Before going to Taiwan, I looked up lots of possible day or half-day trips for my family to do from Taipei. Each one was shot down by my parents with a "There's nothing to see there" or a "What's so good about that place?"
Finally, I was able to find one that they had nothing to complain about. A short trip from central Taipei, Sanxia Old Street is where people go to experience a piece of Taiwan's past:
Walking down the street lined with red brick buildings kept intact from the early 1900's, you will find lots of little souviner shops geared towards tourists.
We skipped all of those and went straight to the shaved ice store at the end of the street:
The old movie posters and wooden furniture lent the store a nostalgic vibe:
The shaved ice offerings were also old-school with none of the modern flashy toppings. We got the eight treasure shaved ice (65 NT or slightly over $2):
It included red beans, green beans, kidney beans, peanuts, taro, glutinous rice balls, and more.
We also ordered the taro shaved ice (also 65 NT), which was basically just massive chunks of soft taro with condensed milk on ice:
Sanxia Old Street is known for its "bull horn" bread, so we stopped by this store close to the Zushi Temple on our way out:
We asked which bread flavors were most popular and were told to get the brown sugar mochi one:
Here's the inside:
And the 奶酥 or milk "streusel" one:
I really have no idea how else to translate this filling:
Honestly, wasn't a fan of the bread. They look cute, but the bread is on the dry side. There's definitely much better bread to be found in Taiwan.
Sanxia Old Street is pretty short and there's not really too much to see. But if you've been to Taipei more than once already and are looking for a new place to explore without having to travel too far, check it out.
Just don't expect to fill your stomach there.