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Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Backpack TW] Part 17 - Taipei; Dadaocheng Bitan

Route Info: Beimen Station > Dadaocheng > Xindian Station > Bitan > Gonguan Station > Wanfang Hospital Station
北門站 > 大稻埕 > 新店站 > 碧潭 > 公館站 > 萬芳醫院站)

1. Wanfang Hospital Station > Beimen Station > Dadaocheng
So tired after roaming around Taiwan for 12 days non-stop, so I decided not to set any alarm and woke up naturally the next morning.

I'm not really someone who can sleep long, so I woke up around 10.30am or so. Decided to go places that are not the usual touristy attractions, and also to find somewhere to have brunch. Finally decided to head to Dadaocheng as the cafes over there looks tempting enough.

Thus I took metro to Beimen Station 北門站, exited at EXIT 3.

Alternatively, you can alight at Taipei Main Station, and exit at Y27.

There were couple of good-looking and appealing cafes, but it was Saturday, so was packed with people.

I decided to explore and small old town further and found this SUPER popular temple - Xia-Hai City God Temple (台北霞海城隍廟).
台北霞海城隍廟 Xia-Hai City God Temple,http://www.tpecitygod.org
It is very popular among young Taiwanese to pray Yue Lao (God of Marriage). And this Yue Lao is super famous to that extend that they have Japanese instructions on how to pray. From what I heard, the Yue Lao could even understand Japanese. AMAZING.

As it was super crowded, I just briefly prayed and did not follow the official instructions, anyway the instructions were so complicated. They even have packages to choose from.

Hungry and saw this popular stall - 永樂 台南土魠魚羹.
As seats were limited, I waited quite some time... Finally managed to grab a seat and have a bowl of this beehoon fried fish goddness!
Although the service attitude was nah, but the food was real good. I love the freshness of the fish and the slightly starchy soup. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

There is a Yongle Market (永樂市場) that sells cloths, it will be very interesting place for people who loves to do DIY or fashion.

2. Dadaocheng > Xindian Station > Bitan
Took metro to Xindian Station and followed the signboard to Bitan (碧潭)!
^^One of my favourite shot of the trip!

Great view from the Suspension Bridge.

Walked over the bridge and saw this long queue for Small sausage in Large sausage (大腸包小腸)! My first instinct was to join the queue and have a try!
原住民不满族 大肠包小肠, https://www.facebook.com/原住民不滿族-山豬肉香腸大腸包小腸-103579276392728/timeline/
I don't really fancy Small sausage in Large sausage, but I have to say this is the best one I had! I ordered a mixed flavour, so I get a fusion of ingredients like Kimchi, Garlics, Salted vegetables etc. Mixing them together sounds really weird, but it was super appetizing. Do check out their other outlets and grab one to try! No regrets queuing so long for this!

Had the Small sausage in Large sausage under the Suspension Bridge. And guess what, it is the filming site for famous C-drama 《It Started With a Kiss 惡作劇之吻》, where they paddle on the swan ride and got themselves wet (I don't remember how they got wet LOL).

Best place for couples to re-act the lovely-sweet scene of 《It Started With a Kiss 惡作劇之吻》.

3. Bitan > Gongguan Station > Wanfang Hospital Station
Metro-ed to Gongguan Station to have a haircut. My hair was like weeds for the past 12 days. Gongguan Station is near to National Taiwan University and there were plenty of salons over there. Just choose the salon that fits your budget.

Some need-to-know and surviving tips in Taiwan Salon:
(1) They will not hard sell hair related products, but they will hard sell hair services like treatments, rebonding and colouring. (It's really HARD SELL but in friendly mode; they will keep on nagging whatever there is chance even if you rejected their offer)
(2) If you can converse well/average in Mandarin and have a young look, you can claim you are an exchange student or someone here to do volunteering work or what-so-ever.
(3) Once you "informed" them you are staying here for some time, and have restricted budget due to living expenses, they will not enthusiastically hard sell services but give you more personal-time to consider.
(4) If you decided to take up their "add-ons", they may even "pity" your tight situation and throw in free service(s) for you.
(5) They will not overcharge you, as they assume you have Taiwanese friends/network, and they won't want to spoil their reputation among youngsters.
(6) However, I never tried exposing my tourist identity so I'm not sure will there be differences.

Haircut+Rebonding+Treatment took me around 3-4hours, results of hard-sell from the hairdresser, it was NT$2800 for everything, the hairdresser threw in free haircut services. So by then I am out of the salon, it was rather late. Thus decided to discard the idea of going Jingmei Night Market and metro-ed back to Wanfang Hospital Station for dinner.

鬍鬚張 Formosa Chang, www.fmsc.com.tw
Ordered their set meal and cleared all the food within minutes, too hungry.

Went back to Ms B rental house and she brought back Ma La Guan Dong Zhu 麻辣關東煮 for me as supper with Taiwanese favorite instant noodles 科學面!
I'm heavy in-debt to Ms B; owing her too much favours!

>> Next Post: [Backpack TW] Part 18 - Taipei


  1. Hi, Do you know some scenes of It started with a kiss 2005?. I really ưnana travel to there places, as Providence university, Bitan lake, ...

    1. Hi Cyndi,

      Other than Providence University (in Taichung) & Bitan Lake (in Taipei), there are several more places such as:
      - Taipei Zoo
      - Yang Ming Shan (a passage way near the Main Bus Station; where they had their first kiss)
      - Overhead bridge (near Zhongyi Metro Station; the route they always walked back home)

      Hopes it helps in your research!