Thursday, April 09, 2015

Taipei Throwback: A Laidback Day at Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf & Tamsui Old Street

I put my Taipei Throwback Travels on hold in December and last updated about the very satisfying dinner at Zui Ma La Hot Pot and supper at Raohe Night Market on Day 2.

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

Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭) offers a boardwalk, chic coffee shops and food stalls.




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


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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!

37 comments:

  1. Okay, at first I thought I made a mistake reading this during lunch. The pork rice made my lunch look terrible by comparison. But then I got to some of the goo-ier looking food and suddenly my lunch seemed okay. It would have been nice to have the macarons for desert. :)

    Did you encounter many people in Taipei who speak English?

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    1. The braised pork rice is good! Ah, as for all the goo-ier looking food like A-Gei which I didn't like, apparently many people love it and mention about how looks and presentation isn't everything. I guess if I liked A-Gei, I would be vehemently defending that dish and trying to convince you that it is gooey but good.

      Their national language is standard Mandarin. Their English isn't very good even though it is a subject in school.

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    2. I can barely speak English myself, so I admire anyone who makes an effort to learn a second language.

      Just FYI, I do re-visit your posts to read your comments. Thank you for making sure I see them!!! :)

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  2. Wow what a fun time you had!! I'd love to try A Gei and Yong Tau Foo! They sound yum!
    xx
    www.junewantsitall.com

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    1. Yong Tau Foo itself has got many different styles to choose from. It is a common dish in hawker centres and coffeeshops in Singapore so do try it if you ever come here!

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  3. That chocolate milk looks like a shampoo bottle which gives me the great idea to make chocolate shampoo :) Pigs and cats and dogs, all so cute. The stuffed bears perplex me as well. I bet there is quite a story there that we may or may not want to know :) Sorry your weather was so overcast but it seems you made the best of it.

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    1. I'm craving for some chocolatey stuff now. Perhaps those bears have got some TED story behind them and they are very much alive!

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  4. Yay I love reading travel posts! I love that dogs are allowed to roam the streets freely, although I wouldn't want my Pika pom doing that- I have a fear that she will get stolen because she is too cute. The boardwalk looks so romantic and wow that food! Did you like the iron egg? I have heard of century egg (love it), but never iron egg! I will go follow you on insta now x

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    1. I prefer the normal braised egg or tea leaf egg as iron egg is usually eaten cold while the former 2 are eaten warm. I'm fine with century egg which is a dish of acquired taste. Hubz love century egg a lot. I saw and followed you back on Instagram too! Love connecting with my blog friends on more social media platforms.

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  5. I think I would be like your hubby and buying all the snacks, haha!! They looked great. I totally love these gigantic bears and the piggies are so precious. What a wonderful bridge. Looks like you had a great time together :))) Xxx

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    1. I was always told that Taiwanese street snacks are good but so far those that are hyped about do not meet my expectations and so I left the buying to the hubz. Haha...

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  6. Jo, you and your hubby are so adventuristic
    .. I hope to be able to do this in the future... right now being a mama comes first... then travel ♡

    Gave a great week and congratulations on you 5K walk/jog thr other day xox

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    1. Family would always come first! For us, we would just be treating travelling as "buying" experience and treasuring all these. =)

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  7. It's too bad you didn't have sunny weather. But it still seemed like you two enjoyed yourself!

    It's great to hear that Taipei is so dog friendly! I love dogs and it's great when there's well-behaved dogs everywhere too! When you were concerned about the wet teddies, I laughed because that's someone I would think about too! And they're so cute and they look really soft also.

    That door with the pigs and cat is beautifully done. I think it'd make a really cute painting in my kitchen :D

    Aww, your husband's so mean to HK. What did she ever do to him? Those macarons are super adorable though, I probably would've kept them for a few days because they'd be too cute to eat.

    www.sushiibear.blogspot.com

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    1. It was a really rainy season and tha rain really did impeded our plans. We didn't go out at all when it was raining heavily coz lots of places that we wanted to check out are all outdoors. What a bummer but we still tried our best to visit as many places as possible with the reduced hours. Yeah, I'm so happy that Taipei is dog-friendly and not like some other countries that consume dog meat. Haha... My hubz just love to disturb cats of all kinds. He seems to love to bully anything that I like. I don't like HK but I like cats in general.

