Honestly, I was feeling a bit heavy-hearted because I kinda liked Taichung.
All of us got ready and waited for our cab driver to pick us up.
Below are a snapshot of our day 4, 5 and 6 itinerary.
Just in case you are wondering, we hired the cab to bring us around Taichung (1-day tour) for NTD$4000.
Initially, we planned to take the HSR from Taichung to Taipei but judging from our situation when each of us has at least 2 luggage, we decided to hire the cab again - best decision ever! For just NTD$6000, our cab driver sent us from Taichung to Taipei and on the way to Taipei, he brought us to Jiufen and several other tourist spots like Gold Mine, Ying Yang Sea, Jin Gua Shi and King Kong Mountain.
I remember I was awed at the scenery of Ying Yang Sea. It was one day prior to typhoon and the sea was mad crazy that day. The wind was so strong that it could blow off a fat person like me!
I had to find a car for support because I have heard news that the typhoon had caused two deaths the day before.
Seriously, it was my virgin typhoon experience. As much as I wanted to savour every moment of typhoon, still, I was pretty scared of mishaps. Our cab driver reminded us over and over to be extra cautious since typhoon was hitting town the very next day.
I guess, it was due to the windy weather that all of us were enjoying ourselves.
It was cold and windy.
Then, our next stop was Gold Museum as well as Jin Gua Shi.
I had to take complementary shots at the Gold Museum and Jin Gua Shi because, well... you know, I want to become rich and the whole theory of gaining wealth is that you have take a lot of pictures at places like so.
My theory, okay?
I am not exactly sure why it's called "gold museum" or such since I cannot read Mandarin but I think you can get the information somewhere, somehow.
Finally, after all the photoshoot sessions, we proceeded to leave to Jiufen.
Within 10 to 15 minutes of slow-driving due to the strong wind, we finally reached Jiufen. Honestly, I was breathless for a while. No, it wasn't because of medical condition or anything.
Jiufen is beautiful beyond words.
If you have to know, throughout this 8-day trip, I have enjoyed the trip to Jiufen the most. If I were to stay in Jiufen, I would happily oblige!
Jiufen is a small neighborhood - you could basically walk around the neighborhood without much problem but if you are out for food adventure, you have to go to Jiufen Old Street - that is the tourist spot and the place for all of you to kick off your food adventure.
From the entrance to the exit, all I could remember was seeing food, food and more food.
My eyes darted off - I wanted to find few recommended stalls. Prior to the trip to Jiufen, Helen and I had done so much researches. One of must-try food would be the Peanut Ice-Cream Roll.
You have to beware though.
There are so many stalls selling Peanut Ice-Cream Roll and the most recommended stall is Ah Zhu.
Priced at NTD$40 per roll, I wouldn't say it is exactly cheap but we bought two rolls to share.
Once I took the first bite, the ice-cream melted in my mouth. The shaved peanut ice-cream was heavenly. I could almost hear the angels sing.
I told myself I wanted to get more but then again, I did not want to waste the calories by eating the same thing.
There are just so many types of different food around.
As we strolled further into the street, I remembered I have came across Fung Brothers' video on their trip to Jiufen and one of the delicacies that they have tried was some grilled snails.
I know it sounded gross but those snails were yummy!
For NTD$100, you get two gigantic snails.
They will cut the snails into bite size pieces.
Well, the snails tasted like chicken!
Time to find some desserts and we stopped by Lai Ah Po Taro Balls.
Seriously, there is nothing much to shout about because I personally do not like these taro balls. Although I do have certain liking to milk tea but I do not like pearls or taro or pumpkin or whatever balls. I prefer my milk tea without any additional sugar or extra calories.
Furthermore, the time when we got to Lai Ah Po stall, we found the owners to be very rude. They were threatening us and shouting at us. I mean if they are busy and we are interfering them, it is okay for them to shout at us but during that time, there wasn't anyone at the stall at all.
My friends were all put off at their attitudes but still we ordered from them because it was recommended.
No more next time.
Further down the street, I wanted to find Wu Di Sausages but somehow, the stall wasn't open that particular day - I was disappointed but there was nothing much I could do.
I wanted to take a picture with the auntie with big flower ornament on her head... sigh... I ended up buying one sausage from other stall.
Nothing to shout about too...
