Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Taiwan 2016 Day 5 & 6 : Shi Fen -> Ping Xi Lantern Festival ->XiMenDing -> Long Shan Si -> Back Home

Day 5 :

Research online for some breakfast place on Xi Men Ding and saw a local introducing a old school local reataurant selling noodle and so I thought of heading there to have a try. It's not popular among tourist as it is inside a small ally.

Look at the this ally, I'm sure no tourist will go in.

I was abit lost as well but lucky one of the staff who was washing plates outside saw us and told us to go in. The restaurant is inside the ally.

A very old school restaurant! It was empty when we step in but less then 15 mins the whole restaurant is filled up with  only the locals! We are the only non local there!

The food is yummy! My mum and aunt tried the soup noodle and I tried the dried one and both of them are nice! 

Few side dish to choose from too!

Pig trotter with full of chewy collagen. Very different with the singapore style and even Korean style of pig trotter. Theirs is less oily and more chewy!
I will come back here again for their noodle!

This is their menu. Affordable and reasonable price!

It's the last day of lunar new year so traditionally we will eat 汤圆 ( glutinous ball ) on this day. Just nice that there is one stall selling outside the ally. 

Red bean glutinous ball.

Black sesame glutinous ball.

Peanut glutinous ball.

Took the subway from Xi Men Ding to Taipei Main Station and took the Taiwan railway to Ruifang ( same way and same station as the way to Jiu Fen ).

Nothing to do in the train so.... Selfie time! Haha!

Reach Ruifang station and straight we went to buy the Ping Xi one day train tickets. 

By right the one day pass can be bought at the counter at where we alight but I guess they change to another place for today as it will be very crowed and pack if it is at the small counter. So we follow the signboard to get our tickets.

Here's the temporary ticket counter.

NT80 ( SG$3.50 ) per adult and NT40 ( SG$1.70 ) per children.

Gotten our tickets and start queuing up to squeeze in the train to Shi fen!

Timing for train back to Shi fen.

Timing for train to Shi fen or Qing Tong and other place. I don't remember the train comes that often, maybe only for today since everyone is here for the festival.

A map of Shifen.

Once we reach Shi fen, we saw alot of lantern on the sky and everyone just stop to take picture!

Since it's their first time here how can I not bring them to Shi fen right? Although it's my 4th time here... But it's my first time to join in the 平溪天灯节 ( Ping Xi Lantern Festival ). 

Intro my mum and auntie to try this famous chicken wing with fried rice or smelly tofu stuffed in. Everytime I come, surely there is a lot of people queuing for this.

Yumny fat chicken wing is a must here!

Fried rice stuffed in the chicken wing! Yummy! 

This is a place where you can walk freely on the railway but of course you need to run when the train is approaching.

People from all over the world came here to write their wishes on the lantern!

Someone just let go their lantern!

One of the famous bridge in Shi fen, the 静安桥 ( Jing An Qiao ). This bridge can over look the famous Shi fen railway track and also opposite the bridge is where the real residence staying.

My mum and aunt was abit scare when they first walk through the bridge because it was quite crowded and the bridge is actually shaking. I will advice people who are afraid of height to walk when there is lesser people ( or don't try ).

The view that you will see on the bridge! Isn't it beautiful?

View from another side of the bridge!

From the opposite side.

Walking back is better because we choose to wait for the crowd to clear a bit and so that we have space to welfie too! Haha!

Korean wishing lantern sported! The staff from the lantern shop can speak Korean too but as what I know they can't really speak English ( basic should be ok ) because I happen to help them to do a translation. Haha! 

Trains approaching, all lantern shifted in and people running in! Haha! I think Shi fen is really the only place I've been to where we can stand so close to the train when it passes by.

There is so many lantern shop but we decided to go to 胡家天灯 ( Hu Jia ) just because there is a Singapore flag on their signboard and it sounds closest to my surname ( Wu )! Haha!

