Liu Jia is the Eastern part of Zhubei, in Hsinchu. It has its own train station, which is right next to one of the High Speed Rail stops (bonus!). It’s only 8 minutes from Xinzhuang station, where I live, and it’s a short, but beautiful trip with a view of the open fields and mountains.
The minute you step out of the station you have Plaza 6+ which is a relatively small shopping centre and mainly consists of outlet shops for Nike, Adidas and a few other sports companies. They have a SuperDry and also a children’s games floor, with a soft play, amusements and also a small go-kart track.
The 5th and 6th floor are restaurants, although fairly empty at the moment as most of them are still being built. It’s a quiet, stress-free place if you want to wander around or really need some sports wear, but otherwise not worth the trip.
I walked, in 38oC heat, to find some coffee shops.
If you leave the station and walk north up the main road, alongside the shopping mall and the apartment blocks, you come to an intersection and a row of cafes. The V F is a vegetarian restaurant that has a great selection of small and main meals, and a fantastic drinks selection too. Their lemonade comes with small pieces of lemon cake. SO DELICIOUS!!
The prices are reasonable, about NT$250 a meal and it’s definitely worth a visit.
For the next 20 minutes there isn’t much going on. There’s a lovely park with a lake, a few convenience stores and a Starbucks, Subway, etc but otherwise it’s extremely quiet. If you get to the Sheraton Hotel, that’s where you start to find your cafes and restaurants worth visiting. I saw two micro-breweries and about 5 coffee shops in the area.
I chose Wood Creek about 5 shops along from the Sheraton, because their latte art on Instagram looked AMAZINGGGGGG. But when I got to the counter I completely forgot that I was going to order a latte, and had an iced coffee instead (which was actually served hot, oh.) Despite that, it still tasted amazing. They have a flower wall upstairs and the atmosphere is peaceful and relaxing. It’s reasonably priced and they also have some snacks as well, cakes and sandwiches.
The next places I went to was a new cafe called Gala – I believe they opened in July and it’s just wonderful. It’s very simplistic, quiet, relaxed and the staff are absolutely lovely. One gentleman spoke English and the others were happy to entertain my awful Chinese. The coffee was fantastic, they know their stuff!
After I left Gala I knew I’d had too much coffee and started to feel really unwell. I couldn’t find a bus or a taxi or a rental bike, and I knew I was walking back. It took me 30 minutes to walk back to the station, and by the time I arrived I was absolutely dripping with sweat. It was disgusting.
Overall, it’s a nice area to go on a Sunday if you’re looking for a lazy day, or want some peace and quiet. If you’re looking for a decent coffee, it’s worth it. For anything else, I’m not so sure it’s worth the trip.
Will add to this post if I end up going back to LiuJia, but my next stop will be Central Zhubei.
If you’ve been to the LiuJia area, where did you go? What did you like?