Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Travelogue: Taipei, Taiwan (Day 1 & 2)


Another exciting trip to enter into my travelogue diary and because I don't travel too often (although I wish I could), I treasure each trip and take pride in keeping those beautiful memories in the form of photos and words. So here you go, I will be blogging about the Taipei trip in a few posts so do check back for more. 
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Day 1 

Arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport


It was an early morning flight, 7.10am, which made us really tired as we didn't manage to catch enough sleep the night before. Adeline and Corrine slept over at my place, while we did some last minute itinerary-planning. By the time we are done, it was around 3am so we caught an hour of sleep before cabbing down to the airport at 4am. 

The moment we reached Taiwan Taoyuan Airport, we were instantly greeted by the traditional chinese characters and I knew that it was time to start getting used to them. 


Head down to the basement of the airport to take the bus services to the City (Xi Men Ding), where our apartment is. There are other bus services as well, so tell the staff at the counter the destination that you are heading towards, and they will let you know which bus to take and where to alight.

Settling into our apartment

As we spent quite a bomb on our flight tickets (due to last minute booking), we decided to scrimp on accommodation, so we booked an apartment instead of Hotel. We felt a little worried and lost initially as the address written on the website was wrong and we couldn't find the place. We thought it would turn out to be a scam. Just imagine three girls lugging their luggages all around the whole stretch of streets looking lost and worried. Totally trying to keep calm. Long story short, we called the person in-charge and managed to find the apartment which happened not to be at the place it claimed to be. But all was good and we were really thankful that we managed to get to the place safely with the help of a few friendly locals who gave us directions.

Our apartment was really cosy for us that we called it our home for the next four days. It came with a pantry area, a living room with TV, fridge, wifi, (a small) toilet and a nice bedroom.


Exploring Xi Men Ding


We then realized that we are not that far off from the main city area, since it was just a five minutes walk from our apartment to the Xi Men Ding shopping district, via a shortcut that we found out, through the Xi Men Hong Lou (The Red House). The courtyard beside the building consists of many bars which operates at night. Really love the red bricks as they reminded me of the buildings in United Kingdom when I was there for choir competition two years back. 


And behold the police station beside the red house. We were totally thrilled when we realized that we have a police station near our apartment. Felt more safe since the area around our apartment looks a little dodgy.


The Xi Men Ding main shopping district is a must to visit. You get lots of food, shops selling shoes and clothing, and lots of shops selling stuffed toys and collectibles as well.


The famous and legendary Ah Zong Mian Xian (阿宗麵線)
which costs 65 TWD ($2.70 SGD) and 50 TWD ($2.10 SGD) for the big and small bowl respectively. 

阿宗麵線 Ah Zong Mian Xian
No. 8~1 Emei St, Taipei (East Xi Men Ding Pedestrian Area)


Pearl Milk Tea from the stall right beside Ah Zong Mian Xian: 35 TWD ($1.50 SGD)


Dinner 


Lasagna


Seafood Baked Rice

Had dinner at "Prince Love Princess Fairy Food Restaurant" (quite a hilarious cafe name). Prices are around $6-$10 SGD. The food isn't brilliantly good, just normal. But if you like a lot of cheese, you'll probably like it more. 

Prince love Princess Fairy Food Restaurant
No. 61, Hanzhong St., Wanhua District, 2nd floor, Taipei


Desserts 


Was introduced to this famous shaved ice dessert place at Xi Men Ding. From the looks of it, taiwanese do love graffiti art, even on the wall menus. 


Chocolate-Banana Shaved Ice: $100 TWD ($4.20 SGD) 


Peanut-Corn Shaved Ice: $80 TWD ($3.40 SGD)


Mango Shaved Ice: $120 TWD ($5 SGD) 


Yam-Sweet Potato-Pearl Shaved Ice: $100 TWD ($4.20 SGD) 

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Day 2 


Taking the train to Taipei Main Station to have some serious shopping at their underground mall.


We reached there too early as most shops and food stalls open around 11am+-12pm so we had brunch before shopping.


Famous Lu Rou Fan: $40 TWD ($1.70 SGD)
Another awesome-must-try dish from Taiwan. Tastes like pork fillings from our usual traditional dumplings but only even tastier. 


Chicken Cutlet Noodles: $75 TWD ($3.20 SGD) 
Taiwan chicken is superbly crispy and juicy (I have no idea why) so just spam when you are there (no matter where you go) 


Our lunch: Beef Brisket Noodles (without beef in it) and Za Jiang Mian

Shi Lin Night Market


Baked Potato stuffed with bacon, sweet corn, broccoli, pineapple, octopus, egg, tuna-mayo, and nacho cheese : $70 TWD ($3 SGD) 


Super fun balloons-shooting game


Chicken Cutlet 


Grass Jelly Milk Tea 


Muah chee 


There's more to Shi Lin Night Market than just the outdoor area along the streets. Head down to the B1 Air-conditioned food court. 


Grilled bacon stuffed with spring onions 


Da Chang bao Xiao Chang 大腸包小腸


Quail Eggs 


Banana-Chocolate Prata

That's all for Day 1 and 2! This is just a short trip over a span of 5 days, so we spent most of the time eating, shopping and with a little of sightseeing and karaoke-ing. Look out for upcoming posts for our adventures from Day 3-5. 

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Love, Quans

4 comments:

Jiayi Low said...

Hello! Do you still have the link/contact details of the apartment you booked when you were in taipei?

Quan Mei said...

Hi Jiayi,

I booked it from Airbnb.com. The name of the apartment is called 西門町民宿 品實居. You can contact this guy called" Li Wei" at jubuwu@gmail.com too! :)

Isabel Min ✿ said...

Hi! What camera are you using for your taiwan trip? The photos are really nice and well taken!

Quan Mei said...

Hi Isabel! I used Olympus EP1, quite an old model for my taiwan trip! But what I like about the camera is that it takes awesome photos under natural lighting (the colours are so good), and it takes close up photos really well too, if you want to take food shots! :)