Taipei: Ping Xi line timetable and map, sky lantern tips

Prior to my trip, I searched high and low on the net for a map and timetable of Ping Xi line and I could not find them anywhere.

To get to Ping Xi

Taipei Main Railway –> Rui Fang

From Taipei Railway Main Station, purchase a ticket to Rui Fang to switch trains.  While you can purchase tickets on the day of, the recommendation is to purchase a day ahead so as to get reserved seats. The train ride takes about 30 minutes or so and costs approximately SGD3-5 maybe?

At Rui Fang, you will switch to Ping Xi line.

Ping Xi Line Map

The tricky thing about Ping Xi line is that the trains run infrequently. There is only one train that comes every hour. If you miss that train, you’d be stuck at that station for another hour. Try to be there at least 5 – 10 mins early.

The entire Ping Xi line map:

The typical stops are:

  • Hou Tong (aka Cat Village)
  • Shi Fen – where shops are beside the train tracks and a popular spot for releasing sky lanterns. Also a transit to Jiu Fen (another tourist hot spot)
  • Jing Tong – an old mining village
  • Ping Xi – alternate spot for sky lanterns and also a transit for Jiu Fen

Ping Xi Line Timetable

No idea how to read the Chinese characters and want the Ping Xi line timetable?

The timetable is quite self-explanatory. Look at the timing at the station, that is what time the train will depart. The trains are punctual, you can start boarding usually 5-10 minutes prior.

P.S. Click the image to download.

Direction: From Rui Fang to Jing Tong

As of October 2016, subject to changes

Direction: From Jing Tong to Rui Fang

As of October 2016, subject to changes

Tips for travelling Ping Xi Line

  •  Start at the station nearest to Rui Fang and hop further inland so that when you travel back to Taipei you’re at the end of the last station for more chances of snagging a seat.
  • If your last station is Ping Xi, do a bounce back: Travel to Jing Tong so that you can get a seat all the way to Rui Fang. It takes approximately 30 minutes from Jing Tong to Rui Fang.
  • Do this day trip on a weekday instead because even the locals flock here on weekends. Higher chances of scoring better pictures with lesser crowds!

  • If you intend to squeeze in Jiu Fen, do the Ping Xi early in the morning as travelling time takes a while. Personally, we did Ping Xi line and Jiu Fen on two separate days.
  • Sky lanterns are more expensive at Ping Xi (by maybe SGD5-10 more) but Ping Xi is also way less crowded than Shi Fen. We released our sky lantern around sun set and scored beautiful pictures.

 

Almost 12 months worth of Vinyasas

Isn’t it cliche to say time flies? It’s been a year of practising yoga for me since I started my journey last Christmas eve, 24 Dec 2015. I purchased my first membership on KFit.

My first class was a Hot Flow class at Space & Light which has sadly closed down and moved into Como Shambhala.

Then in Feb, KFit implemented a 10-class limit per month which saw me hopping over to GuavaPass in March 2016.

Making it a routine

It’s easy to start something new but the challenge comes when you try to keep it going. My method was to incorporate class into my daily routine.

I would normally book a class on the day of or the previous day when my plans for the day firm up. The first cycle of your membership is probably going to be the most exciting and research intensive. There are so many classes to choose from, the large variety can be overwhelming.

It takes a couple of months to settle into the groove. Once you know your favourite studios, it’s a matter of building up a routine that you’re comfortable with.

I like to schedule my classes for the early evenings mostly so that there is still leeway for dinner appointments.

Yoga is not easy

I thought, hey, I’m used to dance training, yoga can’t be that tough.

No.

I was surprised at how hard yoga is. Even now, every class is still a challenge for me. Initially, I had difficulties just sitting through the simplest breathing exercise. My nose was itchy, I needed to fidget and my mind wandered.

Then it was about the stamina of lasting through the class and not giving up on myself. My favourite classes are flow and power classes for the smooth transitions and dynamic holds.

Learning from different masters

This is probably my favourite aspect about GuavaPass: the ability to studio hop at ease without the financial strain needing to purchase multiple packages.

At this point, I can’t imagine needing to commit to a single studio because I enjoy many different instructors’ classes: flowing with breath at Strala, toning it down with Stretch Flow at YoCo Loft and stretching it out on the Yoga Wheel at Level.

Keeping the mind calm and body going

Amidst all the worries, yoga was probably the thing that kept my mind calm and at ease. When I step on the mat, it is an hour of solitude and absolute presence I am dedicating to myself – something I need to balance out the chaos.

