Day 12, 13 & 14 Taipei & Around

Taichung to Taipei

The last stage was Taipei which was near to our “flying out” airport, Taoyuan International Airport. We stay was a hotel in Taipei which was a convenient point for us to explore the northern part of Taiwan.

On the way to Taipei we made three stops, a biscuit shop stop, a highland coffee break and a strawberry farm stop. So instead of a 1.5 hour drive to Taipei it was a 3 hours  slow and scenic drive to Taipei

Our route to from Taichung to Taipei

Our route to from Taichung to Taipei

Red Sakura Food

We had a request to bring back Red Sakura butter biscuit from Taiwan. Through google search we found that it had an outlet in Taichung, co-ord: 24.40188, 120.64167.

Route to Red Sakura Biscuit Shop

Route to Red Sakura Biscuit Shop

When we reached the “biscuit shop”, the shop turned out to be a biscuit factor! It was a huge place and the sweet biscuit favour was all over in the air! It had a biscuit display shop in one of its buildings. The sale lady offered us tea and some biscuit samplings. We tasted a few variety of biscuits and bought 6 boxes of butter biscuit for friends and family back home.

Red Sakura Biscuit Factory

Red Sakura Biscuit Factory

Chateau in the Air

“Chateau in the Air” was our 2nd stop of the day. Just a short 19km drive from Red Sakura Food shop.

Route to "Chateau in the Air"

Route to “Chateau in the Air”

The parking fee was TWD50 and the entrance ticket fee was TWD200 per person. The entrance ticket could be used to offset the cost of the food at the Chateau Restaurant.

Entrance tickets to Chateau in the Air

Entrance tickets to Chateau in the Air

The chateau looked lovely, the outdoor compound had several levels. We went straight to the main building which was an beautiful “castle”. It had three main levels and a side tower that went up two more levels.

Chateau in the Air at Maoli

Chateau in the Air at Maoli

Chateau in the Air at Maoli

Chateau in the Air at Maoli

It was not easy to get a table in the restaurant on the third level which had a good view of the valley and around. We were seated at one of the “inner” tables on the 2nd level. We had cakes and coffee. The entire bill came up to TWD660 and we used TWD400 from our entrance ticket to offset the bill.

Coffee Break at Chateau in the Air

Coffee Break at Chateau in the Air

Strawberry Hunting

Maoli County had many fruit plantations and strawberry season was on! We drove through the hilly county in search of a nice strawberry farm. Google map brought us to one such farm (co-ordinates 24.36398, 120.86284) which had some good reviews. Unfortunately when we were there, the farm looked like an “clutter” storage place. There were some small pots of strawberry plants here and there. The price that the farm owner quoted for its strawberry was too expensive, so we left without plucking or buying strawberry.

A weird looking strawberry farm

A weird looking strawberry farm

Strawberry stores in Maoli County

Strawberry stores in Maoli County

As we left Maoli county we saw several roadside stores selling strawberry so we stopped to buy some. Bought 250g of strawberry for TWD200. Though the price was not cheap and the strawberry fruits were small we still bought some to satisfy our sweet craving.

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

This was our third time visiting the memorial hall. During our second visit, we saw the hall from outside the main gate as the place was undergoing changes to be renamed to Freedom Square. It seemed that the renaming was abandoned and it was back to its old name.

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

This memorial hall was completed in 1980, entrance was free for visitors. We found paid parking at Nanmen Market just 450 metre walk to the Daxiao Gate of the memorial hall.

Namen Market (南門市場中繼市場)

After we visited Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall we were back at Namen market for our car. We did not drive off straight but went into the market to explore. On the ground level were many “grocery” stores and on the upper level was a food court. We bought some finger foods and desert (towhuay) for our afternoon snack break!

After snack break at Nanmen market

After snack break at Nanmen market

Bugcat cappoo Seven Eleven in Taipei

Visited a SevenEleven store (coordinates: 25.042959, 121.56593) that sold Bugcat Capoo merchandise. Bugcat Capoo was a character created by its Taiwanese Artist: Yara in 2014. Many youngsters loved the bugcat capoo comics so we were requested to bring back some Bugcat Capoo merchandises.

Bugcat Capoo Merchandise

Bugcat Capoo Merchandise

The bugcat capoo products were pretty childish and not really suitable/practical for older youngsters, besides the price were pretty steep so after looking through them and checking with a particular youngster in Singapore we left the place empty handed.

Taipei Yeliu

Yeliu Geopark was one of the most famous attractions in Taipei, so despite visited Yeliu twice before we were back for a third visit. One of our most memorable activities at Yeliu was the dry products (fish) market just outside the GeoPark entrance. We tasted various products and bought many packages of fish/seaweed products.During this trip we also saw another market selling “non edible” stuffs. So we bought two very nice raincoats for only TWD100 each. The raincoat material looked good, it had a fabric texture, very unlike the usual plastic type of raincoat.

Markets outside Yehliu Geopark

Markets outside Yehliu Geopark

The tickets to the park was TWD120 per person, there was also a car parking fee of TWD50. We got our tickets and walked into the park.

Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark

We explored the ground of the park, going up the observation deck, trekking up a hill to look at the GeoPark from high above. We found that at each subsequent visit to this park we were less attentive to the weird rock formation.

Yeliu Geopark

Yeliu Geopark

Yeliu GeoPark

Yeliu GeoPark

We explored the park for a couple of hours and did not leave untill we taken a picture with the famous “Egyptian Queen Head”. I remembered during previous visit we could walk right up the the stone head and touched it. This was no longer possible, visitors had to remain on the boardwalk that sort of went round the “queen head”.

Egyptian Queen Head at Yehliu Geopark

Egyptian Queen Head at Yehliu Geopark

Keelung Night market

We were told by one of our hotel hosts that Keelung had a market at the port that sold fresh seafood that we could pick, cook and consume at the stores in the market. The right time to be at the market for fresh seafood would be after midnight. When we reached Keelung Port in the afternoon we could not find any fresh seafood stores/restaurants.

Desert store at Keelung Market

Desert store at Keelung Market

We left Keelung port and walked to Keelung Night Market. In the afternoon most of the stores in the night market were still not in operation and not set up. The roads were still wide and traffic was still traversing the roads. We found a place a few street from the night market to have our coffee break.Keelung Night Market

Keelung Night MarketJust after 5pm we walked back to the Keelung market again and found that the place looked totally different from the afternoon scene. The roads were closed to traffic and stores were setup on the roads. There were a huge variety of food and we were spoilt for choices.

Coffee in Taipei

We visited two interesting cafes in Taipei. The first one was located at “Just Inn” (coordinates 25.042258, 121.56484) the cafe seemed to be part of the hotel. The theme of the cafe was very special.

Just Inn Cafe

Just Inn Cafe

The walls were decorated with old records. The cafe seating was in a basement. It looked like a “cool” drinking place.

Just Inn Cafe

Just Inn Cafe

The second cafe was near the vicinity of Keelung Night market. It was “Keelung Senki Coffee”, the place was packed and took a while to find an empty table for us. We ordered a tiramisu to go with our cafe latte. Yummy!

Keelung Senki Coffee

Keelung Senki Coffee

YangMingShan Temples

We allocated one day to visit a couple of temples at Yangmingshan (Yang Ming Mountain). Yangmingshan National Park was about 30 minutes drive from our hotel in Taipei city. The first temple we visited was Wuji Tianyuan Temple ( 淡水無極天元宮 ). There was no free parking by the side of the road. We parked at a paid parking area near the temple.

Wuji Tianyuan Temple

Wuji Tianyuan Temple

It was cherry blossom season and this temple was a popular place to visit during the season. The most impressive structure in Wuji Tianyuan Temple was its pagoda, which looked stunning among the cherry blossom trees.

Interesting when we were at Wuji Tianyuan Temple we saw a weird “octopus/spider” like shining sparkling structure on the hill afar. We did a google search and found out that it was the “Holy Thousand Hand Guanyin (千手觀音像離緣道觀音廟)”.

Holy Thousand Hand Guanyin (千手觀音像離緣道觀音廟)

Holy Thousand Hand Guanyin (千手觀音像離緣道觀音廟)

We drove to the “Holy Thousand Hand Guanyin” and saw the temple from the outside as the place was closed. It seemed that the construction was still not completed.

Holy Thousand Hand Guanyin

Holy Thousand Hand Guanyin

Near the Holy Thousand Hand Guanyin was another buddhist temple, it was the Yuan Dao GuanYing Temple (緣道觀音廟). The ground was very nicely landscaped with ample water features.

Yuan Dao GuanYing Temple

Yuan Dao GuanYing Temple

Yuan Dao GuanYing Temple Cafe

Yuan Dao GuanYing Temple Cafe

We visited the mainhall which prohibited photography and then went to the temple cafe. The cafe was very nice and classy, it was cool and quiet. We had cheesecake and cafe latte.

Our stay in Taipei

We stayed four nights at Happiness Inn Hotel (幸福讚精品飯店). We chose it because it was in the right location in Taipei. A location where we could visit Taipei downtown, Yangmingshan National Park, Yehliu National Park etc. It had free inhouse parking. The cost of four nights was TWD8028 which was very reasonable for an ensuite twin room with daily breakfast included in the prices.

The hotel was better than my expectation. It looked new and the location was not dinky. Our room was large, clean, very new and modernly furnished.

Our twin room in Happiness Inn Hotel

Our twin room in Happiness Inn Hotel

The toilet and bathroom were very impressive. It had two sides, one was for showering/bathing and the other was for nature calls,  “big and small business”. There were two wash basins! We did not have to wait for one to finish the “morning ritual” before the other could start!

Our toilet/bathroom at Happiness Inn Hotel

Our toilet/bathroom at Happiness Inn Hotel

Breakfast a Happiness Inn Hotel was fabulous. We ate four breakfasst and were never bored. The restaurant also served dinner at a very reasonable price.

Breakfast at Happiness Inn Hotel

Breakfast at Happiness Inn Hotel

Taipei Accommodations

 

Leave a Reply

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