We took a ferry ride in Danshui and relaxed at a tea shop with a great view in Jiufen. It’s been a fun trip, getting to enjoy all the sights and food Taiwan has to offer!
The first half of the trip report is here.
We’ve eaten so many delicious Taiwanese delicacies!
- [Day 3] 10:00 Take a bus from Danshui to Empress Bridge
- 12:00 Eating and shopping
- 16:00 Clothing at a Taiwanese brand store
- 17:30 Hot pot at a restaurant with special meat
- 19:30 Buy souvenirs at Carrefour supermarket
- 21:00 Enjoy strawberry shaved ice
- [Day 4] 11:00 a.m.: Xiao Long Bao at Ding Tai Fung
- 13:30 Board the bus to Jiufen
- 15:00 Eat and drink in Jiufen
- 17:00 Visit a teahouse with a spectacular view
- 18:00 Enjoy the night view of Jiufen
- [Day 5] 10:30 Last minute shopping at the airport
- 11:30 Enjoy Taiwanese food in the lounge
- Spot map of Taiwan
[Day 3] 10:00 Take a bus from Danshui to Empress Bridge
On the third day, we started with a tour of Danshui. Tamsui has a history as one of Taiwan’s major port towns, and has an atmosphere somewhat similar to Yokohama.
I really wanted to come here in the evening because it is famous as a sunset spot, but I had other plans for the evening, so I decided to go in the morning.
It takes about 40 minutes from Taipei Station to Tamsui Station by train. It’s very convenient because you don’t need to make any connections.
From Danshui Station, it’s another 30-minute bus ride to the famous “Empress Bridge”.
It’s a national holiday in Taiwan, and there are tons of people here! It seems to be a popular spot among Taiwanese people.
If you get off at the end of the “Red 26” line, you will come to a point where you can see the Empress Bridge.
At once, the scenery looks like a port town! By the way, “jonin” means “lover” in English. As the romantic name suggests, the bridge seems to be full of couples in the evening.
Danshui has a lot of cobalt blue buildings, and even the Starbucks has a lovely color.
After strolling around for a while, we decided to take the ferry back to Tamsui Station.
The place is really nice and open.
There is a boat that connects Danshui Station to the Empress Bridge every 30 minutes. The fare is 60 yuan ($2.22), and you can use your “Yuyu Card” to get on.
We took a 15-minute boat ride back to Danshui Station. The sea breeze feels so good~!
12:00 Eating and shopping
After returning to the vicinity of Danshui Station, we were getting hungry and decided to go out to eat.
Danshui has a lot of stalls selling seafood, so I bought some fried squid! These were crispy and delicious!
I also bought some character doll pancakes. The sticky dough was my favorite.
Danshui has many food stalls and benches, so you can easily enjoy eating and walking around.
Go to a milk tea store that is very popular in Taiwan
One of the purposes of my visit to Danshui was to visit a milk tea store called “Ki-Nu Yum-Pin”.
This is a very popular souvenir shop among Taiwanese people. It seems that you can make a very authentic milk tea just by adding hot water.
This store has always been obsessed with milk tea, and there are 30 kinds of milk tea alone!
Especially popular are the orthodox “milk tea” and “brown sugar milk tea”.
A pack of 32 bags costs 220 yuan ($7.92). While I was trying to decide which one to buy, people from Taiwan were buying many bags. It seems to be famous.
You can try out the ones you are interested in, so you can shop while tasting them.
I actually got to drink it and it was amazing, it had a real milkiness to it even though I was just adding hot water!
I liked it so much that I ordered some milk tea to drink on the spot for 45 yuan ($1.62) in addition to the souvenir.
I made it as an accompaniment to my Danshui walk.
When I came to Taiwan before, I bought instant milk tea from the supermarket, but honestly, the taste is totally different… If you’re going to Danshui, you must try this store!
Basic information about Kinoshoku Yum!
Opening hours: 11:30 – 21:30
Closed: No special holidays
Address: No. 57, 251 Gongming Street, Danshui District, New Taipei City
Official website: Ki Noh Drink’s official website
16:00 Clothing at a Taiwanese brand store
After enjoying Tamsui to the fullest, we returned to the center of Taipei and went to a Taiwanese brand clothing store called “olivo”.
I’ve been curious about this brand for a long time because of the cute, casual matching patterns.
I was allowed to try on a few items, and this was my favorite.
It’s embarrassing to wear the same checkered shirt, but it’s easy to wear the same pattern like this.
The brand’s green color is also nice and chic.
Checked patterns usually look casual, but the clothes here seem to be made of high quality cotton fabric, making them more elegant than usual.
My dress has become my favorite because I can wear it to work as well.
It’s relaxed but not too casual. I really like this brand.