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  8. Hi Jo! Lover's bridge caught my attention! I think I'd probably add Taipei on my travel list!

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    1. You're back Macy! Haven't seen you around for a long time!

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  9. Oh wow! I'm sooo jealous! I've never traveled to Taiwan before but would love to in the future! It would totally be a food adventure for me and I'd have to make sure to loose weight in order to eat as much as I'd like while there! Walking everywhere is always great on holidays to balance out the food! Lovely post, love seeing traveling photos!

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    1. Ooh... we sure walked the most during holidays. Coz it is just so fun exploring a city on foot. I love serendipity and that always happens when exploring on foot. Taipei is definitely a food and foot tour.

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  10. You seem to be doing a fair amount of walking here! It is really much more fun to walk for sightseeing as opposed to walking for fitness purposes. When you're exploring some place, you never notice how much km you actually walk in a day...and as the comment above indicated it is a good way to balance out the food....

    It really looks like a gorgeous place to visit. I really like the promenade, looks like a great place to relax....that romantic place didn't turned out so romantic, ha? it had been know to happen...when place gets too crowded, it isn't as romantic as it used to be. It still looks like a sweet spot and I like the photo next to that love neon sign even though it is slightly cheesy, it still is kind of adorable. The wefies are sweet even if it got dark and there wasn't any orange and impressive sunset.

    I love cats and pigs too! They are very adorable...and quite intelligent animals....and so nice to see that dog that approached you freely. Dog friendly places are always good...I do believe dogs can sense how people feel about them.

    Those stuffed bears are adorable....The pair that was drinking coffee (or tea? who knows?) made me smile and the pair enjoying the sea view got me worried...did they bring umbrellas? what will happen to them when it rains?

    The food looks delicious...and why your husband has a healthy appetite. He stopped for quite a few snacks:)

    Speaking of snack...poor hello kitty!

    Anyway, thank you for sharing. It seems like you had a fantastic time!

    in reply to your comment...The duck was tasty and I'm glad I tried it....it is still not available in supermarkets here so it's good I reminded my hubby to order it. It tastes a bit like turkey but a lot more juicy....yes, it was roasted so I only had a few slices because I have to avoid roasted and fried food.

    Have a great week!

    http://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes, we tend to do lots and lots and lots of walking when travelling but it doesn't feel dreadful at all. It's so fun to walk and take in all the sights and sounds. We didn't walk a lot at Tamsui but we walked so much on Day 1. It was good exercise w/o even feeling like it was exercise. Generally animals can feel how people feel about them. For dogs, they definitely love to be around people who like them but for cats it seems to be the other way round. They love to disturb whoever who hates them. Like revenge on purpose?

      Some people prefer chicken to duck and find duck a little too gamey or tough. But in comparison to turkey, I prefer duck a lot more coz turkey is too dry. It's great that you're avoiding too much roasted and fried food.

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  11. Street food has to be one of the best things about travelling. That said I am the least adventurous when it comes to trying new things because I am awfully fussy lol. I wish I could eat anything though but I just can't get it to my mouth. It's a genetic thing. I come from a long line of fussy eaters. I've never been to Taipei though it reminds me of Hong Kong's concrete jungles. I also love the dog friendly town, I would be in heaven with all those lovely pooches. I'd just spend all day giving them cuddles.

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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    1. Taipei and Hong Kong are almost similar in terms of the type of city they are and also they are famous for the shopping and street food. You would love all the friendly dogs in Taipei, Sonia! As for being a fussy eater, hahaha... I got no comments on that coz even if I encourage you to try, it's already in your DNA not to. =)

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  12. Hi Jo, I remember the last posts of your Taipei throwback. Sorry to hear that the weather was rainy this day, but however the photos are nice! You and your hubby look so cute together! And how sweet he bought you the Hello Kitty sweets! The bears on the table in the restaurant are really funny! Btw, the Lover's Bridge look great by night! Have a nice day! xo

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    1. Hahaha... My hubz isn't sweet at all to buy Hello Kitty just so he could destroy it and ask me to take an after photo of it. The rain that day wasn't too bad as the next few days. It was really a rainy trip that we had to cut lots of places off our plans.

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  13. Jo, I couldn't stop laughing at the comments about your husband eating & drinking! That was so funny, because he stopped everywhere! HAHAHAHA He was more enthused than you were about this outing. The little white dog was too cute. I also loved the pigs on the doors and sanrio sweets. Thanks for sharing this.

