Day Three in Taipei
- Miramar Entertainment Park (美丽华百乐园)
- Wufenpu (五分埔)
- Raohe Night Market (绕河夜市)
It was MacDonald’s breakfast today before the touring. Our aim was to cover the Ferris wheel, the commerce district for wholesalers (read shopping heaven for girls) at Wufenpu (五分埔) and the Raohe Night Market (绕河夜市). This is quite economical in terms of time as they are all located on the east side of Bannan Line (板南线) of the MRT network.
The slight drizzle today is quite an improvement over yesterday’s persistent rain. We went to Miramar (华美丽) at Jiannan Road (剑南路) station located on the Wenhu Line (文湖线) - a transfer is needed at Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復兴) station. When we reached the station, the drizzling even stopped for a while, allowing us to take scenery photos without the shelter of an umbrella.
At the fifth floor of the tourist attraction is the ticket counter for the Ferris wheel. The tickets were quite affordable – NTD150 each (less than S$7.50). Next to the Ferris wheel is the carousel. Unfortunately though, the counter would only be opened from 1:30 pm onwards. We decided not to wait for it and made a move to Wufenpu at 1pm.
We took the train back to Zhongxiao Fuxing to reach Houshanpi (后山埤) Station. Both the Wufenpu wholesale centre and Raohe Night Market are within walking distance from the station.
As soon as we reached, I knew it was heaven for my girlfriend and a route march for me. From what we found on the Internet, it’s a place for wholesalers and retailers to do bulk purchase.
After the shopping, and with our hands full, we went to Raohe Night Market. It is a marked difference from the Hwahsi Night Market from the night before. The stalls in the market sell the typical food stuff, clothes and accessories you find almost everywhere. I definitely felt a more vibrant crowd there.
At the entrance, we saw this stall selling, for the lack of a better term, pancakes which attracted quite a queue. After queuing for about 10 minutes, we bought two pieces of the pancake. After tasting the foodstuff, I decided that the wait wasn’t worth the time. I wanted to put this in here because it seems that you can waste up to 20 minutes queuing during peak hours.
After touring the entire night market, we tried to get back to the MRT station. I was quite disoriented from the dazzling array of shops, so I took the safest route of retracing our steps, which meant we passed Wufenpu again. Coincidentally enough, we chanced upon the friend we had met at the Hello Kitty Cafe from yesterday! What are the odds of meeting each other two days in a row on foreign soil? And no, we had not made the arrangement to go to the same place at the same time.
After some chatting, we continued to find our way to the station. Unfortunately, we made a wrong turn at one spot and veered off track completely! The funniest thing about the whole adventure was this man we asked for directions at a junction.
The kind fellow told us we needed to walk about two junctions (in the other direction than where he was heading) before turning left to head towards the station. With renewed confidence, we trotted off, eager to reach the station and back to the comfort of the hotel. Along the way, we passed by a pet store that had a person inside diligently trimming the fur of a pet dog (dogs are really the favoured animal in Taiwan). Tired as we were, we stopped and admired the cuteness oozing out of the other dogs in the store. What happened next caught us completely by surprise.
The same man who gave us directions earlier actually caught up with us and told us that we actually needed to cross three junctions instead of two! Imagine that! We had walked a few minutes from the junction where we met him, and he actually came back to us to tell us the correct information. Remember that he was actually heading in the other direction! This incident further reinforced the positive image of Taiwan for me – the people in the country are generally friendly and warm. Much more so than the stories I heard about Hong Kong people.
I figured we walked for a good 20 to 30 minutes from Wufenpu to get back on track (if you get my drift *wink).
Eventually we got back to the hotel. All in all, a great day, meeting great people.