Sunday, November 20, 2011

wandering around neiwan

So a couple weeks back the train from Hsinchu to Neiwan reopened. I decided that would be the perfect time to go back to Neiwan since I could ride the train and its free till the 25th. Apparently there is a station not that far from my house but when we got there, the line was super long. Everyone else also had the same idea to take advantage of the free train and to be the first ones to ride this train since it has been closed for 3 plus years. They closed it so that they could construct the line to the HSR in Jhubei. The crappy thing is that the train to Neiwan only comes every hour so even though one train can hold a lot of people causing the line to shorten dramatically, you still had to wait a hour before the next train would come. I'm not sure how many trains actually use this track maybe just one or two...

neiwan train
The train is very nicely decorated with pictures of different tourist locations in Taiwan. Will try to ride this train once before I leave Taiwan since I hear it has really pretty views. The station near my house is Zhuzhong and looks relatively new. Am saddened by the fact that if I don't line up to ride this train I won't be able to get a commemorative ticket. I want to collect it so badly!!

neiwan old movie theater
This is the old Neiwan movie theater. It was one of the only forms of entertainment for the miners that lived here back in the day. The first time I was in Neiwan I just walked through here like it was a regular old shop and didn't get why people were taking pictures in it. Then I discovered in the corner that there was an entrance to a restaurant...

movie theater turned restaurant
The movie theater is now turned into a restaurant that serves pricey Hakka food. I ducked in just long enough to take this picture. They play old Taiwanese movies on the big screen which is pretty cool. Had some time to look into foods that is famous in Neiwan. Neiwan is known for incorporating ginger flower in its food.

ginger lily rice dumplings
At this stall we bought zongzi. This zongzi is special because it is wrapped in ginger leaves which give it a special flavor.

meat zongzi wrapped in ginger leaf
wine zongzi
This stall also sold another kind of zongzi which was flavored with alcohol. Didn't try this one since you could smell the alcohol just by sniffing it. The ginger leaf zongzi was delicious and cost only $15 NT while the alcohol one cost $25 NT.

wild boar stand from the thao tribe
So at this stall the man was dressed in aboriginal clothing and was selling wild pig meat skewers. A similar stall in the Neiwan market stated that this food is from the Thao tribe which is based at Sun Moon Lake.

wild pig meat skewers
I wonder if they actually catch the wild pigs themselves. It seemed like a one man operation stall so I'm not sure how it all works out. The meat was savory and spicy. $35 NT for one skewer or three for $100 NT.

pineapple bun stall
Looking at the pictures on the stall I saw that it sold pineapple buns. I didn't get why there was a line in front of them. I was interested in eating pineapple buns since I can eat them in America. The interesting thing about these pineapple buns is that they have a variation filled with ice cream! The Taiwanese version of an ice cream sandwich! The ice cream and the pineapple bun combo is actually pretty awesome and complimented each other. Too cold for the weather tho.

pineapple bun with vanilla ice cream
a fried spring roll?
I took a bite of this and it was filled with meat. They say its a Vietnamese food. Looks like a spring roll that has been fried. Can my Vietnamese friends tell me if that is true or are the Taiwanese just mistaken?

The market in Neiwan is super big and we hadn't even walked through most of it at this point. A little pass the Neiwan train station is a underground tunnel that leads to the Liu Hsing-ching comic museum. The entrance fess costs $50 NT and includes a $50 NT voucher for the gift shop. I like how for places that you need to pay they always include some vouchers for the gift shop.

entrance to the comic museum

The comic museum runs along the other side of the Neiwan train line. Liu Hsing-ching is a famous comic strip creator and has also patented a lot of inventions. As far as I know he is the only famous person from this town. He has allowed Neiwan to use his characters so you can see the cartoon figures all around town.

chips on a stick
Chips on a stick. I think I've seen something similar in county fairs in America. They have different flavors like cheese, curry, etc depending on what you order they shake different seasoning on it. Near Neiwan is a river with several suspension bridges near it. We crossed over the Neiwan Catenary Bridge which was freaky to cross over since it swayed as we walked on it. Neiwan is also famous for having fireflies. Didn't stay long enough to see any of them but in order to reach the fields that the fireflies go to, one must cross the bridge and walk further in to see them.

neiwan catenary bridge
I love how the village is nestled amongst the mountains. So picturesque.

rice cake with seaweed flakes
The other Thao tribe stall was selling these rice cakes in addition to the wild pig skewers. I had one bite and it was nasty. I think it had to do more with the fact that I'm not a big fan of the seaweed flakes. The rice cake part itself seemed flavorless. Would not try this ever again and was probably the one and only disappointing food choice in Neiwan.

There are a bunch of shaved ice places here. Some of them were running buy one get one free deals.

mango and strawberry shaved ice
The shaved ice was ehh. The mango one was better than the strawberry one. The mangoes seemed canned and were super sweet. The thing that makes shaved ice good is the condensed milk because it makes everything sweeter. This shaved ice is super expensive, one cost $120 NT so good thing buying one gets you a second for free.  

One of my most favorite food purchases was a bag of green mangoes covered in this sweet syrup juice.

green mangoes with syrup
I ate most of the bag before remembering to take a picture. That is how good they are! The green mangoes were sour and the syrup was sweet and together made a very good combo. A bag cost $100 NT, a little pricey but so worth it! After I finished the bag I wanted to get some more. Should have bought several bags when I was in Neiwan.

milk jello
The last food I bought was this milk jello at this little stall across from the old movie theater. The jello was pretty good and not too sweet. It has the consistency of sweet tofu but tastes like ice cream. It cost $40 NT for one little jar. Out of all the markets I've been to I would say I've had the best ones at the Neiwan market.


  1. OMG THIS LOOKS SO GOOOOOOOOD! i want to eat everything heree!!

  2. a fried spring roll is pretty much an egg roll.