Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Taipei Adventure (D1)

Ju and I are back from Taipei for about 2 days now and like all travels, I think I left my heart there, again. Taipei was nothing short of amazing. I managed to meet Lulu, my Taiwanese friend whom I had met during my classes in Berkeley. She brought us around for local food and they all tasted yum! I still thought of returning back to my hotel like it was just yesterday, but all travels eventually come to an end. I’m now home in my PJs, accompanied by the deafening sounds of thunder that sends my 3 dogs barking in fear :’(


I am officially in a love-hate relationship with thunders and rain. But thunder buddies forever.


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We arrived in Taipei at an unearthly hour at 6 in the morning so we bought gums, tea-eggs and coffee from 7-11 the convenience store. They’re sold at every 7-11 outlet in Taipei and if there was something that I loved, it could only be the freshly blended coffee. I’d pick Americano anytime over Latte though.


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How do you get to Taipei Main Station/ Ximending from Taoyuan International Airport? 


We landed in Taoyuan International Airport (and there isn’t any train services yet, but there will be in 2015) so we took bus service 1819 (Kuo Kuang, image above) to the city and you’d just have to alight at Taipei Main Station to transit anywhere else, or to your hotel. If you booked a hotel at Ximending, then bus services that run after 10.30am (Or at least that’s what I remembered) will offer a free ride to Ximending from Taipei Main Station. Please check with the bus service counter :) The journey takes about 50 minutes in the morning traffic which I fell asleep shortly after.


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We were greeted with amazing morning skies. So instead of taking a train to 西门, we decided to walk instead (which is possible!) and stopped by for Macs breakfast because it was so affordable. You get a meal at only 50NT (~2SGD). That morning was pretty memorable; Ju was so endearing when he lugged the heavier luggage and kept looking out for me to check if I was okay. I was completely ok and in love!


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We ended up at the ever-busy 阿宗面线 in Ximending. I really loved it but Ju said there was nothing really special about it, so we decided to find worse-tasting mee sua to put a name to its brand. The branch in Xmd’s really crowded though, but the queue moves really fast! It’s defo worth a try since you’re there anyway, join in the fun especially in the cold!


阿宗面线 (Ah Zhong Mee Sua)
No.8-1, Emei St., Wanhua District, Taipei City


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We’ve finally checked in after 3 hours of shopping and eating :) Ju bought 3000+NT(~130SGD) worth of apparels in Hero Zero (which I think it’s really affordable for male apparel) and Woodstock. The fifth hour I’m there I think I’m in love with Taipei already. There’s a wide-array of clothing-line, labels, and apparels for men so your men will never get bored while shopping with you. Venture out of Xmd, do some research, you’ll end up at Chrome Hearts, NH, CDG and other brands under speciality stores. The ladies will NEVER get bored though.


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We ended up taking the Blue Line (MRT) to 後山埤 (Hou Shan Pi) towards Wu Fen Pu for the legendary 鬍鬚張 (Farmosa Chang). If you like traditional Taiwanese food, then this place is worth a visit for you! We ordered all speciality dishes, and its Tofu dish that literally melts in your mouth.


鬍鬚張 (Farmosa Chang)
台北市永吉路533號


But with my cousin’s recommendation, we have decided that a store in Xmd trumphs Farmosa’s 魯肉飯 any day, and it’s right below our hotel! PLUS!


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We ended up walking at Wu Fen Pu before heading over to Rao He Night Market, quite a walk away but worth it for the food that you’re going to have!


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We followed our noses and decided to have what we felt like having. We hopped in line for every long-queued stall we saw, and I loved the Tako with quail eggs best. Because they had prawn fillings, Ju spent a while getting them out so I could eat the rest. I LOVED IT.


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We ended our night at Club Lava in Taipei. The nearest station is at 市政府 (Taipei City Hall). A taxi over to Club Lava from City Hall is about 100+NT, a pretty short distance I’d say! 300NT for ladies and 600NT for men, free flow of drinks which sent me straight back to the hotel after a few hours of drinks and dance with my cuzzies! It’s a reunion in Taipei! :) If you get to go Club Luxy, I heard it’s much better than Lava, it’s worth a try! And you get to smoke/ sheesha in it too! No more walking to smoking corners~~

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