Taiwan in a post! .. Maybe not. TAIPEI DAY 1 (2013)

Hello you guys!! I'm back and really energised (sort of) from my trip from Taiwan!

Well, the trip was amazing, we didn't stick to our initial plan of staying only in Taipei for the whole 6days5nights, I'm glad we did otherwise. So here's a rough guide to our trip in Taiwan.

Day 1 (Taipei)  ->  Day 2 (Hualien/Nantou)  -> Day 3 (Nantou/SunMoonLake/Taichung/Taipei)  ->  Day 4 (Taipei)  -> Day 5 ( Jiufen/Pingxi/Keelung/Jiufen)  -> Day 6 (Jiufen/Airport)  -> Day7 (Airport)

You must be wondering why there is a sudden pop of Day 7?! HAHA, we were stranded in Taoyuan airport for like a total of 15hours? or maybe more. Due to the bad weather in Singapore, our flight was cancelled and delayed to the following day, which was again delayed due to accounting errors! GOT SO SUAY NOT? (DAMN UNLUCKY) HAHA, but it was a good experience. Except that I was having really bad motion sickness for an hour and a half taxi ride, post-effect from sleeping in a taxi. Boohoo. So let's get rock and rolling!! Well I do believe you could visit more places if you join a group tour, but I've always loved the joy of traveling Free&Easy, that's up to you!

Day 1 TAIPEI!!

We arrived Taoyuan airport at approx 1245pm, and rushed (kiasu) our way through to custom and baggage. I must say, Taoyuan Airport looks so much more soothing to the eyes now with their new renovations. We'd wanted to have a go with KuoKuang Bus services as we had tried FreeGo bus service on our previous trip, and I have to say I really do prefer FreeGo more than KuoKuang bus services, because for one FreeGo alighted us just a street across our hotel which is perfectly fine. But Kuokuang bus service told us they'll alight us at Ximending, but we ended up somehow in Taipei Main Station. I mean it didn't bother us very much cause we had to collect our tickets, but to have to lug our luggage and walk all the way to the Main Station under the rain, it wasn't cool at all. So there, Taipei Main Station is where you should book your HSR(high speed rail) or TRA(Train Railway ___) google them and you're able to book your train tickets online. It is a little tricky cause it's in mandarin, so I would suggest not if you're really bad in mandarin like I am. But I got some help from Tim, and he did the booking online, but I guess it really doesn't affect much if you book from the station itself although I do suggest to book tickets online during Peak holiday periods!

So after ticket collection, we took a cab down from Taipei main station to Ximending (150NT) and began our food journey! SHIOKS. We stayed in Kingshi Hotel at Ximending (142 Kunmin st) again, it's a really cheap hotel($68/night), with good enough facilities to get you through since 3/4 of your time will be spent outdoors. Just along the side of Kingshi hotel, like maybe two stalls down, there is this REALLY REALLY REALLY good Beef noodles you MUST have when visiting Taipei. It is so good, the (hong shao niu rou mian) is the winner amongst all, they've got other variety too. I strongly recommend it to you, especially if you're a beef junkie! Trust me when I say this is the BEST beef noodle I have ever tasted. :D




Right after we're done with our beef noodle craving, we had to satisfy another Ay-Chung Mian Sian. We didn't care if it was raining, and walking under the rain seemed pretty dang cool. Walking from the above beef noodle stall to Ay-Chung would take you about 10-15mins depending on how hungry you are. I can't believe how well I remembered the route of Ximending, since I haven't been there for 2 years. So here's another you MUST have, Ay-Chung Mian Sian, the selling point of this bowl of goodness. GARLIC, CHILLI and PORK INTESTINES. Believe me my friends and readers from the western country, you'll have a different of pork intestines after this bowl of goodness. I am a rather picky eater with pork, trust me this doesn't leave a porky smell OR you could just take it down the trail of your oesophagus. 



If you're thinking we'll be full after beef noodle and Ay-Chung Mian Sian, you're sooooo wrong! HAHA. I think I forgot to mention that we shared a bowl from both stalls! You have to share to try all the amazing food in Taiwan! We walked around parts of Ximending we didn't get to previously, true to our tummy's calling we found another stall filled with Taiwanese, so it HAS to be good right? (How typical) But it's true, you just got to believe in crowds! I have a confession, I REALLY LOVE THE BEHIND OF A CHICKEN. Okay it sounds really wrong, but I'm keeping it that way. But it's damn awesome, and I love seaweed, apparently it's really good for digestion. My mum buys them from Singapore at a really inflated price 2 packets for 40SGD! While I am enjoying them in Taiwan for only what 50cents? Still, my chicken backside are the best. My dad has taught me bad. HAHA. I honestly can't really remember this stall, but I think it's called Grandma's famous chicken thighs! Something like it. 




