Rise and shine! Day 2 begins in Taipei.
Good morning, Taipei!
Time for breakfast before the day's adventure begin.
Love the bacon and sausage.
At 8:05am (still being a Malaysian me went up to the bus late) we went on our way to a place to make our own pineapple cakes.
Taiwan's most popular speciality, 凤梨酥
After about 45 minutes later, we arrived at our destination.
A food factory where some of the famous products are manufactured.
Cute characters at the entrance
A rabbit welcoming us to San Shu Kong
There is a pair plus me making it a crowd.
In Malaysia, this is a making-dodol-action. In Taiwan, it's a making-mochi-action.
The walkway heading to the interior of the factory
Part of the factory showing egg rolls in production
The products here have such cute packings.
Didn't get the name of this mascot so I shall call it the icon of the factory.
We soon reach the place where we were supposed to make our own pineapple cake.
Ingredients and gloves all set! Ready to get to work.
My set of ingredients.
The whole process of kneading the dough and inserting the pineapple filling must be done using gloves to prevent from the cake becoming salty, if you know what I mean. Haha...
There, finally done kneading and inserting the filling and the next process was to shape it inside the mould.
The cakes were then taken away to be baked to be given back to us later.
Next, we made mung bean cake with red bean filling.
My cracked mung bean cake.
Eunice in the midst of moulding her mung bean cake
It's finally done with label too.
Who is interested to buy this from Fiona's Cracked Mung Bean Cake Factory?
We then sampled some of the products and bought some back home for family and friends.
This is the icon of San Shu Kong Food Co.. Did not know what his actual name was.
The icon enjoys cosplaying as chocolate mochi at times
And sometimes as a pineapple cake
Sometimes it's too tiring to keep dressing up so the icon decided to hibernate by turning into a stone for a while.
We got up the bus to start our journey to Jiu Fen next which would take approximately an hour. This was when we received our homemade pineapple cakes from our tour leader.
Made truly by yours truly. I am gifted in making cracked pastries.
After biting halfway through the pastry. Satisfied that the filling was quite centred. At least it did not leak out. :P
Jiu Fen (九份)
This is a place where tourists come to eat and shop for souvenirs along the mountain side.
The bird eye view
We had to walk down for a few hundred metres to the bustling shops where we only see people and nothing else from the distance.
A mountain of people
I was one of the fishes there. Spot me.
The specialty at Jiu Fen is the old ginger tea, 薑母茶. It's spicy and sweet. Surprisingly thirst quenching too. We bought some packets from a famous shop and went for lunch.
There's drunken chicken, tofu, crunchy-shelled eggs, spinach, bamboo shoots and minced pork rice, 滷肉飯 - another famous cuisine in Taiwan.
Closer shot of the 滷肉飯
The hungry group still smiles for the camera for beauty's sake.
Walked a bit along the busy shops selling all kinds of souvenirs for the stomach.
If you don't try the local snacks, you have never actually been to Taiwan. I quoted this from our tour leader, Richelle.
Ice cream wrap sprinkled with peanuts shaved from the big blocks
Have you ever seen a white bittergourd? Dad said they were albino bittergourd.
Later, I found these white bittergourd are very common. I saw them in Xi Men Ding later today.
Spotted a single mountain on the way back up the road to where the bus was parked.
Xiao Chen, our local tour guide told us that Taiwan is a land of mountains with Mount Yu being the highest among them and the 4th highest mountain on an island.
Sometimes, the best view is not about the scenery but the people behind it.
Here is a funny photo of an elderly man holding a "FULL" sign.
There is job for everyone in Taiwan.
Another less than an hour's drive, we arrived in more scenic spot, Yehliu (野柳) to see the Queen's head.
By this time, the rain came and we had to walk with our umbrellas. Fortunately, it was only a drizzle.
The Pacific Ocean
The main attraction of this place is the rock which looks like the Queen's Head due to the natural erosion from the wind and sea.
The head is too small to be seen here. It has gotten smaller throughout the years so they decided to replicate one.
Here's a replica of the Queen's Head.
There were many rocks which took off interesting shapes due to the natural phenomenon at the sea.
The variants of rocks found at Yehliu
More of the scenic rocks
Wu Fen Pu (五分埔)
At 3:30pm, we departed Yehliu and headed to Wu Fen Pu (五分埔), the biggest wholesale shopping district in Taipei. I just window shopped to reserve the money for the next few days. My masking-tape-bandage will be saying goodbye to me soon.
Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)
One of the biggest night markets in Taiwan offering a huge variety of Taiwanese snacks and other interesting things.
We are here! It's drizzling still.
First item to try was the fried chicken chop. You know how famous it was based on the length of the queue.
The famous chicken chop
Oyster mi sua stall. Another famous must-try in Taiwan, especially at Shilin Night Market.
The largest sausage I have seen. No doubt, it is delicious.
People can fish for shrimps and grill them for free later.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂
Beautiful lightings at night.
The National Theatre and Concert Hall, Taipei
It was 8:20pm by the time we started journey to our hotel.
This room is more normal compared to the one we stayed in yesterday. It doesn't have a jacuzzi.
That's not the end of the tour today. We transferred our luggage and went out to the final destination of the day.
Xi Men Ding (西門町)
Another shipping district mostly selling fashion items like clothes and bags. They do have snacks too.
Quite a happening part of the Wanhua district in Taipei.
A random stall selling sausages
See? I saw them again.
I should try the bittergourd juice the next time I see them again.
Mango shaved ice with ice cream
Our local tour guide introduced us to this mango shaved ice which is quite a popular snack in Xi Men Ding. We chose the one with ice cream. Cost us NTD140.
Coupled with a pearl milk tea
Mango shaved cream mascot
The graffiti on the walls creates a unique carefree ambience
Saw a cute Retriever on the way.
He just couldn't be bothered to do anything.
Will be leaving Taipei tomorrow by 1:30pm tomorrow for Taichung.
Day 3 is here just too fast!