Ni Hao Taiwan: Day 5 – Anding (隙頂) and Taipei (台北) Shihlin Night Market (士林夜市)

Our Taiwan trip has been so far, so good .. and Alishan has been treating us really well. Day 5 started in a way that I couldn’t have asked for more. We planned to head back to Taipei in the early morning, but we were delayed for a very good reason. Bf + me + Sea of clouds 云海 = perfect moment, sans the crowd and noise.

 

Day 5

Anding → Chiayi TRA (by Taiwan Tourist Shuttle 7322)→ Chiayi HSR (by THSR free shuttle bus 7212)→ Taipei HSR

 

Anding

Breakfast at 53 Backpackers
Egg sandwich
Instant coffee and tea – make your own

In the morning, we were served breakfast (included in our room rate) at 53 Backpackers – Egg sandwich + Cracker. And we made our coffee – coffee is so the precious, for we didn’t get any so far in our previous stays in Taiwan. All we got was Chinese tea sachets – perhaps it’s a different story in more expensive hotels.

Sunrise schedule at Eryanping Trail

We didn’t wake up early to watch sunrise, nor to check whether there are any “sea of clouds” sighting. But when we checked out around 9am, the good people at 53 Backpackers told us that the cloud of seas are visible at the Eryanping Trail.

Sea of clouds at Eryanping Trail

Leaving our bags at their tea shop, we walked across with our camera gear. Instead of taking the next bus heading down to Chiayi, we decided to take our time enjoying the view, and for bf to take some good photographs. There will be people stopping by for a photo or two, but they did not linger on .. perfect for us.

Customers having tea at teahouse

While waiting for bus, we were also invited to have tea at 53 Backpackers …or rather, the tea shop that they operate from. They also sell snacks such as wasabi nuts, crackers, wasabi paste, etc here.

 

Anding -> Chiayi TRA -> Chiayi HSR

There are more buses to Chiayi TRA Station, than Chiayi HSR where we are heading. As the next bus is 7322, we just go along with it. We got a bus around 10am from Anding bus station, and arrived at Chiayi TRA around 11.10am. We followed tips shared by travellers on forum: transfer at Chiayi TRA Station to Chiayi HSR Station via THSR (free) shuttle bus 7212. Some commented no longer free, but it was free for us.

Bus dropped off area

The bus from Alishan did not stop directly in front of Chiayi TRA station. From where we were dropped off, we walked along the road, and Chiayi TRA station is on our left side.

Chiayi TRA station
Underpass to Rear Station

You will need to cross overpass to bus stop at rear of Chiayi TRA Station for 30 mins bus ride to Chiayi HSR Station. We missed that overpass, and walked through Chiayi TRA station instead, without a train ticket oops. We accidentally walked through bicycle pedestrian lane, and managed exit at the other end. Phew.

Bus stop at rear of Chiayi TRA station
Bus frequency every 20 minutes
THSR free shuttle bus 7212: route and schedule (Source: Chiayi Bus)
Gate no 2

Wait at Gate No 2. Bus frequency is every 20 minutes from 06:00-23:40.

BRT card in blue

We were given a BRT card (in blue), to be returned when we alight – it was a free ride for us.

For more info, log on to www.cibus.com.tw.

 

Chiayi HSR

Bus stop outside Chiayi HSR
NT$ 2,160 for 2 reserved seats from Chiayi HSR to Taipei HSR
Train schedule

This time round, we didn’t book any tickets in advance, as we were not sure of our travel schedule. We paid normal fare NT$ 2,160 for 2 reserved seats, on train No 0642 departing Chiayi 13:32, arriving Taipei at 14:59 (Total: 1 hour 27 minutes journey). The earlier the passengers book, the greater chance they enjoy high early bird discount – NT$ 1,080 (full fare), NT$ 970 (10% discount), NT$ 860 (20% discount) and NT$ 700 (10% discount). If tickets with an early bird discount of 35% off are sold out, then tickets with an early bird discount of 20% off are offered, and so on and so forth.

