Saturday, August 9, 2008


南勢溪 meets 桶後溪 at 烏來, it then joins 北勢溪 at 翡翠水庫 to become 新店溪.  景美溪 flows into 新店溪 at 木柵.  When 新店溪 joins 大漢溪, which is originated from 石門水庫, it becomes 淡水河.  基隆河 meets 淡水河 at 社子島.  This sums up the tributary system of the Taipei basin.  It sounds complicated and it is, at least for me in the beginning.  It is important part of my life (Bradley's) in Taipei, because the river parks alone these river now have the famous bicycle trails of Taipei.  When I first started riding my bike on these trails five years ago, they were just unconnected small segments.  They now become interconnected system of over 200 km.  My usual rides are about 50 to 60 km along these rivers in Taipei.  The origins of these rivers in the mountain are often tourist attractions and more challenging destinations for bicycling.  You can see the pictures that we took for the Taiwan Mountain Cherry at Wulai (烏來) and waterfalls of Shihfeng (十分) near 平溪 at the origin of 基隆河.

Our destination this Sunday (2008/8/9) is  桶後溪.  The first time I explored this destination was also on my bike about 4 years ago.  We started the day with a good brunch at 麥記飯堂.  Taipei has many Hong Kong eateries.  But to find a place to catch the real feeling of Hong Kong 茶水灘 is not easy.  This one is certainly close.  My friend took me once in Hong Kong to a stand by the street to eat, fish ball, beef tripes, etc cooked in curry broth.  I was surprised to find this restaurant actually served similar things.  It is on 敦化南路190巷, behind Sogo.  We then drove up to 烏來 then turned onto the narrow road up along 桶後溪.  The picture was taken on a bridge at the end of drivable road for us.  We needed special permit to go on further.  A lot families were playing by the river bank.  It is actually a small branch of 桶後溪 called 阿玉溪.

On the way back, we stopped by the restaurant 名流水岸 for afternoon tea at the river bank of 新店溪.  We arrived just in time to escape a now typical afternoon down pour.  The restaurant is a sister restaurant of 名流湯村.  They are now both quite famous for their 懷石料理.  名流湯村 is at the opposite side of Taipei, half way up 陽明山 from 金山 by the north west sea coast.  It is a hot spring spa resort.  We went their 5 years ago for Grace' company meeting.  We went by latter just in time for their reopening and they were having their first investor/board meeting.  We ended up walked in as their almost first customer.  They kindly invited us in and let us have a fabulous dinner free.  We went back many times, for company meeting, with parents for moon festival, for entertaining visiting friends and relatives.  Bradley's mother even went there with Grace to have a spa a few years ago.  The first and only time in her live.  Bradley drove up there whenever Grace was not in town to soak in the open air hot spring Japanese style (pools for woman and man are separated!!).  

Grace bought a pair of shoes on the way home from Blue Girl, an extremely fashionable shoe store at out of nowhere in 木柵.  At 8 pm, we started to look for place for dinner.  We ended up at 小隱私廚.  It is a very small restaurant up 永康街.  A college friend of us living in the area introduced us to this restaurant.  It has very fresh fish simple steamed or grilled and many other  interesting dishes.  A rare restaurant that give us the feeling of home cooking.  After dinner we ended up in the 普耳 tea shop next door to enjoy a pot of 20 years old 普耳茶 with the shop owner.  The day finally ended by up-loading today's photographs and updating this blog.

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