Posts Tagged ‘Fisherman’s Wharf’

Taiwan Vacation Day 1


Can’t believe that I could get so busy entertaining our kids during the school holidays till I have to squeeze time to post about our recent Taiwan trip. Oops! That makes me remember that I haven’t even finished posting about our Aussie vacations last year too:(


Q: What lured us to Taiwan?  A: Deep blue sea and green mountains.



Back to Taiwan trip…

Day 11) Flight to Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport 2) Tamshui/Danshui old street  and waterfront (Taipei) 3) Fisherman’s Wharf and Lover’s Bridge (Taipei) 4) Ximending (Taipei)


We chose to travel before school holidays and had to shorten our trip to 6 days to avoid clashing with Papa Ed’s busy work schedules and Bren’s school ceremony.  Our concerns that our boys might not like their stay in Taiwan was unfounded as they enjoyed themselves tremendously from Day 1 and I must thank our personal tour guide who was well-liked by our boys.

Going on a free and easy trip means we get to choose our our boys’ preferred airline. I had to do much research and think of how to maximise our time without over tiring ourselves or our boys. I also found out about self-engaged drivers and tour guides and we had to make confirmed arrangements with them before our arrival.  However, it also means we get to stop, stay and take many photos of scenic views (thanks to our personal tour guide who took us to places that would have been difficult by public transport with two kids) or simply just to enjoy the fresh air at our own pace. 

Singapore Airline remains our boys’  favourite as they got to choose their favourite movies to watch, favourite games to play and of course..they got to pick their free kids’ gifts eg. board games, colouring set etc.

<They are seasoned travellers on board SQ and they sure know how to self-help, requesting for SOBE (soya bean milk, for flights taking off from Singapore), sweets, kids’ earpieces, card games …..Arghh… I know we spoilt them. I never have had any stress making multiple trips via SQ previously, alone with our boys, since they were more than fully occupied with activities:)>



Arrival at Taiwan

Upon arrival at the Taoyuan International Airport, Travel Tip: DO NOT rush to leave the airport. Go and collect maps of Taipei and brochures of places of interests at the Visitor Centre in Arrival Hall.  If you are aged 15-30 years old, you are entitled to register for Youth Travel Card.  We did a check and the money changer at the Taoyuan International airport offered better exchange rate at the point of our arrival than that in Singapore when we checked it a few hours earlier.

As we booked the flight and accomodation from tour agent, land transport was arranged to pick us from Tao Yuan International Airport (Taipei) to our hotel at Ximending  (Taipei). We had the whole van to ourselves and a pleasant one-hour ride. upon arrival at the hotel, we were pleased that our 2 twin beds were large enough to accomodate the 4 of us and the hotel volunteered to provide an additional bed for us (complimentary) although walking space was not that huge. Our tour guide was joking :”Maybe that’s why it is called Just Sleep Hotel.”

It was about 3pm and without further delay, we changed and set off for the Ximen Rapid Transit Station. <The XImen Metro Mall (underground) entrances (Exit 5 or 6) leading to the station is just at the doorstep of our hotel and a brisk 4-minute walk with kids.>

Best thing about travelling with males : they do not need to lose time beautifying themselves. Just style with some hair mousse and here we go!



Rapid Transit System

It is really easy travelling around Taipei with the rapid transit system especially when they have English signages although some destinations might require us to transfer to public bus. Within Ximen station, there is a Visitor Centre and we collected quite a number of travel brochures and had quick clarifications on the value cards. We bought EasyCard(s) for adults and kids (stored valued cards for transport ride and also for payment for entrance fees to places of interest eg. Maokong Gondola and we can recover the deposits upon return of cards). 

Travel tip: Easycard — A must get if you are making multiple trips.



We boarded the MRT to Taipei Main Station and transfer to another MRT via RED LINE to Tamshui. Be prepared though for a long ride along the RED LINE as we stood for a long 40-minute ride in a packed train. For more info on Taipei Transit route map, click on Metro Taipei.