Bento counter at Chiayi HSR

We saw people buying bento at the station, and I wanted to experience eating bento in train … but well, a bento is a bento lah. The bento stall is open during these time periods: 1030-1300 and 1700-1900.

Mos Burger, Chiayi HSR
Sharing set NT$339
Our sharing set
Shogayaki Rice Burger
Australian Wagyu Beef Burger with Roasted Beef

Instead, we had our lunch at MOS Burger and I thought that it is an interesting experience. We ordered their Sharing Set NT$ 339: Australian Wagyu Beef Burger with Roasted Beef + Shogayaki (Japanese Ginger Pork) Rice Burger + Vegetable Croquette, Chicken Nuggets, French Fries.

Pork sausage with rib
Pork sausage with rib

I also added Pork Sausage with Rib NT$ 50 – because this menu is not available in Thailand, if I am not wrong.

Chinese sauce. Hmm ..

We Chinese have a “Chinese sauce” that I’ve never heard of? It’s a plum-ish kind of sauce .. so Chinese sauce = plum sauce.

Jelly gift set

Noticed that many people buy jelly.

Rove Beetles prevention

I couldn’t help but be concerned of rove beetles, after spotting the prevention signage at the station’s platform.

 

Chiayi HSR -> Taipei HSR

HSR train arrived at platform

Train arrived at platform at 13:30 .. we got our seats.

Non-reserved car queue at Chiayi HSR

Halfway through our journey, more passengers boarded .. and I was surprised to find “non-reserved ticket” passengers entering our coach. I am not sure whether it’s a norm for these type of passengers to get onto the reserved cars; whether their tickets are confined to non-reserved cars. There are many standing passengers in our car – and there was one couple carrying a baby standing next to us. What do you do in a situation like this, when u obviously pay a premium to secure a seat. Well, bf offered his seat willingly, but the couple declined politely.

Other than that, the journey was uneventful.

 

Taipei

Accommodation:

Formosa 101 Hostel
Formosa 101 – double bedroom

Formosa 101 Hostel – Love this hostel, read more about my stay at Formosa 101 hostel here.

The hostel is within walking distance to Taipei 101 – 15 mins walk, 1 km – and this allowed us to take day and night photos of the landmark skyscraper.

 

5th Floor, No. 115 Keelung Rd. Sec. 2 (No. 115基隆路二段) Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Tel: +886 955 780 359
Website: http://www.hostelformosa.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/formosa101taipei/
Email: hostelformosa101@gmail.com
Nearest MRT: Taipei 101/World Trade Center (Red Line) / Liuzhangli (Brown Line)

 

 

50 Lan (50嵐)

50 Lan (50嵐) – same row as Formosa 101 Hostel
50 Lan (50嵐) – Menu
50 Lan (50嵐) – Menu

Because I am such a good GF (mmm … hmmm), I went down to get drinks for our lazy time at hostel. Just like my half-baked Thai language skillset, my broken Mandarin sometimes brought me unnecessary headache in Chinese majority-country. I had difficulty ordering in Chinese, and staff spoke little English – a cup of milk tea comes with a trail of questions: sugar level, ice level and for goodness sake, even pearl size.

50 Lan (50嵐) – Bubble Milk Tea and Plum and Kumquat Juice

I got us a Bubble Milk Tea (Medium – 40 baht), with god know whatever pearl size that I simply agreed with, and a Plum and Kumquat Juice (Medium – 40 baht).

 

Shihlin Night Market (士林夜市)

When the queue is long, it’s popular

I remembered from my previous trip that food at Shihlin Night Market is just average – but since bf has not been here before , we made a trip there for food. Rule of thumb – long queue = popular food.

Head down to basement
Lockers at Shihlin Night Market

Shilin Night Market Food Court (士林夜市B1美食區) – we made a beeline to the Food Court at basement, and saw that there is Locker service at the basement.

Selling the same stuffs
Seafood at Shihlin Night Market

The stalls at the food court are selling more or less the same stuff. I suggested that we skip the food here, so that we have space for street food.

