Today, we left the city of Taipei behind us and ventured into the northeastern Taiwanese countryside.
First, we headed to Taipei Main Station (台北車站), the central transportation hub of the city, where we took a train to Rueifang (瑞芳, hanyu pinyin Ruifang):
Throughout this journey, we were constantly in range of other travellers' conversations in Cantonese. Apparently, the Hong Kong - Taipei air route is one of the most popular in the world, Hong Kongers come to Taipei by the bucketload...
|Marinated fried tofu.|
|Rice with minced pork.|
|Some marinated meat.|
|Deep fried chicken rolls (like spring rolls, but with chicken!)|
|and a plain bowl of noodles for my picky brother.|
Afterward, we went to a nearby shop to have shaved ice with mango. Apparently, shaved ice is incredibly popular here.
We took the train back towards Rueifang, and stopped at the town of Shifen (十份, lit. ten parts). The Pingxi railway runs right through the middle of this town, with storefronts on hugging the rails on both sides.
It has a very nice feel to it, narrow streets surrounded on all sides by food stalls, shops, and restaurants, and occasionally giving way to expansive views of the northeastern Taiwanese coast and the city of Keelung (基隆) below:
Finally, we travelled by bus down to the coastal city of Keelung, one of Taiwan's two major ports - the other being Kaohsiung (高雄, hanyu pinyin Gaoxiong) in the south.
The city is home to a famous night market, called Miaokou (廟口夜市) after the fact that it is the located at the entrance - "mouth, 口" of a temple (廟).
A huge variety of foods can be found in the night market, and one of the specialties of this coastal one is the seafood, not found in Taipei. Japanese influences can still be found everywhere, and we passed by stalls selling takoyaki, tempura, and even sushi and sashimi.
Eventually, we headed to the Keelung train station and hopped on the first train back to Taipei.