Monday, December 18, 2017

Cycle Taiwan Day 20 - Another Day in Taipei

Good morning Taipei, let's have breakfast here at Ximen Noodle House 西門麵店, we chose to sit around the columns closer to our bikes.Located at Neijiang Street GPS : 25.041699, 121.505717 and very near to where Mei Kuan Yuan Hotel.
The foods in a show case that was enough to entice us to try them.
This is heavenly yummy and sinful braised pork, intestine and eggs.
Having fun selfie at Ximen Station after our a good breakfast.
A Thursday morning in Ximen heading to it MRT Station to start our exploration in the city.
Hello the sign shows only two bicycles at a time and here you were plus 6 at one go.
From Shilin MRT Station at  GPS : 25.101756, 121.548816 we rode to 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum about 3km away. At a ramp to the upper level.
We spent a few hours in the museum, the home to the world's largest and finest collection of Chinese art, such as painting, calligraphy, statuary, bronzes, lacquerware, ceramics, jade and religious objects. Our bicycles were allowed to be kept in the luggage section and it must be bagged. 
What a small world we bumped into Alan and Aroha again when we were about to leave the palace. When will be the next time we meet again.
It was then back to Shilin MRT Station where we had our lunch here at 小南鄭記碗粿,  for an interesting sticky fish ball soup together with their tasty rice.
The next spot was Tamsui 淡水, a place where people said must go whenever you are in Taipei. It's an old fashioned town with very thick history of Japanese, Southern Fujian, the native Taiwanese and interesting architectural attraction.
Armed with our bikes we explored the riverside of Tamsui to see the array of restaurants, cafés, shops, hawker stalls, street performers, traditional cultural performances and the gateway to Taiwan's scenic North Coast.
The shopping has already began at the last city we were visiting.
We bumped into the two brommies from Hong Kong where we met at Taoroko at Tamsui.
The old street of Tamsui 淡水老街 was vibrant with so many visitors, old shops. eatery outlets and interesting art works like this one on the wall.
The kid with the placard promoting its egg sponge cake right opposite the road and also our stop base for shopping.
We saw a crowd at a bakery shop selling the popular traditional Taiwanese egg sponge cake made from flour, egg, milk and sugar. It was so yummy.
Half of us proceeded checking Tamsui out while the other half chosen to take a break for a beer and seafood by the riverside when the sun was about to set.
At the same restaurant we re-grouped at same place we had our happy hour for dinner. It called 淡水北墾丁啤酒屋 at Huanhe Road  GPS : 25.170923, 121.437726 very near to the passenger wharf. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
The wife does most of the shopping while the husband does the purchase handling. Photo credit : Ahpek Biker.
Don't leave Tamsui empty handed or not you are not allowed to board the train back. Good night Tamsui.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cycle Taiwan Day 19 Taroko - Taipei

After a good breakfast at Hong Ying B&B we have to bade farewell to Taroko and Hong Ying B&B for a wonderful and memorable visit.
The weather was excellent in the morning with bright blue sky as we rode to Xincheng Station to catch a train to Taipei.
A big handicraft work suspended at the ceiling of the station which looks very tribal.
Taiwan Railways Administration has been very adamant with their ruling on bike bagging. This was seen at the station.
Slowly we moved our stuffs to the platform and waited for the train to Taipei. This was our final leg of the round island tour.
Taroko Bridge 太魯閣大橋 (GPS : 24.145313, 121.644148) at the highway Route 9 as seen from our moving train.
By the way the fare to Taipei is NTD391 and the longest distance on train so far for this tour. It is about 150km to Songshan 松山.
Yes we decided to disembark at Songshan Station 松山站 at the last minute so that we can explore the places before we reach Ximending.
A little while out of the station we saw this Sea Goddess Temple, Songshan Ciyou Temple 松山慈祐宮 located at Section 4 Bade Road GPS : 25.050933, 121.577717 where we found a lead to the river side via Raohe Street Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市.
We were hungry after a delayed train ride due to a technical hiccup and decided to eat at one of the side street at Raohe Street Night Market (GPS : 25.050394, 121.576792). We had a good lunch and thank you to the nice lady boss and her daughter for the food. They were amazed with our bicycle tour in Taiwan and gave us their "加油" encouragement.
Just a short distance away from the eating stall we were at the evacuation opening at the river side with a welcoming sign "Rainbow Bridge".
Our photography session began....... as the scenery started to get prettier. The Rainbow Bridge and the Love sign.
Raohe Street Night Market
饒河街觀光夜市 is found near the river side. The yellow bridge is Huandong Boulevard crossing over Keelung River.
The park and bicycle path on a Wednesday was relax as we enjoyed the ride and the weather.
It seems that the whole bicycle path has been taken over by these Brommies from Malaysia.
Viewing from Yingfeng Riverside Park
迎風河濱公園 (GPS : 25.075371, 121.547157) to Minshui 明水 development. 
Dazhi Bridge spanning over Keelung River. The Dajia Riverside Park, at this section of the river where this bridge is located, is frequently a venue for outdoor activities, such as the ceremony for blessing dragon boats during the Dragon Boat Festival
Dalongdong Baoan Temple 台北市大龍峒保安宮 at Hami Street GPS : 25.073002, 121.515553. Originally constructed in 1742 as a wooden shrine, the Bao'an Temple is a Taiwanese folk religion temple. Throughout Taiwan's history, the temple was renovated and reconstructed numerous times, leading to a 2003 induction into UNESCO for cultural heritage conservation.
We were back to the wharf where we first started our journey at Dadaocheng Dock 大稻埕碼頭.
We were happy seeing familiar places again and just like feeling at home again in Taipei.
It took us about 16km from Songshan Station to our Homestay at Mei Lodge. Jo and myself decided to book this place to enjoy a comfortable 3 night stay in Taipei which is also near to the rest of the team. 
Our dinner at at five footway for a nice and yummy spaghetti. 
臺北市電影主題公園 Taipei Cinema Park is known for graffiti, skateboarding and is a popular spot among Taipei’s youth. It used to be an old factory area with some remaining factories around. The murals on the wall are very colorful and interesting for people to see and take picture. We were on our way to Dadaocheng Wharf to meet a group of folding bicycle riders as invited by our local friend Pei hsuan.
I had a feeling youthful again as I was surrounded with this Taipei youth's culture.
We were glad to be invited to join this fast riding Bridies and thank you so much Taiwan Birdies especially Pei Hsuan and Ou Yi-min.
Coincidentally it's a Wednesday Night ride and we were following them for a taste of Taiwan Tong Sui.
I met this young man of the same surname with mine Sim, 沈韋良.
They were so fast and we were tailing far behind them, fortunately we have Pei Hsuan taking care of us.
Finally we arrived at the destination and I could smell food again.
At the serving counter, my first impression was the Tangyuan is a Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour prepared during Winter Solstice when I saw the coloured balls. Let's try it guys!
The different types of the Tong Sui at the shop and we had it all. Once again thank you so much for the delicious treat to our Taipei buddies 爱你! 爱你!
The shop at 第一家冰品湯圓 (No.1 House) at Section 2, Zhonghua Road, Wanhua District GPS : 25.024777, 121.509420

A picture with the Tongsui brothers and I "tapao" for Jo. I heard they are also fast riding cyclists. Bravo!
The loop we took with the Taiwanese Bridies in the evening for Tong Sui.