Taichung and Observation About Bubble Tea Shops

Taichung is, I think, the third largest city in Taiwan. It is about 40 minutes by fast train from Taipei airport. It is not exactly on the tourist map but it does have quite a few attractions. One of them is the Fengia Night Market, purportedly one of the largest and best in Taiwan. We stayed around this particular area. I would say the city centre used to be at the conventional train station, ie slow train. Fengia is on the west of the city and is now not far from the High Speed Train station. It also has a university closeby. This means it is quite crowded and popular on the weekends and most nights. This wasn’t always the case. This area used to be farmland. Now it is slowly encroached by tall residential buildings.

Continue reading

Jiufen, Taiwan

jf-3-4

Jiufen, north of Taipei, is an old mining town carved out from the side of a mountain, is now transformed into a tourist town of sorts. It is famous for its old street and tea houses. The name Jiufen means nine pieces/plots, because the area was originally divided into 9 plots for the nine founding families. If you look around there’s another town called Shifen – as in 10 pieces/plots. This area is full of all many tourist attractions. We were a little ambitious and had about 5 items for the day, ranging from a small hike to catching a local rail, to lighting sky lanterns, to seeing a waterfall, walking a suspension bridge, to checking out an old Japanese provincial house. That’s 6 items on the agenda in case we had time leftover. As it turned out, we ended up doing one thing – the Old Street of Jiufen. We were so charmed by it, we spent the whole afternoon there. Next time we are back, we want to put aside 3 days for this part of Taiwan.
Continue reading

Memories of Train Stations

We spent 3 weeks in New York and was about 10 minutes walk from Penn Station. Everyone knows about Grand Central. The only thing we knew about Penn was that Madison Square Garden was on top of it. We found out very quickly how important a transport hub it was. We arrived during peak hour in the evening lugging about the maze of corridors looking like, well tourists. Continue reading