Sunday, April 21, 2013

九份美食 Delicious food in Jiu Fen

Jiu Fen is a beautiful place in Taipei. You can reach there by express train (高铁), bus or car. Lol. I reach by tourist bus this time. haha =)

Beside its pretty scenery which are used in multiple videos ( "Spirited Away" by Hayao Miyazaki has some scene that is based on this beautiful street), it is also famous for its food and souvenirs. Most of the foods and souvenirs in Taiwan can be found here.   As I m very fond in food now, so let me show you what I eat during the trip.

Wait wait wait. Lol. Jackie (our tourguide) told us why Jiu Fen is called Jiu fen. Once upon a time, there is only 9 family staying here. Everyday they take turns to go to the town to buy necessities. Everytime they want nine portion (Jiu Fen).... So, in the end, as time pass, everybody called here Jiu Fen. Lol...

Ok. back to food!! =)

Dessert first. This stall is on your right if you walk in the street from the entrance with 7-11. Peanut Popia Ice Cream.
There are multiple stall selling this there but Jackie said this is the best. lol.

This is how they make it.
Popia skin, put some peanut on it and some coriander (you can tell the boss you dun need this if you dont like), put on 2 balls of ice cream on it and roll~~~

After munching. Before the bite, it feel weird to have this combination but after trying it it actually taste very refreshing. The coriander match well with the taste of peanut and ice cream. Highly recommended.

Next is taiwan famous Yam Ball. Try A Gan Yi this time. To reach this shop you need to turn left and walk up some stair case. The end of the stair case is a primary school.
This is how the shop like. Aiye. the stairs are filled with cats and dogs. so cute!! =)

We ordered mixed soups and balls (yam, pumpkin and etc with beans). There are hot and cold. but we ordered hot one as the weather is cold.
Lol... the balls are ok but the overall is not to my taste because the taste is so complex with the presence of so many beans. swt swt. haha. but internet said this is the best yam ball shop. Plus, if you dine in, you can sit by the window and verandah. have a good view of Jiu Fen =) (not done... cause really cold that day).

Hello meow meow. Why you so adorable. =)

When you saw this shop, turn left and walk up the steps. You will reach the A Gan Yi yam ball shop.
This shop is quite famous for their braised food. It is said to be the healthiest braised food ever cause all the food are prepare by a matron. lol... but i didnt try cause the queue is long and our tummies cant hold any more food.

The beautiful view of Jiu Fen. Why both time I came Jiu Fen also look so misty? Ish. Angry.

Now is cute doggie. Hee hee. So fat. good to hug. =)

The other famous Yam Ball shop called Ah Po (阿婆)。Try this last time. =) good. But last time we order pure yam balls i think.

Jiu Fen meatball. very famous and have a lot of shops with the same name in it. lol. It is a chain shop. So no worries. You can go in any of it. =D

The meat ball which is super big and humongous. Didnt try also. cause it is so big. =D

A Lan Cao Zai Kuih (阿兰草仔粿)

They sell chinese oily cake. haha. I dont know what it is called in English. A lot of flavor and all is NT10 per piece.

Forgot what flavor we buy but  I am not a fan of Kuih so i cant comment about this. My mum said it is pretty good.

Oil Onion Kuih In Front of Post Office LOL
Went to eat this because it is recommended on line.

Taste like our little bowl kuih (碗仔糕)... lol lol. again as i m not a fan of kuih i cannot comment about this.
But I didnt see any onion in the kuih la.

The sign board that i like. =D

Try This!!!! Grilled Snail!! My mum said it looks Urg.

How they grilled the snail. seeing them make me drool.

3 snails for NT100. The boss will help you take out the snail from its shell and add some sauce to it.
Quite juicy except the part that they used to crawl is pretty hard. Quite a big portion. cant finish by my own.

Famous fishball stall in Jiu Fen.
 Full house and the workers non stop making the tofu and the fishball. You can take away but dine in is recommended cause the soup is really hot.