We left Jiufen for Taipei at around 5pm because the weather was getting too bad that we were unable to continue our journey to Shifen or anywhere else.
We arrived The Meeting Place @ Nangang, Taipei, around 6pm.
On day 5, due to Typhoon Soudelor, we were unable to do much. All shops were closed and MRT was not operating. We had no choice but to stay in. Lucky for us that there was a 7-Eleven right opposite our hostel, else, all of us would die from hunger and thirst!
There were no electricity and water!
Basically, everyone in the hostel had to survive without showering and we had to even share the gross, unflushed toilets!
At around 4pm, we decided that Typhoon Soudelor would kill us softly from the inside because we were too bored. Hence, four of us crept out to take pictures!
I know all of you would be shouting and screaming at us for being daredevils because it was just too dangerous outside.
That was once in a lifetime thingy so, we had to do it!
We practically wasted one day during the whole trip, thanks to Typhoon Soudelor. Nevertheless, it was a good experience that none of us would forget.
On the 6th day, we woke up early, fighting our ways to the bathroom when we got to know that the water supply was back. Helen and I were sprung out of our beds immediately and ran to the bathroom as soon as we grabbed our towels and clothes!
Seriously, this experience has made me appreciate water more.
After each and everyone of us showered, we headed to the nearest MRT station - we were ready to seize the day!
But first, we had to get our breakfast - I was a little sick of 7-Eleven food.
We made our way to Fu Hang Dou Jiang 阜杭豆漿 @ Huashan Market Building. It is reachable via MRT Shandao Temple. The shop itself starts to operate daily at 5 in the morning until 12.30 noon. At the time we reached the outlet, we were shocked - the queue was so, so freaking long! Imagine the queue started all the way from 2F to 1F and even to the entrance of the building. We queued for 45 minutes and believe me, that 45 minutes were the longest 45 minutes in the history of my life - I was famished beyond words!
Finally, when it was our turn to order, we made sure we tried all the recommended food.
Of all the food that we ordered, I enjoyed the savoury soy milk pudding. I thought of ordering more but then again, the long queue set me back.
Oh, we even had long you tiao - longer than the typical ones we see in Malaysia.
If you were to ask me, the only significant difference was the fact that it was crunchier than the ones we have in Malaysia. Well, being longer is obviously better. The you tiao was fresh!
After our breakfast adventure, we wandered off for our shopping trip at Wufenpu. If you do not know anything about Wufenpu, do google it up! It's a wholesale market for anything related to fashion. We can practically get almost anything there at slightly lower price. After our mid morning snack at MOS Burger, we marched off to our shopping destination.
Yes, the entire day 6 was about shopping at Wufenpu.
I am not going to bluff you guys but honestly, aside from one t-shirt, I bought nothing else. Well, I came to term that Taiwanese fashion doesn't suit me. Can't do much about it, can I?
Around 6pm, we headed back to our hostel to drop our shopping bags and met up with Bella to make our way to Shihlin Night Market.
My eyes were set on the infamous Hao Da Da Ji Pai (XXL Chicken Chop). Priced at NTD$65, it's not exactly cheap but it was succulent and juicy!
It was finger-licking good!
We had to queue up for those chicken chops - it was crazy!
Lemme be honest - Taiwanese loves to queue. For us, it was just like a culture. In Malaysia, this sort of thing doesn't really happen. We cut queues.
We even tried out the infamous Ah Zhong Rice Noodles.
It was ah-okay. I guess I didn't really enjoy this. I prefer my noodles spicy with thinner broth.
Well... although Shihlin is indeed one of the biggest night markets in Taiwan, I went back to the hostel empty-handed again. Seriously, at that point of time, I was beginning to doubt my shopping ability. Why was I the only person who did not buy anything?
Anyway, long story short - after Shinlin, it was merely 9.30pm and we decided to head to Raohe Night Market which was nearby our hostel. I went and hunt for the infamous Raohe Foochow Pepper Buns because the ones we had in Taichung was just mediocre.
Boy, it was so much better than the ones we had in Taichung!
No wonder people were queuing for these pepper buns!
Well, they're not exactly cheap too - NTD$50 for each if I am not mistaken.
Finally, a complimentary touristy shot right at the entrance of Raohe Night Market to prove we have been there.
Day 6 ended.
We headed home and right after shower, all of us fell asleep.