I would like to stop by again when I come to Taiwan.
Basic information about olivo
Opening hours: 11:00 to 21:30 Sunday to Thursday, 11:00 to 22:00 on Friday and Saturday.
Closed: No special holidays
Address: 5F, No. 300, Section 3, Zhongxiao East Road, Daan Dist.
Official website: olivo’s official website
17:30 Hot pot at a restaurant with special meat
After we finished our shopping, we went to the hot pot store, “Abukhaba Top Grade Meat Products Hot Pot Super Market”.
The name of the store translates to “Super Market of High Quality Meat” in Japanese.
With the name “supermarket” in mind, the restaurant is a place where you choose and buy your own ingredients.
A wide selection of specialty meats are available for you to choose from.
The price is quite cheap: NT$40 ($1.44) for the hot pot soup and NT$30 ($1.08) for the drink bar. All you have to do is pay for the ingredients you have chosen and enjoy your hot pot.
The first step is to choose your soup. I selected the hot and spicy and kelp.
Next, choose your meat. I hear if you pick three meats, the cheapest one gets free!
70-150RMB ($2.52-$5.40), and I found the meat to be much cheaper than in Japan.
There are many kinds of ingredients and concoctions for Taiwanese hot pot, so you can choose what you like too.
I really like the fact that I can adjust the amount and things I eat here. To be honest, I’ve been eating too much for the past few days, so I came here on this day to enjoy “good food in moderation.
And most importantly, out of all the different hot pot restaurants I’ve been to, the meat was the best!
The hot and spicy hot pot is not too spicy, so it is easy for Japanese to eat.
This restaurant is recommended for those who want to enjoy a casual hot pot experience and who want to eat the best meat.
Basic Information of Abukhaba Dingding Grade Meat Product Hot Pot Super Market
Opening hours: Tue-Fri: 17:30-22:00, Sat-Sun: 11:30-14:30, 17:30-22:00
Address: No. 4, Lane 110, Sanmin Road, Songshan District, Taipei City
Official website: Official Facebook
19:30 Buy souvenirs at Carrefour supermarket
After dinner, we came to Carrefour near the hotel. The Guilin store is open 24 hours a day and is a big store, so they have many souvenirs for tourists.
It’s amazing because they have a section called “Taiwanese specialties”!
When I used to go to supermarkets where local people in Taiwan go, I had a hard time finding souvenirs.
If you want to buy souvenirs at a supermarket in Taiwan, I think Carrefour is a good place to go.
They also have pineapple cakes for 100RMB ($3.60), so it’s good for distributing.
Dried fruits, snacks, peanuts, tea, and other Taiwanese souvenirs are all available.
I bought a variety of Taiwanese sweets that I was interested in.
Some of them are so good that I wish I had bought more! Some of them I wish I had bought more of. I’ll write about them in another article.
Basic information about Carrefour Guilin
Business hours: Open 24 hours
Regular holiday: None
Address: No. 1 Guilin Road, Wanhua Dist.
21:00 Enjoy strawberry shaved ice
On the third day, we decided to end the day with some shaved ice. Mangoes in Taiwan are in season in summer. In winter, strawberries are in season, so we decided on strawberry shaved ice.
For NT$200 ($7.20), you can get a huge pile of shaved ice.
Delicious strawberry flavored fluffy shaved ice! The store is also cute, and we had a fun sweet time.
This is the end of the third day.
Basic information about icepapa
Opening hours: 11:00 – 22:00
Closed: No special holidays
Address: No. 46 Kunming Street, Wanhua Dist.
[Day 4] 11:00 a.m.: Xiao Long Bao at Ding Tai Fung
On the fourth day, we started at Ding Tai Fung, a famous small package restaurant. It’s a famous place, but I knew I had to go there!
We ordered 10 xiao-long-bao for 210RMB ($7.56) and fried rice, and waited in line for about 40 minutes to get in.
The xiaolongbao has a glutinous skin and the inside is full of juice. It is certainly different from other restaurants. There’s a reason why they are so famous.
It was so delicious that I ate it all in one sitting.
The fried rice also had a soft texture and gentle flavor, and we finished it in no time.
I’m glad I came to Ding Tai Fung.
Basic information about Ding Tai Fung
Opening hours: 11:00 – 21:30
Closed: No specific days
Address: B2, No. 12 Nanjing West Road, Zhongshan Dist.
13:30 Board the bus to Jiufen
After lunch, we’re off to Jiufen! There are two buses from Taipei that can take you to Jiufen without changing trains: the 965 and the 1062.
The 965 can be taken from Ximending or Beimen Station, and the 1062 from Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. All of them have bus stops very close to the stations, so you can get on without worry.
It costs less than 100 yuan ($3.60) to get there from Taipei City, so it’s pretty cheap!