The fish ball is not that great. Malaysia fishball is more bouncy and fish like. mayb because i eat it since i m born so fishball should taste bouncy. haha.

The tofu is a surprise cause there is minced meat inside it. =D
Caution!! Hot!! cause the soup seep into the tofu. This bowl is very filling. Should try it if you are in Jiu Fen. The tofu. Special.

Some food that the tour guide recommended but didnt try.
1. Drink with bottle.
They really put the drinks in a giant bottle. But you are drinking it with a straw. lol.

2. Fried prawn ball. JUst beside 7-11. The tour guide said it is pretty good. The prawn ball is pretty big in size.

3. Black pig sausage.
What is the difference with the normal sausage? Because black pig doesnt mean the pig is black. It means the pig that is feed by our leftover which Jackie said will make the meat better and smoother. lol... i dont know. what i saw is FAT FAT FAT in the sausage so i dare not try. lol.

4. Beef noodles!!!!
Jackie said this is the best. Always full house too. It is the shop on your right right after u walk in the entrance that is beside 7-11.

Thats all for Jiu Fen. Next will b a temple.
See. The temple in Taiwan is so pretty. =) so detailed the structure. But the one I am showing you next is even more detailed and prettier than this. haha.

To end this post with a riddle. Guess what is this?

Mini houses?

No. They are GRAVEYARD!!!!! Jackie called them nightclub cause it look like little houses and "they" usually come out and party at night. swt...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Books that I read. =)

Not sure if i will be able to read like this 2 months in the future. Sigh. i will miss this time which I can indulge myself nearly 24/7 in fantasy. =))

The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver
Hand it down from my dad. They synopsis already quite interesting. The story surrounded Lincoln Rhyme which is a quadriplegic and world's famous forensic. He is planning for a suicide but his previous colleague came to ask for his help to investigate the murders (very gruesome!!). So there starts the investigation which is really horrible and a lot of medical jargon inside it. It is like what Guardian commented about this book "Sophiticated chiller... compulsive reading". But this is not the most famous book he wrote, the other book that they recommended to read is A Maiden's Grave by Jeffrey Deaver. Going to seek that book out. =)
9/10 for me..

Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
She is the famous aurthor of The Historian. Historian is a very interesting book and I am looking forward for this book too. It is about a psychiatrist, Dr Marlow attending to a peculiar patient, Robert Oliver who try to stab a painting. Then there goes a lot of painting information. Sort of adventures but compare to The Historian, I like Historian more. Swan Thieves is a bit lengthy to me. But her descriptions of a scene is wonderful that you actually felt u are with the character inside the book. 
7.5/10 for me.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
For those who like softer and more sentimental reading. This is the book for you. It is about Susie, having killed and went to heaven. All the story are from her aspect from the heaven. It is a bit lengthy for me cause I feel that i had read the same content again and again in a few parts. But the ending is touching. This book is not my cup of tea. 6/10.

Midnight Cafe by Abe Yuro (深夜食堂---安倍夜郎)
For those who loves comic and food. This is a recommended comic by me. One year back, I read it through net and fall in love with it. However, it is not available in all the book shop that i went. =( When I went to Taiwan, I saw this book, so hard to decide if I should buy it or not cause it cost an insane price of NT190. Lol... after bumping into it for 3 times, I decided to buy one of the volume. Voila. Here it is. =D There is total 10 volume for now and 2 special editions. lol. Nearly all are Japanese food. The story is about a midnight cafe which have limited menu but the boss can prepare whatever food you order as long as he has the ingredients. =D there are stories about the visitors of the shop too.

The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith.
Very direct and what I call little story but super engaging. The story happened in Bostwana which about Precious Ramotswe, the owner of No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. The author is good in writing how the black speak until I thought the book is written by blacks. =) There is also little moral values here and there. Reading the other volume of it now (hope I can finish it before starting work). There is around 10 storries about Precious Ramotswe. Its story is not adventurous as Nancy Drew but still very exciting. cause it related with more ordinary life.

