Day 3 was a rainy and cloudy day spent at Tamsui District (淡水區) and Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭). (Tamsui is also known as Danshui in Mandarin and I will be using these two terms interchangeably in this post.)
Remember our hotel (Beauty Hotels Taipei -- Hotel B7) with no windows? We had no idea how to plan the itinerary for the day during the rainy season with no windows in our room. Only in the late afternoon after the rain did we leave the hotel room. So if any of you stumbled onto this post googling for Taipei itinerary, I've to disclaim that my Taipei travelogue is a bad guide for you should you be looking out for a packed itinerary.
~*Lu Rou Fan (滷肉飯) for Lunch*~
In Taipei, we ate lots of Lu Rou Fan (滷肉飯) or in English, braised pork rice.
We found a place a few streets away from our hotel that served decent Lu Rou Fan. I'm quite particular about the smell/taste of pork and found many pork dishes in Taipei too "smelly" for my liking. This Lu Rou Fan passed my taste test. We ate it consecutively for days.
It drizzled on and off during the MRT ride. How to enjoy the scenery at Danshui with such weather?
Yummy cocoa milk tea and apple-flavored probiotics drink. I bought the cocoa milk tea coz I love chocolate, I love tea and I love the pretty bottle. I almost couldn't bear to throw it away and was searching high and low for a plastic recycling bin to no avail.
~*Tamsui Old Street*~
"Historically Tamsui is a significant place in Taipei history, where it was one of the main settlements for the Spanish in the 1600′s and one of the biggest ports in Taiwan in the 19th century. The waterfront promenade is now a pedestrian-friendly street lined with shops selling interesting knick knacks, old-school game stalls and local snacks." - taiwantraveler.org
A little dog greeted us once we stepped onto the street of Danshui. Taipei is a city that is super dog-friendly. Many dogs pranced around without a leash like this one over here.
We were amazed at the rows of stalls that sold snacks of all kinds and many old-school toys and other traditional items.
But of course the dear hubby was only interested in buying any food that caught his fancy like this curry-flavoured fish balls. They smelled good but we couldn't taste much curry flavour. Fail!
I totally forgot what this was. I only recall kh stopping every few steps to buy food.
Next, the hubby spotted Ah-Mam's Plum Tea and told me it is the most famous plum tea in Tamsui. Apparently he read it from somewhere. Wow, he actually did more research than me!
Ah-Mam's Plum Tea wasn't too bad but it was nothing special. I was probably craving for food more than a tangy sweet drink that quenched thirst.
That's Guanyin Mountain (觀音山) behind us.
I was rather enthralled by the Tamsui Old Street and the waterfront stalls that I almost wanted to spend more time there than at Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf. However, many people and websites often recommend catching the sun set at the Fisherman's Wharf and especially from the Lover's Bridge. Hence we decided we could explore the Old Street at night when we returned.
~*The Ferry Ride to Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf*~
Time to board the ferry to Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭).
It was an uneventful ferry ride except for my sheer amazement at the Honey Stars shape of the breakwater. Or is that even called a breakwater?
Lover’s Bridge (情人桥) soon came into sight. Just look at how many people were on the bridge. Romantic? Nah...
"The "Lover's Bridge", a single slanted tower cable stay pedestrian bridge, that is modeled after a sailing ship's mast and rigging, spans the harbor. The bridge is illuminated by different-colored lights at night, making this area a favorite with local couples and romantics, and a popular site for shooting Taiwanese serial dramas. Outdoor concerts are sometimes held in the amphitheater, and some of the restaurants feature occasional live music." - wikitravel.org
~*Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf*~
"The Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf is well known by its beautiful sunset and fresh seafood. While having sightseeing and leisure facilities, it still holds its functionality as a harbor for fishing boats." - wikipedia.org
I've got no idea if whoever did this wanted to say "ma tou" (碼頭) as in harbour or simply wanted to anglicize the word by dropping to "u".
All I could think of then was what would happen to those bears when it rained?
You could tell that...
I really love...
PIGS... and cats.
No scenic sun set in sight.
There were simply too many people on the Lover's Bridge to take a wefie there. Besides there wasn't any great view like a golden orange setting sun as backdrop.
By the time we reached the other side of the bridge, the sky became really dark.
