Friday, May 2, 2014

jiufen revisited

I spent today with my Taiwanese friends exploring the New Taipei City Area. I was super excited to be able to hang out with them, some who I hadn't seen for more than a year, and to be able to hit up some new areas I hadn't seen before.

First stop was Jiufen which means nine portions in Chinese. This village used to only have nine families and they would always request nine portions when shipments came in - hence the name. After a long drive we had to eat something and so I brought them to the famous Auntie A-Gan Sweet Taro Ball shop.

sweet potato and taro balls are all handmade - so many!
sweet potato and taro balls with taro pieces
The sweet potato and taro balls were just as delicious as I remembered. You can also add toppings like green or red beans (bleugh) for free. In order to get to the seating area you have to walk through the kitchen. The seating area has an amazing view of the sea.

the view is amazing at night - all lit up
ivy is obsessed with her fish eye lenses
You can't imagine how long we sat here taking selfies and hogging the seats with the amazing view. Haha. We finally left because I needed something more substantial than taro balls.

a-mei teahouse
I wanted to eat at A-mei Teahouse because it played a huge inspiration behind Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away. However they only did tea sets when we visited and they were really expensive so we decided to pass. Because Taiwan was colonized by Japan a lot of the buildings in Jiufen still retain its Japanese architecture. The red lanterns found throughout this town provide a very beautiful atmosphere at night when they are all lit up. I've never seen red lanterns like these in Japan and so the ones featured in Spirited Away must stem from the ones found here.

Source: From Pearls to Stinky Tofu
After lunch we had to move on to our next destination. Wish I had more time here to explore the touristy sights!

To see other tourist attractions and local food specialties in Jiufen check out this post. In this post I included access information to this city, not sure if it's still valid since our darling friend Cody drove us this time! Thanks Cody!

The Details
Auntie A-Gan Sweet Taro Ball
No. 5, Shuqi Rd., Ruifang Dist., New Taipei City
tel: 886-2-24976505
hours: Weekdays 08:00~20:00, Holidays 08:00~0:00
sweet potato and taro balls cost $40 NT per bowl (price from 2011 and can't remember if it went up when I visited this time around)

No comments:

Post a Comment