    Jo, as you can see I'm barely on Facebook. I mainly use it to post my blog posts and then I'm off. But I do check in from time to time. I received your lovely package and I am SO TOUCHED by your notes & everything you sent me. I'll be contacting you through Facebook for your address, so I can keep in touch. Thank you. I'll be doing a post what you sent me soon.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. My hubz is a pig, he is. =D I'm so glad to hear that you're touched by the notes and items in the package. I had wanted to send you some of my favourite Asian childhood snacks too and I regretted not using a bigger box! I wanted to use that box that you have coz I thought that though it is recycled, the tin looks so happy and cheery as opposed to a carton box. I remember that you like stuff for their packaging and that you would keep nice tin boxes. After I prepared and wrapped your package, I saw you posted a package from your blog friend who sent you Asian snacks and how you love Asian snacks and I went "Damn. Why didn't I use a bigger box so that you could have the snacks too." =D

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  14. Jo, Tamsui District is amazing, Im so impressed by the Fisherman's Wharf and the Lover's Bridge, I wanna be there too! At night is so romantic, you and your hubby look very sweet as ever. The Old Street is very cool the same, seems there are many place where try new and fancy treats, Id be as your hubby!:P And lol for him, I imagine the scene of macarons, poor you and the HK!:P Many kisses and have a great week! xo

    Jo, would be my pleasure, of course yes! Im going to send you the request right now, there it would be easier and quicker to stay in touch like we do on IG.<3

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    1. I actually love to eat but somehow my appetite in Taipei wasn't exactly good. Maybe I like to eat proper food and not just eating snacks all the way. Taipei is famous for their street snacks. I very much prefer the old street to Fisherman's Wharf even though Fisherman's Wharf is high on the list of recommended place of interest in Taipei. Yes, poor me and HK. Hahaha... So glad we are connected on more platforms!

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  15. Hi Jo! Omg a hotel room without windows!! That is quite awful but I have to admit I stayed in worse haha. Oh hubby killed the kitty cat again haha. That always makes me laugh. Is there any male out there who actually loves Hello Kitty? Probably not :D Your welfie on the Lover's Bridge is super cute and I love the view. You guys probably picked the best. Seriously you really made me hungry. All I can think of right now is the braised pork rice. That's the next dish I'm going to order :D
    Your friendship means a lot to me too Jo. I'm glad we have found each other. To visist your blog is like a little vacation to me. Wish you a happy Tuesday sweetheart!!

    xx

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    1. Yes, you remembered! The hubz loves to "kill" all kitty cats. I have a guy friend who had a Hello Kitty theme wedding just for his wife. I'm not very close to him so I heard everything from my gal pal. Many people didn't think it was sweet at all and felt that if his wife respected him, she wouldn't have insisted on a HK wedding coz the memory and photos are for life and imagine the hubby. But then again, he probably loves her a lot, love is blind, and he's happy to have that HK photos and memories to his name.
      So glad we are connected on more platforms now!

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  16. I have never been to Taiwan, but I would really love to visit it too. Taipei looks captivating and interesting to see. In spite of the fact that the weather was rainy I see so many people walking out there on your photographs. I personally love such weather, but when it's pouring all day long, it's not that nice of course.
    Seems you won't agree with me, but to my mind the scenery looks so romantic and mysterious, I do love it. I always enjoy such foggy weather, it hides secrets:) I also believe you had wonderful time together, you are a very beautiful couple, indeed.

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    1. It was pretty light drizzle that didn't require umbrella that day when we were out. It was drizzling and raining a lot in Taipei the next few days as you would soon see in my updates. I know you love the melancholic rainy weather and the beauty behind those weather elements. Arty people love the rain!

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  17. The food looks delicious and that little dog that greeted you is ever so adorable :) I love the nightime photography featured in this post by the way, it really feels as though I'm there! Thanks so much for connecting on Instagram by the way, it was such a lovely surprise to hear from you - so glad we're connected again! Have a lovely week, Jo :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    x

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    1. So glad to see you here again, Gabrielle. I've to look for you more regularly on your blog too but I'm only glad that now we are able to get quicker updates on Instagram too.

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  18. Replies
    1. Hope you get to travel again soon! =)

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