Tamshui (or Danshui) Old Street and Waterfront

Originally, we wanted to rush to Tamshui to capture snapshots of sunset (heard much of the beautiful sunset view there). However, the sky certainly turns dark very quickly at this part of near winter season in Taipei at as early as 5pm!  Luckily, we caught a quick sunset glimpse:)


Tamshui Harbour



 What’s next after an early brunch on board SQ?  It’s food of course! Won’t miss the local delights at Tamshui. So, we walked, bought, ate, oogled more food, ate, drooled but didn’t eat and…. There are so many stalls - food, souvenir, toys, fashion! If you have young kids, no worries, there are varieties of food here for them and also restaurants. Snacks, I thought, are children’s favourites? As long as we don’t overeat:)


Taiwan’s stinky beancurd.

Anyone wants to try? You can smell the unpleasant stench a distance away but Papa Ed who tried it before said it tastes great! Me? I had other choices.



Sausage within sausage.

They have lots of this delicacy in Taipei.



We had our huge share of fried chicken cutlet, french fries and squid balls. These were quick snatch out, understandable as we had 4 growling stomachs while on our ferry ride to Lover’s Bridge.



This shop selling olden days childhood toys stole Darren’s attention!



Nope. That was not the end of our adventure in Tamshui. We visited other parts of Tamshui, including Jay Chou’s favourite food stall in his school days, on the last day of our stay. Jay? He is our Green Hornet and singer. Will share about Tamshui’s complete stories and best buy in later post. Stay tune!


Fisherman’s Wharf


Waiting for the ferry at Tamshui Ferry Pier. See? This is what I mean. Our boy loved his food!



Having filled our stomachs, we opted to take a ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf at the western tip of Tamshui district although we could take a bus too — Travel Tip: (Bus Red-26, 836 and 837 from nearby Tamshui station) or even rent a bike . 

A landmark you shouldn’t miss is Lover’s Bridge at Fisherman’s Wharf.  The bridge was named Lover’s Bridge as it originated from Valentine’s Day 2003. Sweet! I don’t feel very much romantic here except for the very strong wind but met quite a number of dog lovers instead.


Lover’s Bridge at Fisherman’s Wharf



It was only 6+ in the evening and we had missed watching the much talked about sunset scenic view from this bridge. Sobsob! The lovers’ hair got messed up by the gush of wind and we let the boys steal our lovers’ shot instead. Brotherly love will do:)

lovers bridge


Fisherman’s Wharf : Remains to be a wharf for fishermen’s boats today.



The speciality at Fisherman’s Wharf : Ah Gei.ahgei-at-fishermans-wharf



Well, what happened after a boy ate too much? Darren’s tummy was at war and we went back to hotel first by ferry to Tamshui Harbour and then via the MRT again.  After he had cleared his stomach, he was all ready to shout hungry! Smart boy! He knew there are lots of good eating places at Ximending. Guess he could smell the food except that this time there was no stinky beancurd. As it was past 9pm, we decided to have a simple sit-down dinner instead at Risotto (Ximending). We started making a guess about the origin of Ximending (its name) which is the first Pedestrian Zone in Taiwan. So. No worries about vehicles when you shop around here.

Risotto at Ximending.  It has cosy set-ups. See those displays?



Simple meal but it was what made it easier for the kids to chomp, complete with thirst quencing soda. Mushrooms for kids and me, clams for Papa.



The night life is buzzling at Ximending where youngsters gather and we find all sorts of shops and restaurants here. A perfect blending of culture (Red House), youth, eating and shopping haven.

This has been a long post and I won’t start posting about Ximending. Will do so in separate post. As the boys had a really tiring day travelling, we headed back to hotel after dinner and a brisk window shopping trip (Mainly locating for convenience stores. Actually we already had a 7-Eleven just beneath our hotel but was hoping to find some other shops too). 

We will be back to Ximending again and so plenty of chances to shop and eat. It was a good choice to stay just across the buzzling nightlife district and yet not being directly affected by the crowd:)

Till we post about Taiwan Holidays : Day 2……  Can’t believe Day 1 post would take me 4 hours just to organise photos and draft the post…It was really so many photos. Overwhelmed! More photos will be posted in FB when I find time.

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