Not to be confused with Bali the island, or Bali Right Bank, even though I don’t really know if there is a Bali Right Bank. Bali Left Bank (henceforth referred to as BLB) is a port area across the coast from DanShui district, and in recent years has come to rival the other city in popularity, variety of food selection, and crowds.
The closest MRT station is Guandu, which is still some time away, so to get here requires a car or a deft transfer of busses.There are two options once you get here: 1. food + people, or 2. seaside.
1. Food + People
The main streets have lots of folks milling around, but the alleys are where people congregate. There are food stands and store fronts selling street food and snacks. The main cuisines are Taiwanese, with Japanese and Chinese influences. But if you want ice cream they have those too. There are a variety of savory and salty foods, and dried fruits.
Dates and dried fruits, with toothpicks and tea as a palette cleanser for your tasting pleasure.
Once you get here, you’ll be greeted by massive crowds, and if you
push your way through politely wait as the people in front of you move, you can eventually make your way back to the main streets.
Lining the main streets are a row of food trucks. These really are OG food trucks!
It’s literally just a regular small blue cargo truck, but with some wooden panels added on the side, a gasoline grill, and the canvas flaps are converted to an awning. I’m not sure how they wash or prep their ingredients, but the hope is that they washed all of it beforehand and have enough for the whole day.
If you’re feeling fancy there are also sit down restaurants more inland, like this palm tree one:
or this one with a menu celebrating indigenous Taiwanese tribes, and a stage for performances:
This view is too good to pass up. There are bike paths along the coast, and many shops offering rentals for single bikes (highly efficient IMO), tandem bikes, and four people horse-cart-style bikes (??!!). The last one is hard to navigate, but some people seem to enjoy the challenge. Just walking along the coast isn’t a bad idea either, given that the streets are clean and you won’t have to ring your bell every two minutes to prevent a crash.
There’s a trail that leads all the way down if you really want to go the distance like Forest Gump, but we were content with getting past the marsh area with the boats, and headed back for dinner.