On our second last day in Taipei, we had arranged with Mr Lin ZiPing, who came highly recommended by another colleague. Mr Lin said it would be better for both parties if we meet at RuiFang, instead of a pickup in Taipei. After meeting up with Mr Lin, we set off for a tour on a rainy rainy rainy day. Our tour was supposed to be a day tour and Mr Lin said if we feel uncomfortable mid-way due to the rain, he is totally fine with doing a half day tour. Well, at that point, we were confident we wouldn’t be that uncomfortable in the rain. I mean, after all, we do get our fair share of thunderstorms in Singapore.
Before setting out the tour proper, Mr Lin brought us to buy disposable raincoats. Boy, were we glad he did ‘cos the raincoats at least kept our upper body dry.
So our itinerary was to include ‘Jingguashi and Jiufen and sights along the way’.
According to Mr Lin, this area receives rain for like 200 days a year, although recently, the numbers went down to 150 days a year. Still, that’s a lot of days with rain! 😯
Along the way, we passed by the ying-yang Sea, whereby due to the mud/soil seeping into the sea (or is it ocean?), there are 2 distinct colours of the waters.
The first place Mr Lin brought us to, was really lovely. One look and you could tell why its called the Golden waterfall. Real pity about the rain! I bet it rained for at least a week!
I suppose we were there for max 10 minutes? By which time, water has managed to enter our shoes and my non-waterproof pretty boots (bought in Shanghai 😦 )! So we were brought to the next stop which was a gold mining museum. Before that, we have to walk a bit in the area to reach the museum. So, the Jingguashi area was previously a mining area for ‘gold diggers’ with the Japanese leading the pack. Hence, the area has quite a number of Japanese touch to it. Mr Lin led us to some stairs whereby the steps were flat and ‘shallow’, so that the Japanese women could navigate the steps in their pretty and tight kimono.
I’m quite sure we would have a really good tour of the area if it were not raining but geez, it was really getting uncomfortable with the rain. We finally got an idea of what Mr Lin said about getting uncomfortable.
FYI, Mr Lin said the best period to go to Jingguashi would be in September period whereby there is least rain.
Compressor used in gold mining process:
So we were glad to finally reach the museum and we walked into it with our squishy squashy shoes.
Mr Lin is really a good tour guide, he knows his stuff but I gotta tell you, wet shoes really makes one uncomfortable! We were really unable to concentrate on the information he was giving us. For me, I was seriously of thinking of just going back to the hotel so we could all get dry and very comfortable again! So we decided to stop the trip after Jiufen, thus making it a half day trip. 😦 Mr Lin was totally fine with our decision; he was the only smart one wearing water-proof boots and jacket.
So not much explanation for the pics below, because you now know why for the lack of them.
And this is for you gold diggers out there….
And we ended the museum tour after touching this ‘piece’ of gold…I do wish I can bring that back with me, given the price of gold these days.
On our way to Jiufen, which is supposed to be really nice to wander around…
And Jiufen is really nice! Lots of food to eat and cute things to see. Unfortunately, the lanes there are quite narrow and with the rain, our hands were busy with the umbrellas and had no chance to take photos whatsoever. 😳 Sorry! I do highly recommend Jiufen. Just come to these places when its not raining! 😡
So Mr Lin sent us to the train station where we could catch the train back to Taipei and our hotel. I’ve never been so happy to get rid of my shoes (or rather boots).
Thereafter, we went to WuFenPu for some shopping. WuFenPu is an area for wholesale of fashionable clothes, shoes etc. Only thing is, things there weren’t as cheap as we thought it would be. But the area is quite big and so we probably only wandered in the area where things are more expensive? Note: the quality could be a reason for the price…quality is better than those in the night markets.
And at WuFenPu, there is a famous braised pork rice, also known as Lu Rou Fan. Hmmmm, again, its different fromm that in Singapore. Locally, we do have MEAT on top of the rice but in Taipei, it was like pig skin on top of the rice? Well, the sauce was really yummy. Since there’s no meat, we ordered the pig’s trotters BUT, again, not much meat.
The next day, which happened to be our last day in Taiwan, we went for a really good meal at Mitsui, a very well known Japanese restaurant. It was lunch time and the restaurant was pretty crowded! A very good sign!
Firstly, we had some sushi.
And then sashimi. In this platter, we let the chef decide on the type of sashimi to give us. Our mistake was we didn’t make sure that salmon sashimi MUST be included. 😕
So we had to make a separate order, esp since my husband only takes salmon sashimi.
Well, I’m a fan of salmon sashimi and we loved it! Think the other sashimi were fresh and good too but the salmon was the best!
The crab was fleshy and yummy!
And the husband loves some unagi too…
This fish came highly recommended by the waitress. She said its grilled Taiwanese fish. Hey, we’re in a Japanese restaurant, so I thought we would get Japanese fish, no? Oh wait, its a Japanese restaurant in Taiwan.
This Taiwanese/ Japanese fish was SO GOOD! 😛 So fresh, and it being simply grilled let us enjoy it at its best! Sometimes, the best ingredients/food are to be cooked in just the simplest manner for the best flavours! This is how good the fish was!
Was quite full already and I forgot we had ordered this until it arrived at our table. Shabu shabu.
I wanted to get the bowl for the ladle! So I thought we could hightail it to SoGo after lunch in time to look for it. It was just not meant to be 😦
We really had to ‘force’ ourselves to eat as we really had quite a lot already. After this shabu shabu, I thought I would give beef a rest for a while thereafter.
And we got the bill and they served us this! 🙂
Just amazing how there is always room for yummy desserts. This meal cost about SGD200, which we felt was very reasonable, given the quality of the food. 😉
A fantastic way to end our trip to Taiwan! 😀