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Taipei Day 5 – Yangmingshan & Shilin Night Market

Cho Café

When checking in, Cho Hotel gave us a little envelope which included 5 little discount coupons to be used in their café. So we used them for breakfast. Can’t remember how much in total was the discount but I do remember we didn’t have to pay anything for breakfast. XD

Also came with coupons for seafood platters at a nearby steamboat place, though we didn’t utilize them.

Yangmingshan

I believe there are several ways to get to YMS so do google your preferred way. This was ours: Ximending Station (metro) Jiantan Station (紅5 bus) YangMingShan terminal. From the YMS  bus terminal, bus 108 goes in a loop. Do take note though, that there are red and green 108 buses. Can’t remember which is which, but one is an express while the other stops at all the places. 🙂

竹子湖

Didn’t plan for this but not sure why we alighted lol. This place is apparently famous for their calla lilies, but it was the wrong season when we went so the fields were all empty. 😦

Quite a long walk to the main calla lily fields and you have to walk along the winding main road, but the scenery was pretty good and weather was very cooling.

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Empty fields T_T

Had lunch at a nearby restaurant. It was pretty packed; not sure if the food’s famous or cos it’s the only eatery there lol. If you want to eat there, do be early. Their 白切雞 sells out fast.

Wouldn’t really recommend this hotpot though. Freaking expensive and not as nice as I expected. The other 2 were good! 😛

After our lunch, the owner/staff said that it was walkable to our next destination – 小油坑. And apparently faster than taking the 108 again. However! She failed to mention it was a hiking trail and we were obviously not properly attired for it (shorts and slippers). If you’re planning on doing some hiking, you can try our route. Otherwise PLEASE take the bus. 😦

Anyways, from the eatery, you turn right and walk all the way along the road. You’ll reach the hiking trail entrance (it’s on your left and there’s a sign).

Not sure if we walked the correct way but you’ll end up at the main road. Cross opposite and head into the parking area, and there will be another trail leading to 小油坑 (watch out for the sign). After climbing uphill for some time, we reached yet another parking area, and another super uphill trail. Follow it and you’ll eventually reach 小油坑.

小油坑

It was a super duper misty day so this was the only thing we could see lol.

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Spent a lot of time hiking and we didn’t have much time before the last 108 bus. Decided to give up and head back to town.

Shilin Night Market

Took the 紅5 bus from YMS bus terminal back to Jiantan Station, and Shilin is just opposite! So convenient right? XD

Last day liao!

Taipei Day 4 – Shifen, Jiufen, Miaokou Night Market & Ningxia Night Market

We booked a day tour from Klook this trip cos I didn’t want to take public transport up Jiufen. And thankfully we didn’t! Klook is so convenient! Pickup was at Ximen Station (where our hotel is), and the tour covers Shifen waterfall, Shifen, Jiufen, and Keelung Miaokou Night Market, then back to Ximen Station. All in a comfy mini bus. 😀

Shifen Waterfall

Wanted to come here the previous time but it was raining. Heng it wasn’t this time.

The waterfall! You actually have to walk further down to get to the observation deck opposite. Lesser ahtiongs people and you get the full view!

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Shifen Old Street

Shifen is where people release sky lanterns. It’s just some shops lining the train tracks. We had A LOT of time to spare here since we didn’t release any lantern. It’s actually really bad for the environment you know. On our way there we saw many many lanterns among the trees in the mountains. I feel very guilty actually for releasing one previously. So please people, don’t release sky lanterns anymore lah. Save the planet. And your money.

Also tried the supposedly famous 米粉湯. So-so only leh.

Jiufen Old Street

I think this will be my last time to Jiufen. For peeps who have already been to Jiufen but still want to go for the sake of going, I would advise you to think twice. Had such a horrible experience I actually cursed out loud!

So apparently, nowadays tour buses are not allowed to go all the way up to the entrance of the old street. All tourists (because I doubt locals go there) have to alight at a parking lot and climb up a fleet of steps to reach the old street. The fleet of 300 steps is narrow and steep and caters to people going up AND down. Imagine the mess. And danger. While making our way down, there was some kind of holdup and we were all stuck there. People started pushing forwards and some u-turned and parents were shouting about some kids being pushed (like for gods’ sake carry the freaking thing lah). In the end we also u-turned but other parts of the street were also packed full. Honestly I was so mad I was seriously contemplating to just force my way through.

It’s really stupid, really. One day someone’s gonna die on those steps. So yeah, don’t bother going. There’s nothing really interesting up there anyway.

There was a massive jam coming down too and we were delayed for about an hour or so. Seriously, Jiufen was such a waste of my time. Sheesh.

Keelung Miaokou Night Market

We came here the previous trip but didn’t enjoy it much as it was raining. I think this might be my favorite night market! ❤

Ningxia Night Market

Even though our day tour with Klook was delayed due to the jam at Jiufen, we still had some time so we headed for the nearby Ningxia Night Market. It’s only 2 stops away at Zhongshan Station. 🙂

I think we ate the most street food this day lol.