We travlled more MORE for food. After Ximending, it got a little too crowded for our liking so we took the train and got ready for our trip to Raohe Night Market. Let's just say, it wasn't easy to get there. We were lost, but were really determined to get there by foot! And I met my dearest nurse manager en route to Raohe night market :D So coincidental! So somehow we managed to find our way, and when we reached we had a bowl of Lu Rou Fan (Braised pork meat rice) I should do up a post on how to cook Lu Rou Fan. We also ordered mutton soup, which I really didn't fancy. I'm all for SINGAPORE'S AL-AMEEN KAMBING SOUP! SHIOK. Another must have in Singapore. (: After wiping out our Lu rou fan, we walked down the street and saw this American selling fried oreo! LIKE OMG, OREO is awesome enough, now fried! BRING IT ON! HAHA. It was seriously quite fantastique! I ordered this other cake thing, I honestly thought it was a CAKE, but it was just dough in oil. ): I threw it away. I couldn't bring myself to put a piece in my mouth. ): Sorry dude, you're cute and you make awesome oreos, but I can't. Almost close to our exit, we saw this stall that was selling Japanese Teppanyaki Chicken? It was soooo good, I love the leek in between, it's to die for. We saw cute, but sad puppies who were caged up and up for sale, someone please buy them home!! ): 










Done with Raohe Night Market. Now onto the next stop, Dazzling Cafe Sunshine at Xinyi Mitsukoshi A12 Level 2. It's really near Taipei 101! We took a bus down to Xinyi Mitsukoshi, it's a really good experience taking public transport in a foreign country. FYI: You only tap your card after you have reached your stop, you don't have to tap when boarding. :) It was cold really cold. Having to walk in a drizzling weather and cold wind, makes one really HUNGRY. HAHAHA. Unbelievable right? We just kept eating and eating and eating! Dr Mart's was hurting my calves though, it's still breaking in when I wore it to Taipei. Anyhoo, Dazzling Cafe was just too dang amazing! We had Toast and my favorite Mentaiko Pasta, the only cafe that serves the PERFECT Mentaiko Pasta. I've tried a few in Singapore, they just couldn't par. Plus I havem't been to Japan, so I have only Singapore to compare with. The apple tea was amazingly fresh, and refreshing. I ordered warm rose tea, you had to it's cold out there. The honeymoon toast I believe is so much more awesome than the regular ones, order that instead of the regular yes? (: It's amazing!






Can you believe we were still not done with the day? Tim wanted to visit Ningxia Night Market so bad, plus it was so close to Taipei 101, we took a Free Shuttle bus from Taipei 101, oh, we walked from Xinyi Mitsukoshi to Taipei 101 most of the stores were closed by then. ): Boohoo. So then begins another journey to Ningxia Night Market, you have to take a train from Taipei Main Station to Songshan station, take the exit that says Ningxia night market, after you've exited take the left turn and walk ALL the way down! (: You'll see a night market, pass by 85degrees where we bought milk tea and a cheesecake which we only ate the day after. I was too bloated to stuff myself with food, plus I was really exhausted. Tim was looking out for the food he had researched for haha! So typically Ningxia Night market has more local Taiwanese than tourist, which is AMAZING. Because food is cheaper than it already is, and you're expected find really awesome food you won't be able to find in other Night Markets! So one of it was this Taro fried cake, you won't miss it cause of the queue but it doesn't take long even though they're all freshly made on the spot! There are two flavors, the original that is filled with (Rou Song = Pork floss) and the other (salted egg yolk) They are both to die for! I promise you, it taste like heaven! haha. I loved it so much, wish I could stuff myself with more. We walked down Ningxia, but nothing else caught our eye, actually it did for Tim, but I think he could tell I was so tired from the day. So we retired and had our ending meal at this stall we came across before stepping into Ningxia. It was sells better way better Oyster Omelette than those in Shilin Night Market! Yummers. I ordered Pork liver cause I love them, but I still prefer those for confinement mothers. Awesome max. (:









We then ended our day feeling extremely bloated and full! Took a cab back from Ningxia Night Market to Kingshi Hotel with a really friendly taxi uncle who collects Singapore Notes all over the world, I gave him 2SGD for souvenir sake and paid in 10SGD with change in NT for our trip! (: I love Taiwanese and Taiwan!

Till the next post ... I'm trying very hard to lose the weight now. Bon Appetit!
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