Shihlin’s Big-Bread-Wraps-Small-Bread(大饼包小饼)
Young kid manning the stall
Big-Bread-Wraps-Small-Bread
Big-Bread-Wraps-Small-Bread
Big-Bread-Wraps-Small-Bread(大饼包小饼)(1 piece – NT$ 35) – The one and only food we bought inside the basement food court. Taiwanese seem to like something-wrap-over-something kind of concept – like Big Sausage wrapped Small Sausage 大餅包.
We then ventured out to find other food options at Shihlin Night Market.
Horrible grouchy stall
Rice with some minced meat stew
Some meat
Our meal

The first stall we tried had a “PMS” man running the place – he had zero patience for fumbling tourists who speak broken Mandarin, that didn’t know what to order and read Chinese. I wanted to order braised pork rice (滷肉饭 Lu rou fan), but just couldn’t find the right words in Mandarin – I got something remotely similar, but it wasn’t the same. Other tables have a plate of meat dish, so I pointed and ordered the same for us. As food is mediocre, the grouchy service just doesn’t cut it for me.

Shihlin Fruit Juice stall
Menu
Honey with bittergourd juice

Honey with bittergourd juice (NT$ 70) – This drink is high on my list, just because of its weirdness – who on earth have appetite for bittergourd juice? Well, this drink tastes better than we thought. Worth a try for something local.

Shihlin’s sausage galore
Humongous sausage

Sausage galore – We didn’t buy this, but some bought the big sausage (NT$ 100).

Spring onion wrapped with bacon
Spring onion wrapped with bacon

Spring onion wrapped with bacon – First stall we tried when we first walked towards Shihlin – the spring onions needed more time on the grill, too raw and “spicy” for me.

Carbon barbecue – Spring onions wrapped with bacon
Spring onions wrapped with bacon

Carbon barbecue (NT$ 12) – spring onions wrapped with bacon – When we saw this stall later, we can tell that the quality here is so much better. So, bf got into the queue and patiently waited for “his” stick of spring onions wrapped with bacon. Perhaps I should get him tonnes of spring onions for his birthday.

Shihlin’s deep-fried milk
The milk cubes, before fry
Deep-fried milk

Deep-fried milk (1 stick – NT$ 20) – intrigued, and gave it a try – let’s put it this way: one try is enough.

Curry fish ball
Curry fish ball

Curry fish ball (NT$ 25) – extra spicy is really extra spicy .. pedas!

Grilled Squid stall
Grilled squid

Grilled squid – He has been eyeing grilled squid for a while .. so, why not?

Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken
Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken
Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken

Hot-star Large Fried Chicken – I like this, but it’s messy and oily.

 

 

Shihlin Night Market (士林夜市)
In the neighborhood of Dadong Rd., Danan Rd., Wenlin Rd. and Jihe Rd., Shilin Dist., Taipei City 111, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Tel: +886-2-2882-0340
Website: http://www.shilin-night-market.com/
Opening hours: 7/8pm-12am
Nearest MRT: Red line – Jiantan Station (劍潭) – Exit E1, not Shilin Station. After leaving Exit 1, diagonally cross the street to the left to enter the night market.

 

We like 7-Eleven in Taiwan – lots of varieties like Thailand. We usually buy few things to try, and my purchase for today:

 

Papaya Milk and Chun Cui He 純萃喝’s Early Grey Milk Tea

Papaya milk + Chun Cui He 純萃喝’s Earl grey milk tea (NT$ 30)- Since I didn’t get to try Papaya Milk at Shihlin Night Market, I ended up buying one from 7-Eleven. Weirdish papaya mixed with milk kind of concoction. Chun Cui He 純萃喝’s Earl Grey Milk Tea is a bomb though – love it.

 

 

 

Notyourtypicaltourist

Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.

2 thoughts on “Ni Hao Taiwan: Day 5 – Anding (隙頂) and Taipei (台北) Shihlin Night Market (士林夜市)

  • September 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm
    Permalink

    papaya milk….so got feel BIGGER or not after drinking? 😛

    Reply
    • September 19, 2017 at 3:12 pm
      Permalink

      Hahahahaha …. too diluted for it to work its magic

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *