our Amazing race!

First up, Tip #1: we headed back to the bus station (台北西站B) to put our luggage (1 x big, 1 x small, 1 x hand carry) into the locker!

Aiya!!

Can not fit leh!

I felt like we were playing log puzzle live with our luggage

Photo taken from gallery.mobile9.com
Hahahaha we tried all combo, vertically, horizontally, on top etc but it just won’t fit.

In the end, I combine our luggage into 2! Sit on both of them to zip it up, stuff it into locker, and force the door shut with my butt pushing against it! I know it’s a bit Sia Suey to do that in public (somemore the lockers are just outside the restroom, lots of people passing by you know) but never mind lah, no one knows we are Malaysian. Lolol!

Tada! Done!

No luggage! We are good to go!

Tip # 2: We took a train to Rui Fang train station (瑞芳火车站) and then a bus to 九份. [Tip # 3: Bus stop is next to Welcome Mart (顶好) just opposite the train station. Hop on bus number 1062, 788, 856, 825  or any buses that is heading to金瓜石 and it will bring you to 九份. If in doubt, ask the driver or the locals cause local GPS is always reliable! J]

And here we are – 九份 (Jiu Fen)!

Story has it that at the very beginning, only 9 families were living in this area. Whenever one of the families is heading down hill to buy goods, they would include the other families and return with 9 sets of them! That is how 九份(Jiu Fen) got its name, it means ‘9 portions or 9 sets’ in Chinese. 


Not long after that, the discovery of gold has turned 九份booming in prosperity. Until, in 1971 mining activities has ceased and the area has regained its tranquility. Ever Since the movie 'City of Sadness' had its scene at 九份, it’s become an attraction not to be missed -for its beautiful scenery, old architecture from Japanese colonial, food and its charm.


So what we are after today?

Food of course!

Okay, before that you got two things to take note = Tip # 4:

One. Taiwanese somehow have all these brainy creations that others would have never thought of, so trust me on it when I say not to go to Jiu Fen with a full stomach! You got plenty of FREE food samples (you have never seen) to try out! All you gotta do is be thick-skinned and eat the samples (even though you don’t plan to buy hahahaha).

Two. I say, you better budget you money to spend here. Cause it’s very likely that you are gonna get hooked after trying even their tiniest bits of sample. Hahahahha good advice leh~! Of course mah, I am the one that had to stop Kenny from buying all these food, that’s how I learnt that it’s important to budget.

We bought this!


I am allergic to seafood so I didn’t buy the dried cuttlefish; instead I bought the meat slices. It’s similar to bak gua, except that it’s paper thin and not oily. Taiwanese use it in their rice dumpling (饭团) and porridge. If I remembered correctly, buy 5 free 1 for TWD 1000, in other words it’s about Rm 18/pack.

Assorted ice cream wrapped in Dorayaki! I love it!

There are variety of ice cream flavours to choose from, if I am here alone, it would take me forever to decide. Thank goodness I have Kenny, he picked and I just ate it! Hehehe we are such a good team!


YES!!

Another round of stinky tofu! There are two types served here the crispy v.s. the spicy. 
I ate the crispy stinky tofu yesterday so today I am up for the spicy sticky tofu called 深坑麻辣臭豆腐! I think this version taste better than the crispy version cause the spiciness of the soup has penetrated through the tofu so evenly and it’s less stinky. 

Hehe at least when you kiss your other half he/she won’t faint mah! Lolol!!!


Oh! Tip # 5: Another must have is Grandma Lai Taro Ball Soup (赖阿婆芋圆). Taro balls are freshly made in front of your eyes, and what wowed us is that they are faster than a fast food chain!

The speed they cut the Taro balls out from the long dough, requires a lot of concentration and skills. If I were to do it, I probably would have cut my fingers and ended up in hospital with my left hand heavily bandaged. LOL.

Not just that, another thing that impressed us is that the taro balls are ready at the count to 3 upon ordering!! Sooo Fast! Like bullet train speed kinda fast!


You can sit in their shop next door to eat your taro balls. In fact, from their original taro balls, other flavours like sweet potato, sesame are now available too. This is what I called Product development! LOL!

Well other than eating in 九份,there are a lot to see as well. I bought a multi-pocketed bag for my cosmetics for TWD 100 only (Rm 10). That is dirt cheap. And, and, and a beaded collar singlet in my favourite purple colour for TWD 100 too! *chest circles* (Heck, remember what I said about budgeting? LOL!)

There are other things to see, like 3-legged dog.


No, it’s not an attraction lah but really pity the dog. So kelian!

Couple-T anyone?

Eermmm….I bought one set! Hehe, show you on the last day of this post ok! It’s so adorable!

There are also luggage tags!

I like the superman tag. But I figured that my luggage has enough tags on it dy. I don’t need more weights unless superman can deliver my luggage for free, then good lah! hehehe

Cool idea!
Pay and take your own change! (Provided you can count!)

Postcards!

Kenny and I like to write each other a postcard whenever we are travelling together. J J little little things like that make us happy ~! I love you my dear dear!

Aiya, I can’t put everything down, from crafts to souvenirs to tea houses to musical instruments etc , you just have to come and experience it yourself. 

See, people mountain people see (hahaha Oh My English!).


And who knows you might bump into a long lost friend in the crowd? And that was what exactly happened! LOL. Kenny met his Singaporean friend at JiuFen. Wahhh, we were like ‘what are the odds?’ But the odds still happens! LOL!

Then, we found this inconspicuous tunnel full of names (wanted to call it graffiti but reckons the artistry doesn’t qualify for it LOL).  This tunnel is pretty interesting……
 WATCH OUT!

From one end of a busy street, it leads you to another end of serenity. 

Wahhh! I felt so peaceful! My dear dear is so sweet loh, he plucked a flower and slide it onto my ear.

 Awww~ ~

Then I plucked one and slide onto his too! Hahahahahaha Seen a guy with flower on his ears before? Lolol!

So, half a day of eating, we returned to Rui Fang with our bulging tummy.

Fat ahh!!

Tip # 6: From Rui Fang (瑞芳) we took another train to PingXi (平溪) – famous for Floating lanterns.

Realising floating lanterns has been one of the things we wanted to do as a couple. We are both so happy that after 2 years, we can finally get it ticked on our list!


Tip # 7: Please take note that bus services and train services are not very frequent so make sure you plan for your transportation back or else….hohoho……Good luck!

Tip # 8: If you are planning to take a bus, like us, here is the bus timetable

Tip # 9: The bus route to MuZha (木栅)

Our floating lanterns are from 美之乡 工艺社, as to why, well, no specific reason lah. Kenny just walk walk walk and stop and said ‘okay, I pick this’ so we went in loh! Haha so random one!


There are a lot of colours to choose from (and they have different meaning) but I picked the traditional white which means ‘富贵平安 年年好运’ (great prosperity, peace and luck)

Tip # 10
Putting my wishes on a huge white lantern, with my dear dear writing his wishes on the other side is probably one of the most romantic things we have ever done. :D And then leh, dear dear sneakily snapped my photos hahahaha


I just can’t help it. So happy!


Here comes another hiccup!

We have 5 mins before our scheduled bus arrives. If we missed that, we won’t make it to Taipei in time for our night bus to Alishan. Just when we were ready to release the lantern, the bus came! WTF!

Stay or skip floating lanterns?

Just as we were still deciding to run or not, the bus left dy! OMG! I remembered telling Kenny 既来之则安之, let’s release the lantern and we will figure our way out!




I got to say, the moment when my dear dear appear right in front of my eyes when the lantern rose above us, that is the moment full of happiness. Then we tacitly locked our eyes and smile. 有你真好真的很幸福!

Fly lanterns, fly up high, send our wishes up high!

The lady boss of the floating lantern shop is so nice, she made an effort to call the taxi driver she knows to give us a lift. We are pretty lucky that the taxi driver didn’t mind (cause some won’t want to drive back with an empty car i.e. no passenger on board). The moment she hanged up the phone, another bus came! It’s our bus!

To run or not to run? (why we always have to make tough decisions wan???)

And I ran and waved at the bus like Sio Po! T___T heck, speaking of my image, it’s deep down the drain dy! Haih~ at least no one knows me!

Tip # 11: So from PingXi (平溪) to MuZha (木栅) via bus, then from MuZha (木栅) to 台北西站B 西门町via taxi.

Ya! We detoured cause Kenny die die want to eat Oyster vermicelli (蚵仔面线) from 阿宗面线 and he got me convinced!= Tip #12 Damn nice lah!

He is right! It’s really good! And do watch out,  they are scalding hot!


And that’s our dinner before we board our night bus!

Fruit anyone? It's good for digestion!


And what you are reading is what happened on 31st May 2013

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