Friday, 21 June 2013

Taiwan Day 41: Shrimp Fishing and Getting up Taipei 101 for Free

Day Forty One

This is going to be a long post but if you want to learn how to get to some less tourist known but fun places in Taipei then keep reading!

Hui Chee and I went out with our new friend, Elvira from Indonesia today and hoped to show her some fun in Taipei.

L to R: Hui Chee, Elvira, Vivien
Since Hui Chee and I have already been to most parts of Taipei and there weren't many things that we wanted to repeat doing, we wanted to find another activity to do. Browsing the Trip Advisor Top Ten attractions in Taipei we found shrimp fishing and decided to go with Elvira. It is a little tricky to get to the location via public transit using the Trip Advisor location because it is completely inaccurate.

Shrimp Fishing

To get there, start at the Jiannan MRT Station and walk toward the row of buses from the left of Exit 1. Find the sign for bus S18 and wait. As a side note, we waited for almost half an hour in the baking sun today and the metal studs on my purse actually heated up from the length of time we were under the sun. Anyways, take the bus past the National Palace Museum and alight at Shalunxia stop.

There are many shrimp fishing places on that street and the one we chose is photographed below.

Shrimp Fishing location
S18 Bus Stop
Shrimp fishing cost NT300 for one rod for one hour and NT500 for one rod for two hours. Between the three of us we rented two rods for one hour. The lady showed us how to hook the bait and then we sat around the shrimp pool waiting for something to happen.

Hooking the bait
Me shrimp fishing
About half an hour in, Elvira caught the first shrimp! It was large and had blue legs.

First shrimp
Unfortunately, after a whole hour that was still the only shrimp we caught between the three of us. Funny enough at the end of the fishing hour, the owner of the place came up to us and gave us 5 extra shrimps saying that it was because we were from abroad and so pretty. There was a grilling station at the back and he instructed one of the guys grilling there to help us grill ours joking that it was his honour to grill for pretty girls. This was such a hilarious and embarrassing scene!

But after eating the shrimp I was very glad that the owner gave us more because this was the freshest shrimp I've ever had! It was so large, bouncy and the head was full of high cholesterol juice. One shrimp between the three of us would not have been enough.

Eating my shrimp!

Taipei 101: Getting up for Free (kind of)

I read online that there was a Starbucks on the 35th floor of the Taipei 101 that allows you to go up the building partially for free! Although it isn't even halfway to the top, I would say that this was more fun than just viewing from the observatory deck regularly.

We had to enter from the office and not the shopping mall side of the building. Just ask one of the security guards at any entrance if you can't find it. Then go to one of the Visitor Access machines located behind the help desk.

Help Desk
At these Visitor Access machines, just key in the 35th floor and it will connect you to a call for Starbucks. A barista at Starbucks will answer, ask how many passes you want then hang up. The machine will produce your required number of passes.

Visitor Access Machine
The pass is necessary because the office area is only for employees with passes and the elevators can only go to certain levels with specific passes.

Visitor Permit
Entering the office area
Waiting for the elevator
As photographed below, there are no choices for the elevator stop levels because it is automated with the pass. The elevator was very fast and got us up smoothly in no time.

Taking a quick right turn out of the elevator, then a small left turn down a short corridor and we were inside Starbucks! The window seats were completely filled (for obvious reasons) but the sight of the city was still clear. Lucky for us, Starbucks was having a promotion for every Friday in June to have Buy 1 Get 1 Free for all their drink menu items so we got to enjoy the view and a good deal.

35th Floor Taipei 101 Starbucks
Starbucks frap in hand enjoying the sunset
The sunset was so beautiful from Taipei 101 and another fortunate thing was that it wasn't cloudy or hazy at all. The Starbucks closes at 6:30pm on weekdays though so we weren't able to see the sun go completely down but it was close enough. Overall I would really recommend coming to the Starbucks here for the experience of going up the Taipei 101 and to go up a mountain (last photo of Day 39 post) to see the entire night view of Taipei because from the Taipei 101 itself you wouldn't be able to see the tower!

Sunset from Taipei 101
In all had a lot of fun today exploring less tourist known parts of Taipei!

Take care,

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  1. That shrimp looks delish! Sounds like a fun day :)

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