Sunday, November 25

Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 4 Jiufen 九份 Old Street

Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 4 Jiufen 九份 Old Street
 [ continued from Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 4 SunRoom Minsu 陽光味宿]

Jiufen Old Street
[ Jiufen also known as Jioufen or Chiufen, is a mountain area in the Ruifang District of New Taipei City near Keelung, Taiwan. During the first years of the Qing Dynasty, the village here housed nine families, thus the village would request "nine portions" every time shipments arrived from town. Later Jiufen (九份 "nine portions" in Chinese) would become the name of the village. ]

After a healthy breakfast at our minsu we decided to visit the Jiufen old street for the morning. This is the famous rock staircase featured in the japanese anime spirite away in the day. Probably the most photographed spot in Jiufen.

There are just too many shops to photograph so I am just gonna put a 'few' interesting ones in this post. As we had a good breakfast, didn't buy much to eat but there was food everywhere. These are some meatballs, the color comes from herbs. I believe they use red dates for the red meatballs. Another one of my favourite taiwanese food is the sakura shrimp. Actually as I would find out later in the trip, there are many kinds of sakura shrimp, and the real sakura shrimp is actually much smaller and different from these flavoured ones.

This shop was selling preserved fish eggs. This is a specialty gourmet food made from mullet roe salted and left to cure for over a year. Later I was also to find out that together with sakura shrimp and blue fin tuna, it was one of the 3 treasures of Donggang, a fishing port town in southeastern Taiwan.

Jiufen 陶笛 Porcelain Flute shop
We were doing window shopping mostly as when we travel, we don't want to go home with a lot of useless stuff that ends up piling up around the house. This was the first shop we actually went into. It sells (陶笛)Tao Di or Porcelain Flutes. These are flutes made from porcelain, the same 'fine china' material used for vases and teacups.

The owner was a funny fella with a sense of humor. In the video he says "everyone thinks I am a nice guy, actually I am very crafty!" He then proceeds to play a tune to a Hokkien song that happened to be broadcasting on the radio in the shop.

Every flute is hand painted by him or wife. We ended up buying a couple of cute little turtle flutes. Each item you buy comes with a small instructional book for playing it.

Many different makes of the same flute line the shelves, all playable.

Haha this was the biggest flute in store specially made in case the Incredible Hulk decided to visit his shop in Taiwan.

 Herbal Pipa Fruit syrup and Stinky Tofu.

As Jiufen was supposed to be famous for its tapioca ball dessert, we stopped by this crowded shop to have some. The famous Ah Po Tapioca Balls.

At that time, due to our inexperience with Taiwanese Tapioca ball dessert, we thought this was very nice! But having gone to Taiwan a second time, I would say another shop in Hualien city has far superior tapioca ball dessert. We then continued our walk down the Old Street.

Get ready for a long Jiufen Old Street Shop montage! :D

 Thin Flakey Sweet Potato Egg Rolls

Left-bottom : Dragon Fruit flowers
Cheerful auntie selling many types of flower teas.

This tea shop auntie was quite friendly, let us sample some tea and chatted with us. That is her porridge lunch pictured on the bottom right.

Some sort of pudding dessert.

 Clock-wise : Fried squid, mushroom, carrot cake and Taiwanese sausage shop.

Bottom right : Ice cream and with shaved peanut wrap.
Bottom left : Meat lump. Taiwanese snack with meat in a glutinous rice bun.

 Almost bought from this shop. BBQ squid on a stick and grilled shellfish YUM!

Shop selling mega-sized mooncakes and sea-shells made into lamps, very clever...

Finally at the end of the street you will find a few stalls selling red guava juice! Very nice, remember to try this when you are in Jiufen. They even put the juice in infant bottles shaped like Doeraemon and with a teat cover on top!

Left : Special waterproof and non-fading sticker stand.
Right : Mysterious handicraft stone amulet shop.

Sour plum, rose, tangerine,etc extracts and made into drinks. Big sign at bottom reads CHILDHOOD MEMORIES...

Taiwanese are well known for being environmentally conscious. This man was in charge of separating all the different food/drink containers for recycling.

Very good view from the end of the Jiufen old street. We then decided to roam a bit more about town.

Fifth mining tunnel from olden gold mining days. Took a pic as I head some swallows twittering inside.

 Mural showing Jiufen's mining history.

Just when you thought that was the last of the food shops, we came by this random shop selling dumplings and mee siam!

Hope you enjoyed the pics, next post will be about the journey to the action packed town of Hualien and the first of my many scootering experiences in Taiwan!

[continue reading  Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 4 Hualien Ho!

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