is Visaka day but I did not celebrated here. The sky was cloudy so I did not see the full moon and perhaps the Taiwanese calendar is different from ours.
We had awesome breakfast then went to Jiufen.
By the way, the hotel’s use of breakfast room is more efficient than I mentioned. The room is for other meals and available to outside customers too. The workers are only 3 and they work in team to fill up the station, to clear the table, to greet customers, and to wash dishes right there in the customers very own eyes behind the counter without turning their back to guests. Very impressive indeed!
We reached Jiufen by taking MRT to Teipai main station, then took a local train direction Suao, getting off at Ruifang then a bus for 15NT to the town which perched on high hills with a nice scenic view from many teahouses around there, if only we could see them through the mist!
The day was extremely misty so we saw only mist even at 13:00, so the walk in the narrow and almost covered street was quite comfortable.
We ate lunches there. In fact we ate something in 3 different shops + one carry on, if that can be considered lunch. I have pictures but I cannot send them now because I took them with my camera. Sorry about that!
In a shop selling fried squids and local food, looks like our Kui Chai cake but this one has red pork as filling, I noticed 2 “good” practices. 1) the food is weighed so each serving is the same, this is fair price and fair trade. 2) customers put used plates, chopsticks, left overs, and plastics each in separate containers. It is garbage classification in details and a good practice on garbage recycling. Taiwan is quite known for that, especially through the work of Tzu Chi Foundation, but this one in the food shop is impressive indeed. And the most impressive of all, the customers co-operate willingly.
Having old streets as tourist spots is very fashionable these days, perhaps because of rapid pace of development makes people yearn for a “human touch”. There are many towns with old streets to make up a list and a special brochure even for places around Teipai alone.
This kind of tourist spot reminds me of Ampawa, Sam Chuk, etc. in Thailand. However here the place had local food and local products + creative crafts + souvenirs + sweets. The products are quite attractive and not so repetitious.
We took the bus back to the city. I did not notice the price of the train because I used easy card to pay on the way in and out. The bus is around 100 NT (this one I took note.)
All in all, it is a lovely place and an enjoyable excursion from the city. If I have to rate it, I would say that I do not mind coming back to visit it again.