I try to hit 3-5 classes a week so as to maximise my membership and also that, I felt this was the most optimum number for me. Any lesser and I’d feel like I can’t keep up with the flow.

In 2017…

I hope to keep my Vinyasas going and start to challenge myself by going for more intermediate and inversion classes. It’s been almost a year of going to classes solo, I also want to try to make a few yoga friends in the new year – how nice it’d be to have someone to grab dinner (or help me snap pictures).

GuavaPass / KFit Review and Promo codes

For a full review dissecting the subscription passes, read my Fitness Subscription Pass – KFit vs GuavaPass. I am not sponsored nor endorsed by either, I have tried both subscriptions and I am currently on GuavaPass.

GuavaPass: Each new member gets $40 off their first month with a referral code.

My GuavaPass referral link / promo codehttps://goo.gl/Zo3tpd

KFit: Every new member gets $10 off first purchase. Please key in the promo code if the referral link does not work, there have been technical issues before but keying in the promo code will work.

My KFit promo code / referral link is: JVBGZ

P.S. Drop me a note at hello (at) meowsyy.c0m if you’ll like to find out more about the exact discount as referrals tend to change very frequently.

Midori Sushi: familiar contemporary sushi

As compared to Iwasa Sushi, Midori Sushi veers onto the more commercial side. In fact, Midori has been rated to be one of the better sushi chains with higher quality dishes that do not break the bank.

Let me put this up front, I am no connoisseur in food. In my world, I rank it by:

  • Good: I would eat this 1-2x a week
  • Meh: I would eat this 1-2x a month
  • Bad: I would eat this 1-2x a year

Midori falls in the good category of course.  The sushi is familiar to me, I have seen most of them before and most importantly: The chef asked me if I wanted wasabi!

There are multiple Midori outlets throughout Tokyo. Venture into the more popular outlets and you’re probably going to wait 45 minutes or more. We were at the Kichijoji outlet at 7pm or so and waited about 20 minutes.

There was a more expensive option at 2,800Y but we were so full and satisfied with the 2,000Y option.

Each 2,000Y set comes with a crab paste salad, chawanmushi and soup. The crab paste salad did not look appetising but tasted amazing.

Between the more traditional sushi I had at Iwasa and Midori, I had a more enjoyable meal at Midori. Perhaps, I had grown up with more commercial sushi and Midori was more familiar and easier on the taste buds for me.

Attraction Sushi Midori
Address 1-1-24, Kichijojiminamicho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo Attrait Kichijoji B1 (Within Atre mall)
Opening hours 1100 – 2300
How to get there Stop at Kichijoji station
Google Map Sushi Midori

 

Traditional Sushi: Iwasa at Tsukiji Market

We were all geared up ready to get up at the crack of dawn to queue for Sushi Daiwa (the shop operated by legendary Sushi Dai’s son) but alas, holiday sleep got better of us.

We reached Tsukiji Market at 10am or so on a Saturday.. and we didn’t even qualify to queue which was snaking a few bends complete with a burly chef at the end of the line to stop potential tourists.

Oh well, we trooped off to Iwasa for our Omakase experience.

We went with the Omakase set although, on hindsight, I might have enjoyed the dons more.

I think we were there about 10+ am on a Saturday and the queue was manageable, about 30-45 mins before we got a seat. Most people seemed to eat very quickly and leave.

There wasn’t much of small talk, the chefs mentioned that we’d be very full from the meal.

I didn’t really recognise what I was eating except the usual suspects: eel, sea urchin, tuna and salmon roe and maki rolls.

Can I put my hand on my heart and say that I enjoyed this?

Not really, while I appreciate the traditional settings of the shop and the methods of preparation, these shops typically include wasabi in their sushi to keep the most authentic flavours.

And me? I don’t do wasabi at all. Initially, I tried the sushi with wasabi but found it very pungent and overpowering for my senses to truly enjoy my sushi (which I paid quite a sum for please) that I did probably one of the most unspeakable things – I dug out the wasabi. 😦

If you’re here and you don’t take wasabi, gather up the courage to tell the chefs! The sushi here is fresh and impeccable. My spirits rose as I had a better sushi degustation at a more commercial shop.

Attraction Iwasa Sushi
Address 6 Chome-27-3 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Opening hours 6am – 2.30pm (or 3pm on Sat)
How to get there Stop at Tsukiji MRT station
Google Map Iwasa Sushi