Second day in Taipei, we woke up feeling refreshed because the bed was so comfortable. We parked our bag packs at the hostel, only brought necessary items to spend a night at Jiu Fen (九份). Wise choice I must say.
For breakfast, we bought some simple bento set from the train station and that shampoo-bottled latte from 7-11. Boarded the train, ate breakfast and arrived at Rui Fang (瑞芳) after 1 hour.
Taipei to Rui Fang
To start with, Jiu Fen and Shi Fen (十份) are the common sight-seeing areas out of Taipei. To go to these two places, everyone needs to take trains to Rui Fang Train Station from Taipei Main Station. If you use the Easy Card (similar to Octopus, Oyster & Ezlink), remember to tap out at Rui Fang and continue your journey on the Ping Xi (平溪) Line from Rui Fang Station. From here, you can go to Shi Fen or any other popular places like Qing Tong, Ping Xi, etc.
The train on the Ping Xi line comes every one hour.
Cat Village (猴桐)
On the Ping Xi line, our first destination is the Cat Village, station known as Hou Tong (猴桐). So this Cat Village is just a village where they take in many rescue cats.
I was expecting a place full of hundreds of roaming cats. Maybe that’s Japan. The reality of cat village is just a quite kampong, with cats sleeping or walking around. They are very tamed and very used to human presence. Otherwise nothing else, 1 hour was just right for us to stay while waiting for the next train.
Ping Xi 平溪
The next place we went was Ping Xi. Please avoid this stop to save your time unless you want a much less crowded place than Shi Fen to release your sky lantern. This place is just another street selling postcards, usual food and some souvenirs. I don’t know if sky lantern is environmental friendly or not so we didn’t do it. Save money at the same time.
Shi Fen 十份
After spending an hour in the nothing-to-see-actually Ping Xi, the next destination was Shi Fen. This place is famous for people to release the sky lanterns as I mentioned above.
In the ancient past, people used sky lanterns to pass messages. Now, tourists write their wishes on sky lanterns in the hope that they will come true. Just for fun.
Overall, Shi Fen is just another street full of food, drinks and lanterns. Been there, seen it.
Noteworthy, there’s one elder selling a type of peanut wrapped ice cream near the train station entrance. It’s super yummy and no others can make the same as his.
Jiu Fen 九份
Finally! This is the highlight of Rui Fang District! If you have a tight schedule in Taipei, forget the rest and just come to Jiu Fen!
That’s all for Day 2.
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