We started out on Sunday with a visit to the local NeiHu street market. This market is open every day, from around 8 am to about 3 pm. It is not open at night. NeiHu does not have any night markets; you need to go to another section of Taipei to find a night market.
There is always lots of fresh fruit available in the street markets. In fact, fresh fruit is for sale just about everywhere in Taiwan; grocery stores, street markets, vendor stalls, from the back of trucks parked on the street, even in front of stores selling things like clothing. Harmony did some research for her blog, and found out that people living in Taiwan consume more fruit than the people anywhere else in the world! I love fresh fruit of all types, so I eat lots of fruit when I am here!
There is a street vendor that makes delicious, fresh Ba wan at the NeiHu street market. Ba wan means “meat ball” and is a dumpling of sorts filled with meat (usually chopped pork), bamboo shoots, and sometimes mushrooms. The semi-translucent chewy outside is made with rice flour and sweet potato flour, giving it this unique (QQ) texture that’s fun to eat.
After we got done shopping, and stuffing ourselves with Ba wan at the street market, we set off on another hike up into the NeiHu mountains to work off a few of those Ba wan calories!
All of the blog entries for these two weekends in NeiHu before we left for Sumatra, Indonesia, will be about the hikes that we did. The weather in December, January, and February in Taipei is usually rainy and cold, much like the weather in Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington, at this time of the year. But this January, the weather here was unusually warm and dry, so it was perfect for hiking!
Bi Hu trail is a converted “rail trail”. At one time, it was a railroad track to bring ore down the mountain. The track has mostly been converted to trail, but there are remnants left (and a lot of cute signs!)
Jeff is pretending to shovel ore, just like the stone shaped like a miner in the grass where he is standing.
Here is is pretending to use a pick axe!
I liked this sign with the miner, as the guy looks like he is working hard. and getting tired. Most of the other miners on the signs were smiling, and didn’t look like what they were doing was hard work!
We passed by this star fruit tree on the trail. I also love star fruit, and I had never before seen it growing on a tree. It seems to like to cluster around the trunk of the tree. There is a lot of star fruit in the markets right now, so it must be in season in winter.
Our final destination on this hike was not the top of a mountain. we were hiking to see this beautiful waterfall. It is very nice to live so close to mountains, interesting hiking trails, and waterfalls in NeiHu!