A weekend activity for Taipei residents may include a trip to Tamsui, a river town north of the city. Out here you’re free of the city congestion and given a view of the river that cuts through the city. And during late evening, you’re presented with a beautiful view of the sunset. I figure that’s what most of the locals are here for, in addition to the eating. That’s not to say this wasn’t a touristy town. It was and you’ll be able to pick them out from the crowds. Though I think less than the Shilin night market crowd. But you’ll get over that exploring.
The first road we got pulled into was Gongming Street. A street lined with food vendors and where the large crowds congregated. I was like the main artery starting at the MRT. Once we got enough of our fill of squeezing by people we made out way to the river bank. About the same amount of people but more room. There were vendors along this side, but it was mainly small stores and restaurants. We walked all the way up to a small inlet where an artist was painting for his spectators. Almost seemed like a regular occurrence on a Saturday afternoon. That was, performers within busy areas. It’s like moths to a light. They come out in groves.
Anyways, we made our way toward the city where there were less people. The streets here were less crowded and we found a nice church and museum to discover. Within a few hours we ended our trip with a nice (an cheap!) foot massage before getting back on the MRT.
There were several things we missed on this visit, mainly the Fisherman’s Wharf. It was further up and a hike we weren’t in the mood to make. I’ll have to visit it another time.
A typical Saturday afternoon.
If you're looking for a small bite, there's plenty waiting for you. And at those prices it was hard to resist. We held out solely on the fact that we knew what we're looking for.
This is my all time favorite street food in Taiwan, the 大腸包小腸 (little sausage encased in a big sausage). All you hot dog lovers, this is the uber dog. But I should confess, the larger dog is really a rice sausage. Blasphemy? No, gluttony, yes. It's so good and here in Tamsui, it was perfect for a chilly day.
This was lovely, especially when paired with the A-gei. I know most people would chose the meatball soup with their A-gei but we're a little unconventional thankfully. I loved this dish. Unlike it's rice bowl counterpart, this one delivers firm noodles giving the dish most texture. Loved it here.
Here's a must try food in Tamsui, a vermicelli filled fried bean curd soaked in a savory sweet sauce. I didn't make it sound too appetizing huh? Maybe it's because I didn't like it at all. Not my thing. However, it's a specialty here. And I'm not sure if it counts as street food if it's served inside a restaurant right?
Here's the place we ate at for our A-gei and post noodles. There's no pinyin and the only translation I can give you is A-Gei Old, or A-Gei Lao Dian. But look for it near the ferry dock. It's several stories tall and has a bunch of people. If you can speak Chinese, the pointing system works just fine. Getting a seat however, can be a challenge. You may want to take it to go and enjoy the river.
Walking along the less crowded street we ran across this single stand churning out these pastry delights. A little sketch but given the people waiting around, we assumed it was legit. Well, I wonder if you really do need a permit to sell things on the street here.
We got the chocolate filled ones to accompany us through the streets. They lasted until the end of the block.
$35NTD (6 pieces)
You want shade, look no further then beside the river. You get to walk in amazement under these green elders and resist the urge to snap some pics.