Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Taiwan (2013) Day 4 - 6: Around Taipei City

Date Visited: 29th November to 1st December 2013

To cut the long story short, I decided to consolidate my Taipei travelogues which I went in 2013 into one blogpost, instead of day to day travelogues like I always did. After spending 3 days and 2 nights in Taichung, a day trip to Shifen and an overnight trip in Jiufen, we proceeded to the vibrant and lively of Taipei city, the national capital of Taiwan. 

Here are the list of where we went and what we did in Taipei:

1) Ximending
Also known as "Harajuku of Taipei", Ximending is one of the most happening and bustling shopping district in Wanhua District of Taipei, favourite spot among young adult and young people. Majority of the visitors prefer to stay here cause there are massive variety of interesting and boutique hotels, eclectic restaurants, pubs, cafe and fashion clothing shops surrounding the area. I even decided to stay here when I went back Taiwan for the third time this year. 

Taipei Ximending
#1: Ximending - the pedestrian shopping haven

One thing that attract me to visit Ximending for the second time is mainly for its historic Red House Theater which can be seen right after came out from the MRT Ximen station, Exit 1. Besides being a theater, it also serves as a small museum to showcase the memories of old movies and the history behind Ximending and Red Hous Theater. But the main reason behind I was there is because there are plenty of shops displaying creative and fashionable items and products by the young and talented local artists. This is my favourite place to hunt for vintage items and I went twice eventually throughout my trip. Because we were there on the weekend, we're lucky to visit their weekend bazaar outside the Red House. 

Taiwan - Red House XiMenDing
#2: Red House Theater - MRT Ximen Station Exit 1

Taiwan - Red House XiMenDing 01
#3: Creative and fashionable items and products by the young and talented local artists

Ximending is filled with a long list street food and famous dishes - which one of them is Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodle. This well-known traditional dish is always crowded with both local and foreign tourists and most of the times, the long queue is unavoidable by every visitors. But it won't take long until our turn to have piping hot bowl of so-called "mee sua" filled with pig intestines and thick gravy. Unfortunately for me, I found it to be so-so only - reason why cause I don't enjoy myself eating intestines at all. Kinda gross, man!

Taipei Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodle Ximending
#4: Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodle - Taiwanese flour rice noodles filled with pig intestines
Serve in two sizes - Small (NT$50) and large (NT$65)

How To Get To Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodle: MRT Ximen Station - Exit 6. From there, walk down to Emei Street which takes about two minutes or less from the station. 

2) Beitou (北投)
Situated in northern district of Taipei city, Beitou is notable for being one of the largest concentrations of hot springs and spas in the world. This is an ideal getaway from the bustle and hustle of big city and soaking yourself in a natural hot spring. One can either make it for a day trip, or even overnight in the countless of hotels and resorts overlooking the Beitou Valley.

Taipei Beitou Hot Spring 01
#5: Beitou's tourist attractions 

Besides soaking in the natural hot spring, generally there are plenty of things to do and see in Beitou - such as pay a visit at Beitou Hot Springs Museum and Ketagalan Culture Center, catch a glimpse of the beautiful settings of Beitou Public Library, or even hold your breath at Thermal Valley and etc.   

Taipei Beitou Hot Spring 02

#6: Man Lai Hot Spring Ramen - popular spot for lunch and dinner
Must try: Miso Ramen with braised pork and hot spring eggs 


Taipei Beitou Hot Spring 03#7: Thermal Valley, also known as Hell Valley is the famous landmark sign of Beitou 

Brief info of Thermal Valley:
Admission is free and it opens on every Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. Close on every Monday.  

Taiwan - Beitou Public Library
#8: Beitou Public Library is being constructed to be an eco-friendly green building 

How To Get To Beitou: Take MRT heading to Beitou station. Get off and change train to Xin Beitou station. 

3) Tamsui Town 
From Xin Bei Tou, we moved on to Tamsui, a port town situated nearby the riverside. It took almost half an hour by train and by the time we arrived, we managed to witness the beautiful golden sunset. 

Taiwan - Damshui
#9: Mesmerising golden sunset view in Tamsui town 


Initially our plan is to go the Fisherman's Wharf which requires to ride on the boat to cross over but due to time constraint, we decided to cancel our plan and focus on Tamsui Old Street instead. There are abundant of traditional food stalls and souvenir shops nestled along left and righ of these old streets which we really enjoyed with. Some shops even gave free sampling to the customers and what we got for ourselves here - Taiwanese local snacks and confectioneries such as the popular pineapple cakes, yam cake, sun cake and more. 


Taipei Tamshui
#10: Tamsui Old Street 

Taipei Tamshui 01
#11: Abundant of food stalls and souvenir shops in Tamshui area 

How To Get To Tamsui Old Street: MRT Tamsui. Exit the station and turn left, from there walk along the waterfront. The trip takes around 40 minutes from Taipei Main Station. 


4) Taipei 101
No introduction is needed for this popular iconic and landmark supertall skyscraper of Taiwan. Talking about Taiwan and majority one would instantly mention about Taipei 101. Designed to resemble the gigantic bamboo stalk, besides serving as a financial center, the base of the building houses multi-level of vibrant shopping mall, restaurants, food court and international high fashion boutique stores. Well of course, my friends and I were here not to shopping but to go up the observatory for the breathtaking panoramic view of Taipei city.  

Taipei 101 01
#12: LOVE signboard that one is not allowed to be inside but I guess the security guard couldn't see me cause of my attire - super red from top to bottom 

Visitors are only allowed up to 86, 87 and 91 floors of the building. What amazed us is the incredibly fastest elevator whereby it took less than a minute from first floor directly up to 86th floor. 

Taipei 101 02
#13: Breathtaking panoramic view of Taipei city

Taipei 101 03
#14: Tuned mass damper to withstands the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors 

Taipei 101 04
#15: Sending postcards from one of the tallest buildings

Admission Fee: NT$50
Opening Hours: 11.00 am to 9.30 pm daily
How To Get To Taipei 101: MRT Taipei City Hall Station or MRT Taipei 101 Station 

7 comments:

  1. Taiwan definitely one of the country I wish to revisit :)

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  2. I would love to visit Taiwan. Try its food, see the sunset and visit the hot spring. ^^

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  3. Thank you very much for sharing valuable tips and info. All your photos are very colourful and nice. I like the sunset and aerial view of Taipei city!! It is so huge and congested. I must remember to visit Beitou in future as I was always on the rush in Taiwan like a typhoon.

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  4. Have not been there before. One of these days hopefully can visit there

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  5. You have been visiting Taiwan for the 3rd time, it shows that Taiwan is a nice country to visit. This post of yours has giving me some ideas of where to visit when I go to Taiwan.

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  6. If have chance to Taiwan, I would like to try for hot spring in Beitou :D

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