For our travelogue, please click here. I’ve completed the itinerary from our June 2009 trip, and now I’m going to do some add ons (from our August 2009 trip) for your easy reference, just like the example below:
Pingxi, Jiufen, +Dong Bei Jiao, +Jinguashi, +Keelung: JingTong 菁桐 – PingShi 平溪 – ShiFen 十分 – Jiufen 九份 – Windsor B&B 溫莎堡景觀民宿 – Seafood Dinner near KeeLung 基隆 (+Dong Bei Jiao, +Jinguashi) + Keelung Miao Kou Night Market
Note: I have included some places of interest from my latest Taiwan Trip into the itinerary with a “+” sign. Pingxi, Jiufen, Jinguashi, Keelung are townships that lie adjacent to each other. It is best to spend 2D1N to cover places of interest like Pingxi + Jiufen + Jinguashi + Keelung Night Market (spend a night in Jiufen). Mode of transportation includes inter-township buses, taxis or chartered car. It is best to charter a car (check with the B&B owner) to avoid complications and to save time, and the view along the way from Jiufen to Jinguashi (Dong Bei Jiao 東北角海岸) is spectacular!
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Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market is famous throughout Taiwan for its large selection of food. The night market is easily accessible on foot for most travelers arriving from other cities. From the Keelung railway station walk east straight along the street following the harbor in the direction of the Keelung Harbor Bureau (identifiable at night by its large orange neon sign. The night market is roughly one block from the point where you cross a freeway overpass. (information from wikitravel)
We would highly recommend Miaokou Night Market if you plan to pay a visit to Jiufen/Jinguashi. Keelung is only 20 minutes away if you take a bus. We took a bus from Jiufen to the night market but please remember that the last bus will depart from Keelung at 9.50 pm. If you are late, hail a cab or take a bus back to Rueifang Train Station and from there, take a cab to Jiufen.
Situated near the sea, the night market is especially rich in seafood. Comparing to other might markets in Taiwan, the Keelung Miaokou Night Market is relatively small but the delicacies such as Potside Sticker Soup, Butter Crab, Shaved Ice, etc made up for it.
Miaokou is probably one of the most “tourist friendly” night market around. All the food stalls were arranged nearly according to the stall number, and those signs were written in Chinese, Japanese and English.
The night market centers around the neighboring area of the Dianji Temple (奠濟宮), hence the name Miao Kou 庙口, literally translated as “in front of the temple”.
Do expect a huge crowd on a weekend night.
In addition to food, everything you expect to buy in the market is available at a bargain price, including stuffed animals, nontoxic cleaning creams, shoes, socks, butterfly hair ties and so on. We bought a lot of these 小人袜 “little men socks”, our friends seem to love it!
A seafood lover’ wet dream. Let’s look at some of the famous delicacies that we tried, shall we?
#1 Booth 25-3 Butter Crab. Butter, onion, garlic and crabs were wrapped in a tinfoil and grilled over charcoal. We paid NT150 for a bigger size flower crab. That’s a steal compared to the price you’d pay in a seafood restaurant.
#2 Booth 58 – 营养三明治 Miao Kou Chinese Sandwich. For more than 30 years, stall no. 58 has been selling it’s nutritious sandwich made of taiwanese sausages, ham, tomatoes, cucumbers and braised eggs in a crispy, deep fried bread. Sounds like an exotic combination? But it was really good! Do bear in mind that the sandwich stall is extremely popular. We were 50 numbers away and luckily a good samaritan offered to buy it for us. Felt bad for cutting the queue but it saved us a lot of time! :p
#3 Stall No. 16 – 天妇罗 Tempura. The ingredients and method used for making Taiwanese tempura is completely different from Japanese tempura, and they share only the name. Taiwanese tempura is actually fish paste made from fresh shark meat and deep fried in peanut oil. The bite sized pieces were chewy but not sticky. Be prepared to wait in queue because it is a very popular stall in the night market.
#4 Booth 25-1 邢记鼎边搓 Ding Bian Chuo (Potside Sticker Soup). One of the most famous snacks at the night market is Dingbiancuo, which is a rice noodle soup made with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, dried tiger lilies, dried shrimp, oysters and shredded pork. The handmade noodles are made from rice paste, which is poured on the edges of a heated metal wok and is steamed and “baked” simultaneously. When cooked, the chef will scrap off the rice cake and dunk them into the boiling soup.
#5 Pork Ribs Soup 排骨羹. This was really good too (lost count of how many times we said really good but they were all good!). Deep fried pork ribs in a clear, sweet soup with cabbages and pickled vegetables.
Since we missed the last direct bus to JiuFen, we took another bus to RueiFang bus station and chartered a cab up the hill (to Jiufen). We dropped by and dabao-ed the famous Long Feng Tui from a stall near to the RueiFang Train Station.