Secrets to Flowing Noodles in a Stunning Mountain Village

Boy pulling a bar hung with long noodles on a day trip from Taipei

Shiding (石碇區) feels like a hidden mountain village, yet it’s not far from downtown Taipei. The Shiding River was once used to transport coal and tea goods by boat, with large river rocks serving as anchors, giving the village its name. The Chinese characters 石 (shí) means “stone,” and 碇 (dìng) means “anchor.”

We hired a car for a half-day trip to Shiding, and one of the benefits of having a local driver was learning more about the history of the places we visited. As we passed Shenkeng (深坑), he asked if we knew what the name meant. I didn’t, but surprisingly, my son replied, “a big hole!”—something he had learned from watching Mandarin cartoons.

Best Days to Visit Shiding District

The busiest days at Shiding Old Street are Saturday and Sunday. We chose to visit on a Thursday to avoid traffic and crowds but found that many shops and restaurants were closed. If dining and shopping are priorities for your visit, weekends offer more options. However, the hiking trails and streams are open daily and are notably quieter and less crowded on weekdays.

Top Attractions in Shiding

A day trip to Shiding is often paired with a visit to Shenkeng’s stinky tofu street and the Pinglin Tea Museum. Most visitors come to Shiding for hiking and to explore the shops along 不見天街 (Bùjiàn tiān jiē), aptly named “a street where you can’t see the sky.”

Bainian Rock House 百年石頭屋

We spent a good chunk of time exploring Shiding Old Street’s Rock House, constructed over 100 years ago. Once a medicine shop, my kids were intrigued by the artifacts left behind and were especially curious about the bomb shelter. We also found steps leading up to what remains of the second floor. The Rock House gave us a glimpse into the past, and it was a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

Checking out the artifacts on display at the Bainian Rock House of Shiding Old Street

Eat Granny’s Handmade Mochi 阿嬤麻糬

This mochi shop is not to be missed! The storefront is small and Granny is unapologetically proud of her mochi, which is clear instead of white and flavored with Osmanthus and Oriental Beauty teas. Its texture is soft and not chewy. Unlike other types, this mochi doesn’t harden when refrigerated and becomes more QQ when cold. Very delicious!

Mochi-making classes for kids are offered on weekends. Call ahead to check the schedule.

阿嬤麻糬 hand-made mochi

地址: 223台灣新北市石碇區石碇東街59號
Address: No. 59號, Shiding E St, Shiding District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 22
Contact: (02)2663-1257

Enjoy the Riverside Sights and Sounds

As you browse the shops on 不見天街 (Bùjiàn tiān jiē), don’t forget to buy some fish food. At the end of the street, steps lead down to the river where you can feed the fish or cool off by dipping your feet in the water. A shopkeeper mentioned that during summer, many local children play in the water or climb the rock slabs to catch fish.

Once you’ve used up your fish food, walk across the stone bridge and pose for photos in front of the stilt houses, known as 吊腳樓 (Diàojiǎolóu). These colorful houses, built over the river due to limited space, look precarious as if they might collapse onto the rocks below. Most appear abandoned, adding to their mystery and charm.

Noodle Pulling Experience

About 15 minutes’ drive from Shiding Old Street, up a winding mountain road, you’ll find 石碇許家手工麵線 (Hsu’s Noodle). The drive is especially enjoyable with the windows down, letting the cool mountain mist touch your face. When we arrived, we had some time to explore. Tucked into the mountainside, Hsu’s Noodle is surrounded by nature. A lightning bug landed on me, and it was my first time seeing one in real life. We heard frogs singing but couldn’t find them, despite trying. Across the street, butterflies fluttered over a vegetable patch. When it started raining hard, the gentle sound of raindrops was incredibly peaceful.

Our noodle-pulling adventure began with premade dough. The host explained that making the dough from scratch wasn’t possible due to the resting time required before it can be stretched into noodles. We learned that pulling noodles takes quite a bit of strength and gained a new appreciation for this common food. The kids had a blast pulling, stretching, and even jumping rope with the noodles. We had plenty of time to snap lots of photos. Since we went on a Thursday morning, we were the only family there and could take as many pictures as we wanted.

While our noodles hung to dry, we enjoyed our first nagashi somen experience, catching the flowing noodles with chopsticks as they came down a water slide. The kids had a lot of fun “fishing” for noodles. Don’t worry, the noodles that you miss are caught bamboo colandar so that nothing is wasted. The noodles were delicious, but the real star of our meal was the pickled vegetables. They are a must-try, and you can buy them to take home—we ended up getting two jars.

After eating, we packaged our noodles to take home. We spent about an hour and a half at Hsu’s Noodles, and everyone had such a great time. I would definitely do this activity again!

Check out our video at Hsu’s Noodles

Hsu’s Noodles Tickets and Pricing

We purchased two noodle-pulling experiences and two accompanying person tickets since we did not need 4 meals. Plus, I wanted to save room to try some food at Shiding Old Street.

Duration: We were there for about 1.5 hours
Booking: Advanced booking is required, buy tickets online to reserve your spot.
Contact: Call 0932129041 or Facebook
Cost: NT$ 500 ($16.25 USD) for the noodle pulling and nagashi somen meal. NT$ 100 ($3 USD) for an accompanying person without DIY experience or meal. Includes 50 NT coupons for food and drinks.

How to Get to Hsu’s Noodles

To get to Hsu’s Noodles from Downtown Taipei, it’s about a 45-minute drive. From Shiding Old Street, it’s a quicker 15-minute ride, but the last stretch is up a narrow, winding mountain road. My kids get carsick easily, so those 15 minutes felt quite long! Despite that, it’s a pleasant ride with the windows down, breathing in the fresh mountain air and taking in the view.

I highly recommend traveling by car since Hsu’s Noodles isn’t accessible by train, and the nearest bus stop is a 50-minute walk away, mostly uphill. Besides, I doubt a bus could even navigate that narrow road! Alternatively, you could take a taxi from Shiding Old Street. Just remember to ask the staff to call a taxi for your return trip or book an Uber in advance. We booked a taxi for half a day and the driver waited for us during the activity.

地址: 石碇許家手工麵線 223台灣新北市石碇區3號
Address: Hsu’s Noodle 223, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Shiding District, 3號

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