As I mention before in my previous blog, the wishing lantern comes in different colour and different colour has their different meaning. 

And there they go starting to write their wishes...

The staff from the lantern shop asked the Koreans to do pose that is popular in Korean drama and variety show! Haha! Oh ya that guy in black there can speak Korean. 

Yeah it's our turn! Pass my phone to the staff and he starts to teach us to do all sort of pose! Haha! He is so funny! 

Wish for our work and career!

Wishing for my whole family!

Huat uh! Who do not want to wish for money right?

Last but not least, the most important wishes is to be healthy! 
P/S: Saw our different pose? All requested by the staff! *Singaporean way of saying : Pattern more then badminton* Haha!

Bye and hope our wishes will come true!

After putting the lantern, time to buy one miniature one back home and also as a souvenir for family and friends.

Since we bought the one day pass, we thought of going to 青铜 ( Qing Tong ) too but the place was too pack that er are afraid that we might not be able to find a good spot to stand during the lantern festival so we ended up walking around the 十分老街 ( Shi fen old street ) to pass time instead.

Snack time! Saw this Fried egg pancake and looks good so we decided to give it a try. 

Initially bought only one to share but to our surprise this simple look food taste good and we ended up ordering two more so each of us can have one of our own. Haha!

Wishing bamboo can be found mostly at Qing Tong but saw some at Shi fen too. 

Look at the crowd!!! No joke! This lantern festival is one of the most famous festival world wide in Taiwan, therefore people from all over the world including the locals will come to have a look.

Honestly lucky it's still day light, if not people will scare to death if they see two girl wearing Qi Pao siting in the middle of the train railway! 

Starts to walk over to the festival place at 十分广场 ( Shi fen Square? ), not crowded here so I can take picture of me walking in the middle of the railway without people photobombing me. Haha! 

Train came right after I finish my photo taking! Haha! 

While walking, we found a wishing fountain(?). We have to make a wish and thrown a coin into the colourful small lantern in the water.

Taking our own sweet time to walk to the event venue which is about 20 mins walk from the Shi fen station since we got lots of time.

While walking, we saw a lot of stalls along the way to the event venus! 

There is a lot of food stalls and games stall for people to kill their time before the festival starts!

There is even people singing too!

It's like a fun carnival for family day!

Ice cream on a cold day is a must! Yummy!
Along the way, we saw a few reporter reporting about the well known event and there is even Caucasian reporter! This show how well known this festival are.

We are getting close to the festival venue and it started to be crowded already.

People starts to "park" themselves there till the event starts.

Super crowded! We manage to find a place near to the event entrance which only people who went early in the morning to queue up to get their number to be part of the festival and to put the lantern can go in. We wanted to but going there super early to get the number is too much hassle for us. Haha! 

There is people climbing up the wall just to go in to have a closer look of the event. So dangerous but even the fireman and event staff tried to stop them from climbing up, they still insisted to do that.

The festival is actually quite organize. There is medic to help if you are not feeling well or even minor injured.

6pm strike, and the event starts! The first round of lantern release will be at around 6.15pm. The first release is too fast that I'm not fast enough to get a better picture! So we will wait for the second release and this time round I prepared my camera much early.

The second release starts around 7pm or slightly later, can't really remember cause I'm afraid that I could not take picture of the lanterns so I got no time to look at the watch! Haha!

Beautiful is all I can say! It's quite windy at night so the lantern flown off very quickly. 

After the second release, we decided to head back to home. We took the Ping Xi train here but decided to Yale the free shuttle bus back to Ruifang station. A super long hill road to reach the bus! And again we slowly walk out walk up as my mum couldn't walk fast. We also came across with a Japanese old lady who almost fainted on her way up and the next moment we saw the ambulance coming. I ask my mum and aunt to walk slowly so that can breath normally. We are not in a rush anyway.
Took the train back from Ruifang station to taipei main station and we are all squeezed like a can of sardine fish! Haha!

