After being in Taiwan for 5 days now, this was the first day we were greeted with clear blue skies, and you can thus imagine how thrilled we were. However, as with all things, there were always pros and cons, the clear skies meant warmer day to the point where it felt as hot as Singapore. Thankfully, there was sufficient breeze to chase away the ‘sunny woes’.
We had a guide for the day to take us to the outskirts of Taipei to see the more rustic side of Taiwan. This resulted in us visiting 老街 (old towns) after 老街, from 菁桐 to 十份 to 九份. To be honest, the look and feel of these places are rather similar, particularly so for 青桐 and 十份, which we visited one after another. However, I personally prefer 菁桐, which is quieter and not so over-run with tourists. Perhaps because we were there at 10 am just as the shops were opening for business, there is a sleepiness about the town that made it quaint and oddly endearing.
十份 really just feels like a major 天灯 super mart. Everywhere I turn, there is a store or a tout asking if we would like to buy one. Even though I am not the most environmentally conscious person, I honestly do not see a point in releasing a lantern to the sky and thus refrained. Nonetheless, it is still quite a sight to behold when these lanterns were released, even during the day.
The reason why I decided to visit 十份 even though we were keen on those lanterns was because of the movie 《那些年我们一起追过的女孩》The Apple of My Eye, which filmed a classic scene here. Sadly, I was unable to identify the exact location used for the filming. I was mildly surprised that the location was not enshrined like how Nami Island had been.
That said, we enjoyed the lovely weather at 十份, attempted to cross suspension bridge, trekked a bit to see the 十份瀑布, a waterfall not too far away before getting lost and had to be ‘rescued’ by our guide. All in a morning’s work. *grin*
Before heading to 九份, we made a brief stop to see 阴阳海 and 黄金瀑布, which we were told were sights to behold. The draw of 阴阳海 was that a segment of the sea was of a different colour. That is an interesting phenomenon but not a pretty one. The saving grace was the beauteous landscapes surrounding the sea, which saved the trip. Otherwise, it would have felt like a wasted trip.
Having seen the 十份瀑布 barely an hour before we reached 黄金瀑布, we were not wowed by the sight. My humble suggestion would be to visit either one as they are fairly similar. Depending on whether there is a preference to do more walking, otherwise I would suggest heading straight to 黄金瀑布 and give the former a miss.
By the time we got to 九份, we were hungry and tired. Needless to say, the first thing we did was to grab lunch. Perhaps it was too many days of street food, I had a craving for cakes which led us to a lovely cafe Siio Cha hidden in one of the alleys where we spent an hour looking out of the window, enjoying a good cup of tea and superb dessert (by any standard!) on this leisurely afternoon.
Even though we consciously took things slow, we still could not help getting drawn to the view and snap furiously away.
And this marks the end of my days as a tourist in Taiwan, for tomorrow is dedicated to shopping and packing, returning to Singapore early Thursday morning.
Even though this is my 1X trip to Taiwan, I must say that this is the first time I have covered so much ground as a tourist. And it is perhaps no wonder that I fell ill immediately upon my return to Singapore and am still nursing the remnants of a traveller’s flu.