Thursday, September 28, 2017

Biz Trip Taipei - Jiufen Mysterious Tea House

Told you I saved the best for last. Look at this beautiful photo of a tea house/restaurant. It looks like it is going to collapsed anytime. Or like some mad person build it with ply wood whenever they can find it, and building it up one level at a time. It look straight out of a fantasy world! And it was at the end of the old street and further up a slope. For such an enchanting place, it was surprisingly quiet. I wasn't even sure if it was open when I stumble upon it.

This is the front entrance of the house. And for some unknown reason, I walked in. I just gotta find out what is inside, right? I've come this far. My life may be in danger, but I sure as hell wasn't turning back without at least walking in here and finding out what this place is. Lucky for me, I can read very basic Mandarin, and the red text on the stone outside says make your way to the 2nd floor. Okay! Up more wooden stairs I went and along beautiful wooden corridors, and still no one to be seen....

This is the second floor. All tables were empty. There was clearly a counter area to place your order, but it's kinda hard to do that when there is nobody there. I walked around a bit and took photos of the beautiful interior. All the while wondering what the hell this place is.

It obviously looked like a tea house. Maybe even a restaurant..... The above photo is the inner hall of the 2nd floor....

Above is the counter where nobody was there to attend to you. Look! Another minty green antique fan! I found a menu here and proceed to take a look at it. They serve tea set. They serve food. Nice. The price was ok for me. I was hungry. I was thirsty. But still, nobody to be seen. Finally I decided to go up one more level and this is what it looked like.

It was an open air roof top, and it looked right into the view of Jiufen mountain and sea. There was a gentle breeze blowing in the air, and the air was so fresh. I saw two caucasian men drinking Taiwan beer at one of the table and thought to myself they can't possibly be the owner of this place. But at the same time, it was a happy sight cause it meant this place is open for business! I just sat myself at one of the table and just enjoyed the view. Couldn't care one bit if I was trespassing or not, or whether it was dangerous to be there on my own. Couldn't care less with a view as beautiful as Jiufen right before my eyes....

Finally, like what felt like forever, an old lady walked up the stairs and serve the only other table that was occupied. I quickly made my present known and followed her downstairs. Seeing that I was Chinese, she proceed to spoke in Taiwanese to me. Since it was similar to Hokkien, I could understand. And when I couldn't understand, she couldn't be bothered either and continued to speak to me in her native language. I managed to order fried rice and a pot of tea. She told me at this time of the year, they only serve cold tea. Okay..... 

After ordering, I went up to the roof and sat there doing just nothing. Watching eagles flying. Watching butterflies. Watching tourist and traffic on the streets far below. Watching the village life. Watching the world goes by. My food was served after like 30mins. I slowly ate it. The cold tea was refreshing. Both cost me around SGD20 or more. It was expensive, but it was totally worth the experience of dining here. I stayed there for a full 2 hour on my own. The cold breeze was extremely pleasing for me. A couple appeared and sat briefly but the wind was too cold, so they made their way to the covered 2nd floor. I had the whole place to myself when the caucasian guys left. Peaceful. Calm. And just heaven. And then a bunch of Taiwanese ladies came up and talked so loudly that I quickly finished my tea, paid my bill (with some difficulty since old aunty has disappeared again), and left to wonder the old streets of Jiufen. By that time, it was almost 1230pm, and the street was so crowded that it wasn't fun anymore. So I just bought some souvenir and left by bus and headed back to Taipei. 

Still, it was the most enjoyable part of my business trip. I've finally made it to Jiufen. And I would love to come back again another day and stay the night. To view the magical night scene one day. Sometimes I wish I have someone to share in all my odd adventure, but I guess it's hard to find someone with a common interest as myself. My husband is never interested in travelling, preferring to stay home and work instead. But I still considered myself fortunate enough to be able to travel and seek out all these wonderful experiences. It helps that I don't really mind travelling alone. At times, I even prefer to travel on my own. Some people find this strange. But this is my life. I will continue to do the things I love. Their opinion can keep them at home. The world is too fascinating to be bothered with what people think of me :)

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