Taipei – Danshui and Ximending | Taiwan Day 3
Didn’t really like my outfit that day but oh well. My shopping in Taipei wasn’t fruitful at all! :'(
Settled lunch back at the 八方云集 eatery near our CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch II, where we had dined at on Day 1. Marcus tried the 韩式牛肉干拌面 while I ordered the 红烧牛肉面 again. Yes, boring I know. I tend to stick back to the things I like, while Marcus is usually more adventurous and will try out new stuffs.
We also ordered their 招牌锅贴 and 咖哩锅贴 to try. Sorry, couldn’t resist and took a bite of the 咖哩锅贴 before snapping a picture. I’m a curry lover!
Tried 50岚 which is known as KOI Café in Singapore. Are you a bubble tea fan? I am! I used to drink a cup almost everyday! But recently, I’ve come to realise how the sugar and pearls (starch) are super mega unhealthy. So I’ve been trying to cut down my sugar level from 100% to 50% and also reduce my overall intake of bubble tea. What’s more, I have totally eliminated pearls from my drinks now! Yes, bubble tea without pearl. Very ironic, I know!
How to Get There
Take the train to Tamsui Station (淡水站). It takes about 40 minutes from Taipei Main Station. Tap out and head towards the left.
Danshui is a small town. The atmosphere there is more laid back and relaxed, where you can see people cycling along the coastline and pet owners bringing their dogs out for walks. It is also a popular spot for viewing the sunset!
We passed by these retro shops with old school games. How nostalgic!
Spotted this pretty feline with a cute pink bow. It’s so fat and fluffy eh? I love chubby cats!
Another old school puppet show that we saw. Definitely something that you hardly get to see in Singapore nowadays.
Danshui Old Street
Danshui Old Street (淡水老街) is the main attraction and it’s located along Zhongzheng Road. The street sells mostly food of all sorts. And I really mean ALL. There’s ice cream, iron eggs (铁蛋), fish crackers (鱼酥), herbal tea cubes, sausages, and more. You can slowly eat and walk your way down the street.
I tried the popular tall soft serve ice cream. There’s several flavours for you to choose from. There’s quite a few stalls selling this but I think the stall right at the entrance is the most popular one.
This fish cracker is a must buy when you visit Danshui. They also have prawn crackers which are good too! Both crackers are available in original and spicy flavours.
Found five Shih Tzus at one of the stalls at Danshui Old Street! All five of them have the same fur colour and look so similar. Cute! I called out to them and some responded, while the rest ignored me. -_-
Besides Danshui Old Street, you can also take a ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf (渔人码头), where the Lover’s Bridge can be found. It’s best to go there from 5pm to 7pm as you can view the sunset and the Lover’s Bridge will light up at 7pm. Since we were there in the early afternoon, we decided to skip the Fisherman’s Wharf and took a bus to Tianyuan Temple instead.
How to Get There
There’s a free shuttle bus from the bus interchange at the right of Tamsui Station. If you’re not sure, you can approach the staff at the visitor information counter at Tamsui Station too.
We were encouraged to visit Tianyuan Temple (天元宮) by this souvenir shop owner while strolling at Danshui. He said we could try our luck as the cherry blossom season was around the corner, and so we went! If you are wondering why there isn’t any Sakura at all? Well… not yet!
You’ve got to climb up this slope AND a long flight of steps before you’ll see Tianyuan Temple.
The cherry blossoms are beside the temple! See, no pain no gain! You’ve got to
work climb for it. Guess this goes for anything else in life. 😉
We were a little early for the cherry blossoms and hence, could only see about 40% of the flowers bloom. We were there in early March and I would say end of March is a good time for viewing the cherry blossoms. But of course, it also depends very much on the weather conditions which may vary from time to time.
After Tianyuan Temple, we took the free shuttle bus back to Danshui Station and took the train to Ximending.
By the time we reached Ximending, it was pouring! Definitely not a good weather to comb a night market in. Imagine carrying an umbrella and squeezing in the crowd of umbrellas? No, no, no, not fun at all. Walking was already a problem, how to even do shopping? 🙁
We ended up seeking refuge from the rain by having dinner. This place serves hot soup which is perfect for a cold, rainy night.
I was busy checking my social media after a long day out. It’s great to have unlimited data usage when overseas! Are you one of those kind who feel the need to “stay connected” or can’t live without your mobile phone?
Marcus had the herbal chicken soup while I ordered a sesame oil chicken soup. We also had a bowl of braised chicken rice each and it was so good! The rice was even better than both the soups. I cleared the rice but didn’t manage to finish the soup.
Since shopping was quite impossible in that insane weather, we headed back “home” to CityInn and dropped by 7-11 to grab some snacks. I absolutely love the 7-11 in Taiwan! They have such a wide variety of choices, I was standing there for so long and just couldn’t decide.
I was told that I must try the instant noodles in Taiwan, especially the brand “满汉大餐”. I know we have this here in some of the NTUC outlets, but they don’t carry all the flavours. This was sinful, but super shiok! If you can’t take spicy stuff very well like me, add less of the chilli oil and it will be more manageable.
This pretty much sums up Day 3! I will be sharing Day 4 soon, where we went to all the three Jay Chou restaurants in Taipei! *dances around like a crazy fan girl* 🙂