10D9N Taiwan Trip: Jiufen Old Street Part 1

"Who kicked a hole in the sky so the heavens would cry over me?"

Ugh, I'm feeling kinda blues now that my two-weeks break is coming to an end soon. I consider a break as a short escape from all the troubles of yesterdays. The thing is, none of these troubles have been resolved, so I have to face them again when I am back to reality. Geez. Time to play my Oasis' playlist again.

Rewind back to few months ago at one fine cloudy morning in Taipei, my travel buddy and I wanted to visit Jiufen, a mountain town located in the northeastern part of Taiwan. There are many ways to reach Jiufen but we think that the easiest way to reach Jiufen is by taking a direct bus from Zhongxiao Fuxing to Jiufen. We were kinda lost when we tried to locate the bus stop because turns out the bus stop for bus no. 1062 which goes straight to Jiufen has moved few metres further down the road. The key to locate the right bus stop is to check where the crowd is queuing because there is surely many tourists who want to visit Jiufen.

10D9N Taiwan Trip: Jiufen Old Street Part 1

The bus ticket will cost you NTD 100 so make sure you have sufficient balance in your YouYongKa (the equivalent to Singapore's EZ link) before boarding the bus. The same bus no. 1062 goes all the way to Jinguanshi and Keelung but don't worry, it will go via Jiufen before reaching its final destination. One hour 20 minutes later, we have reached Jiufen and ready to explore this popular tourist spot. 

10D9N Taiwan Trip: Jiufen Old Street Part 1

I always prefer to visit Jiufen not on a rainy day because can you imagine the challenge of navigating yourself through this narrow passageway while carrying an open umbrella? Nightmare, really. The crowd that day was not so bad yet because we visited Jiufen pretty early around 11.30ish. 

Wandering through old street of Jiufen in Taiwan

The main attraction in Jiufen is gotta be the Old Street where all kinds of stores are located side by side. There are so many food and souvenirs to check out you should allocated at least one hour to check them out. There are some restaurants and tea houses too, so if you want to dine or having a cup of coffee/ tea with a great view, allocate your time accordingly. 

Oh look at this stall, the big block that the guy is currently shaving is actually peanut block. One of the main delicacy sold at Jiufen Old Street is peanut ice cream wrap. Nowadays, I see this food at normal night markets in Taipei so you don't have to make your way all the way to Jiufen if you only want to eat this. Hahaha. 

Peanut ice cream crepe from Jiufen Old Street in Taiwan

However, when you are in Jiufen Old Street, you have to make a pit stop at one of the many taro balls stall in Jiufen. Jiufen is usually identified with its famous and yummy taro balls. Since the first stall near to the entrance of the old street is the easiest taro balls stall that I spotted, I decided to just have a go at those yummy looking taro balls here. 

Taro balls stall from Jiufen Old Street at Taiwan

The big pot of taro balls and many bowls of toppings are displayed to lure customers in. 

Ingredients for iced taro balls from Jiufen Old Street in Taiwan

One bowl of taro balls costs NTD 50 and you can have your taro balls hot or cold. We prefer to have it cold so the stall owner put some ice inside the our taro balls. The taro balls are served with dou hua (i.e. Very soft tofu layer) and many other things inside such as tapioca pieces, etc. It tastes pretty yummy and it can be a very comforting food for both rainy and dry season. 

Iced taro rice balls from Jiufen Old Street in Taiwan

How to reach Jiufen by direct bus:

1. Make your way to Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station
2. Exit via Exit 1 and walk all the way until you see Kao Chi at your left side
3. Walk further down the road for at least 3 minutes until you see a bus stop (which usually has crowd) for bus no. 1062
4. The bus may show Jinguansi at its destination but 1062 will surely bring you to Jiufen
 5. Bus no. 1062 will also go via Ruifang so if you want to visit this city, you can board the same bus

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