15:00 Eat and drink in Jiufen
After about an hour on the bus, we arrived at Jiufen. The purpose of our visit to Jiufen was to walk around eating and to visit a tea shop with a nice view.
We started by walking around eating. There are some favorite restaurants that we went to last time, so I’ll introduce some of them to you.
Douhua and taro dessert
First, we went to Jiufen Tofu Flower, a restaurant that serves Jiufen’s famous bean and taro desserts.
Tofu is like a sweet version of tofu, and is served with sweet syrup.
You can choose between iced or hot, and the iced one has shaved ice on top.
The taro at this restaurant is especially chewy and excellent!
Sweet and crunchy peanut crepes
Here is another Jiufen specialty, the peanut crepe store “Azhu Xue Zai Yaki”.
Thin crepe dough is rolled with shaved sweet peanut candy and ice cream.
They make it into a shape that’s easy to walk around eating, thank goodness!
This peanut crepe is also moderately sweet, which I think is to Japanese taste.
Lunmai, a must-try when in Taiwan
Jiufen has many small stores, and many places allow you to order just one item. It is easy to try xiaolongbao and roumei.
The roumei at Zhang Ji Traditional Fish Ball has no peculiarities at all, and I thought it was easy for Japanese to eat!
It is one of my favorite restaurants.
The gentle taste of fish balls
Tsumire is also commonly eaten in Taiwan.
They are more seasoned and chewy than their Japanese counterparts.
There are several stores in Jiufen that serve tsumire soup, but I had a delicious meal at “Fish Ball Hakzai”.
The location of each store is shown on the map below.
▼The map below shows the location of each restaurant. ▼ The gourmet map of Jiufen that we visited.
17:00 Visit a teahouse with a spectacular view
Once we were satisfied with the food, we went to a tea house called “Hai Yue Lou Landscape Tea House” where we could see the spectacular view.
This time, I had pre-booked a tea plan for $14 per person. (Reference: [Jiufen, Taiwan] Hai Yue Lou Tea House with a View: Oriental Beauty Tea + Tea Cakes Set for $14.22)
When I went there, it was empty due to the coronavirus, but usually you have to make a reservation to get in on many days.
When I got there at the time I reserved, they showed me to the terrace.
I had ordered a set with tea and snacks, so I asked them to bring it to me as soon as possible.
The first thing he did was to carefully explain how to drink the tea.
And the sweets weren’t too sweet, there were all kinds of sweets to go with the tea!
The tea tasted even better than I imagined, and I quite liked it. I think this is the first time I’ve ever had a real tea like this…!
By the way, the tea leaves that we couldn’t drink were carefully packaged for us to take home.
We were very satisfied with the tea and sweets, but the sun was setting, so we decided to enjoy the scenery.
The scenery changes every second at dusk, so you’ll never get tired of watching it.
I like the magic hour before it gets completely dark.
Of course, the view after dark is great, too!
I still recommend this teahouse because it offers a beautiful view of the typical Jiufen scenery.
Basic information about Haiyue Lou Scenic Tea House
Opening hours: 9:00 – 21:00
Closed: No special holidays
Address: No. 4, Qishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City
18:00 Enjoy the night view of Jiufen
After leaving the tea shop, we strolled along the red lantern-lit streets. The night view of Jiufen is beautiful no matter how many times I see it.
However, some stores in Jiufen start to close after 18:00.
If you want to eat and drink in Jiufen, you might want to come early.
We enjoyed the night view and the food to the fullest, so we decided to head back to Taipei.
[Day 5] 10:30 Last minute shopping at the airport
Last day in Taiwan. We are scheduled to fly back to Japan at 1:30 p.m. on this day.
I went to Taoyuan Airport a little early to do some last minute shopping.
I bought a pineapple cake at Ichinohken, a bakery in the food court.
I bought a chocolate pineapple cake in a cute package for 200 yuan ($7.20).
It contains 12 bite-sized cakes.
I chose this cake because I thought the smaller size would be easier to eat for a quick snack.
11:30 Enjoy Taiwanese food in the lounge
After checking in, I had my last Taiwanese gourmet meal at a lounge that is accessible with Priority Pass.
This lounge, PLAZA PREMIUM LOUNGE (ZONE D), was happy to make me a mini bowl of rice or beef noodle soup!
Both were delicious and easy to eat without any peculiarities, and I was very satisfied.
It looks like a 24-hour lounge, so I’d like to come back when I travel to Taiwan.
With a full stomach, I’m ready to board the plane.
Bye bye, Taiwan! I’ll be back!
Spot map of Taiwan
All the places we visited on this trip are listed on the map above.
Knowing the location makes it easier to plan your trip, so please refer to it.
▼ Click here to see my first trip to Taiwan.