Back to Xi Men Ding to hunt for our dinner. Most of the restaurant are close already so when we saw this 水龙王 ( Shui Long Wang ) restaurant that is selling local food is still open, we decided to go in to have a try.

Honestly, food is not good but price is cheap. We still prefer the noodle we had in the morning.

We have hot star in Singapore too but I'm not here to eat the chicken cutlet but to get myself a cup of hot pearl milk tea! Our last night in Taiwan but definitely not the last cup of pearl milk tea here!

Day 6:

Hong dim sum for breakfast today! We have the dim sum at 红磡婚宴会馆港式饮茶 which is located at Xi Men Ding. 

Address: 108, Taiwan, 台北市万华区中华路一段144号2楼

Dim sum was not bad here. Not those super nice but at least we no need to queue like Tim Ho Wan ( yes... the queue is long in Taiwan too ) which to me they taste about the same. Tim Ho Wan is a bit overrated by the way. 

After a heavy breakfast, we took a train to Long Shan Si which is only one station away from Xi Men Ding.

This is what I need! Wealth! Who doesn't need that right? Without wealth, I wouldn't be able to travel and without traveling, there will be not update on my blog! Haha! 

Career is what I need too! It's link to wealth too. But of course we need health to enjoy all this! 

Tada! This is the famous 龙山寺 ( Long Shan Si ).

Pray under the huge lantern! 

Queuing up to pray under the monkey God.

This temple is consider as quite a famous temple, therefore it's always crowded. 

Saw people filming here! 

And to my surprise is a Korean actor! Not very sure about his name but I think I saw his face in some Korean drama before.

Year of monkey and so the temple are decorated with many monkey!

Take a last welfie before leaving the temple.

Back to Xi Men Ding.

Had our very last bowl of Ah Zhong rice noodle before heading back home! 

Bought my last cup of warm pearl milk tea! Haha look at the friendly uncle who posed for me to take picture. Didn't had the time to drink the milk tea because we are rushing back to our apartment to collect our luggage. 

Took a cab down to the Taipei West Bus Terminal A, where the airport bus is at and also it's the same bus terminal which we took our bus to the outlet park. 

Before we walk in the bus terminal, a driver approach us and offer to drive us to the airport at NT500 ( SG$21 ) but I rejected because it's more cheaper to take the bus. He then offer me NT400 ( SG$17 ) for 3 person. The airport bus ticket is NT125 ( SG$5.40 ) per person and so if it is NT400 for 3 person, it's more reasonable and so we agreed.
When we reach his car, we got stunned by how many people is already I Bugis car waiting. It's a 9 seater mini van but there is actually 10 person including a child taking the van together and It is very crump! I over heard two guy from Hong Kong siting beside us saying ( in Cantonese ) that the driver charge them NT600 ( SG$26 ) for two person! Lucky we manage to get a better bargain!
My advice to people who gt approached by drivers outside the bus terminal, make sure it's a good bargain, you can always reject them if you think it's not worth. They will tell you that the airport bus tickets are selling at NT250 each which is not true ( they knew that you have not get inside to check the price yet cause you have just alighted the cab ). I have taken the bus a few times and I went in to double check with the bus terminal counter, and the bus tickets are selling at NT125 per person. Taking the airport bus is actually very comfortable too because there is people who will help you with your luggage and also stops right infront of the airport terminal. Getting squeezed in the mini van, I actually thinks that the bus is more comfortable! 

Finally I got time to drink my last pearl milk tea in Taiwan! 

Reached airport, queuing to check in and oh ya, I though that the phone card I bought will expire by yesterday but it last for 5 days from the timing that I bought! I could actually use till 4pm today! 

Anyway, bye Taiwan! I will see you soon again! 

Dinner time! 

And of course not forgetting to end the trip with a yummy totally frozen Haagen Dazs ice cream! 

End of my second trip of the year and stay tune to my third trip of the year ( but also my first time) to Japan soon! 

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