Lol. Thats all. Hope I can blog real soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

台北野柳地质国家公园 Yeh Liu Geological Park

 This is a worthy place to visit if you love nature. =)) Yeh Liu Geo Park. That day is filled with tourist.
 As the entrance fees is included in the tour fees, I am not sure how much the entrance ticket cost. lol.

Jackie is such a good tourguide that he leads us to the famous spot of the park and explain to us every detailed he knows about that stone. =D knowledgeable. but because we are going in a group, we only visited a few famous one (zone 1 and 2) and the less famous one (zone 3) is not visited.

What not to do in the park:
1. Do not touch any stone. Cause the heat of your palms may accelerate the breaking down of the stone. Since cannot touch, of course cannot step and lean against the stone.
2. There is red line on the ground. Do not cross it. cause the park is by the sea and sometime the wave is so big and irregular that you may b taken into the sea to see Poisedon if you cross the red line.
3. Of course no leaning against the rail unless you want to drop into the sea.
4. No swimming and no bringing back anything in the park.
5. In case anybody drop into the sea, do not jump into the sea to save him even you are a pro swimmer. throw the floating donut into the water and shout for help. cause the rocks by the sea is quite hard and if you jump down, you may knock it and before you can save anybody you drown yourself.

What to do:
Bring a jacket and a umbrella. The wind is strong and the sun is pretty scorching. Plus if it rains, there is no shelter to hide under.

First, you will see this. Guess what is this?
A camel looking at you. Sigh.... i stare at it for very long only i got it. It looks like a guy, closed eye. sleeping and with his mouth open.

Look at the rocks. It is form layer by layer. Just like kuih lapis.

The rock with many holes on it. All are form by nature. It looks like coral.

From the rock above. Turn 180 degree, you will see this. The cave is scarce. The chinese deity who protect those outside the sea are in it. Thats what i get from the tour guide. I was half dreaming as the wind are strong and i m cold.

 The mushroom rock. With spore on top of it. no touching and watch out your steps. It is very slippery.

 The ginger rock. it doesnt look like ginger to me. At the right lower part, there is a fried egg. with a double layered yolk. hahaha.

 The lighted candle. More like a pudding/cake with a strawberry on top of it.

The crack is done by Mother Nature. Wound out by the wind and the wave.

Starfish fossil. You can see a lot of them in the park.

 The hole. Done by the wave and swirling of water trap inside it. Take hundreds and thousand of years to build. Until a certain level of depth, it will collapse. How round is it? beautiful? no?

Our tour guide, Jackie.
Putting in all his heart and effort in explaining everything that he lead us to see. really detailed type. he said all this talking is so fluent as he is repeating himself many many times. lol.

And now, let me present the all time famous queen's head in the park.
 did you see it? haha. this angle doesnt look like one. and yea. there is a long queue just to take pictures with it. Jackie said, this head will break by the neck in 10 years time. So visit it fast!!! Although there is a replica somewhere in the park, in case this one break.

The statue in memory of a brave person who save someone that drop into the sea accidentally.
 Unfortunately, both of them died. So a statue is build in memory of the bravery of this person and also as a warning to all the tourists, not to jump into the sea, not to get over the railing, not to save any person who drop into the sea. In case someone fell into the sea, throw the floating donut (=.= cant remember what its actual name) and yell for help.

 What is this?
 A sea creature lurking in the ocean for me. But it is actually an elephant bathing in the sea. How can that be??/

And this?
 Obviously a slipper but it has a nicer name called the fairy's slipper. forgotten by the fairy who came down to the earth.

 Nope. It is not edible. Jackie did mention there is some used for the leaves but i forgot. hahaha.

Last but not least.
The wave!!!! i love wave but i hate to be in the sea. such a contraindicating feeling. hahaha. =)

This is a worthy place to visit. =) especially if you love rock and mother nature. hope i can come here next time and take my own sweet time to explore other rocks.the brochures i took said that there is lot more to see. =)

To be continue...