Everybody wanted to take a picture with this LOVE structure on the other side of the bridge.
We didn't see the beauty of this LOVE thingy but since a group of Singaporean students approached us to help them take jump shot pictures, they offered to help us take too.
Tamsui Lover's Bridge looked more beautiful at night with the cheery colours of neon.
But of course my camera couldn't capture the beauty of the colours as how my eyes perceived.
This restaurant was almost empty except for 2 tables. One with humans and one with bears.
That's kh's "wtf-face".
As usual, the hubz just had to buy snacks that caught his fancy.
Bye to Fisherman's Wharf. We had a ferry to catch.
~*Tamsui Old Street*~
It is advisable to check out Tamsui Old Street or Danshui Lao Jie (淡水老街) after you've visited Fisherman's Wharf coz you might be lugging home lots of goodies from the old street. That was what we did.
First up, we had to look for a place that served proper dinner. I didn't want to be snacking the whole time. However to kh, beer seemed to take precedence over dinner. Ma La Sun Beer is a brand of millet wine, originally used in Taiwanese Film director Wei Te-Sheng's movie 《Cape No. 7》. The phrase "Ma La Sun" originally means "drunk" in Ami language.
This crab served in broth would make a satisfying dinner for me!
After buying bubble tea (yeah, bubble tea every day in Taiwan), we went in search of the famous Ah Po Tie Dan (阿婆铁蛋). Tie Dan means "iron egg". It is a hard-boiled egg that has gone through many cycles of cooking, braising and drying until the egg shrinks, turning tough & chewy in the process.
After reading so much about how delicious A-Gei is, we simply had to make a stop at the restaurant where this dish originated.
A-Gei is a large piece of hollow tofu filled with glass noodles and sealed with something like cooked fish paste. The dish is topped off with some kind of sweet pinkish sauce that is similar to the Yong Tau Foo sauce in Singapore. After breaking off the seal, I was completely stupefied by how much stuffed glass noodles that tofu could hold. It filled the whole bowl!
For more pictures of A-Gei and the interesting little crowded restaurant, head over to this blog where a whole post is dedicated to this A-Gei restaurant in Tamsui. I personally didn't understand the hype about A-Gei because tofu, glass noodles, fish paste and the sweet pink sauce all reminded me of Yong Tau Foo which is readily available in Singapore.
We bought lots of Hei Tang Jiang Mu Cha (黑糖姜母茶) for our families at this stall. This is basically a black sugar based beverage with a combination of ginger and other ingredients for different weathers and body conditions. I was totally sold by the taste and the variety for different conditions. The sales lady was so cute and really good at clocking more sales from her customers.
Ooh... How refreshing to see cats in Taipei instead of dogs.
This totally looked like a Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. The words in Chinese didn't indicate any affiliation to Ripley's but upon googling, it seemed to be. I really enjoyed myself at the Gold Coast one some 10 years back. I couldn't believe many of the exhibits I saw. For a video of the Tamsui Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, head over to this link.
For those of you who have been acquainted with me on Instagram, you would have known the story of these Sanrio characters macarons.
Hubby suggested buying these cute macarons and I was HUGELY surprised coz he hates Hello Kitty. He even offered to open the box so that I could snap a clearer picture. Immediately after I snapped, he did this to Hello Kitty... T_T
I... Wanna... Cry.
I was still thinking of posing with the macarons and taking pictures with each character. But all the evil hub had in mind was to buy them, do this to Hello Kitty and make me cry. Lol
If you're interested, here are my other Taipei Throwback posts:
Taipei Throwback: First Night in Taipei
Taipei Throwback: The Curiosities in Modern Toilet Restaurant and Ximen Red House
Taipei Throwback: Bopiliao Old Street, Longshan Temple and Taipei Botanical Garden
Taipei Throwback: Liberty Square, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Shida Night Market
Taipei Throwback: Taipei 101 and Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Taipei Throwback: Zui Ma La Hot Pot, Wufenpu and Raohe Night Market
Thank you all for your comments on my previous posts. It has been a really busy work week but as for now, we could relax for the remaining of this week (which is just 1 day) till the next peak comes in. Replies would be slow and I hope to be able to reconnect with all of you soon. In the meantime, please keep the love coming in and have a splendid weekend ahead!