PLACE TO GO IN TAIPEI

13 September 2017



Having heard about the amazing night markets and the abundance of delicious food, I knew Taipei would be a city that any food lover should visit at some point. And so I was excited to visit Taipei for the third time in my life. Taipei is a very friendly city. There is no worry at all even if you travel alone. It’s easy and hassle free to get around, there’s an amazing selection of restaurants and street food, and the night markets, with their never ending supply of interesting foods, are a highlight. 

So, i land at TaoYuan Airport upon arrival. It takes about an hour or more to get from the airport to the center of the city if you take a cab ( depends on the traffic) Well, for me, i took the TaoYuan International Airport MRT to the city. It is more convenient, faster and cheaper. It took me around 45 minutes to get to my home stay.

HOW I GET TO THE CITY FROM TAOYUAN AIRPORT

Airport Station ---> Taipei Main Station (  NT160)
Taipei Main Station ---> XiMenDing (NT20)

Basically, at Taipei Station you can get the local Metro to whichever station you need to get to. The Metro Taipei is extremely nice and convenient, and very affordable as well. If you are lazy to take the Metro, take a cab. It is not too expensive too. 

For Internet connection, you may book https://www.travelrecommends.com for a portable wifi with unlimited data where you can share with your friends during travel. My best companion during travel! 

I booked a room from HOMEAWAY which is located at XI MEN DING. The reason why i chose XI MEN DING because i’m more familiar with that area. 西門町 Ximending in Taipei is like ‘Harajuku and Shibuya. Every tourist who visit Taipei will definitely include this place in their itinerary. 
XiMenDing
I love Taipei because it has an incredible food culture, and there seems to be a never ending supply of delicious and interesting foods, interesting coffee to try. Well, this post i’m going to share about some highlights of the food places and also some interesting places i’ve been this round. 


#1 SHOPPING IN EAST DISTRICT 东区

Well, now i know where to hang out besides XI MEN DING. I have to say, i love this place more! Within this tangle of streets and lanes are numerous restaurants, shops, cafés, stores, and small boutiques. You can find most of the street wear brands here, for example Champion, Stussy etc. If you are a fans of streetwear, be ready to spend your money here. 



There is a lot of Instagram worthy corner you can find at those small boutique around that area.

HOW TO GET THERE ?

Metro - Zhong Xiao Dun Hua Station 忠孝敦化站


# JOIN THE ART WORKSHOPS 

As i mentioned earlier, this is the third time visiting Taipei. I’ve been to most of the main attraction during my last visits, so i thought it would be more fun to try something special. This place is located within the grounds of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區), Taipei New Horizon is a shopping centre home to a new Eslite Living (誠品生活), a multi-storey mall, as well as independent merchants selling unique art pieces and running workshops for the public to join.But still, it is better to book it in advance.

There are many creative art workshops (can you DIY yourself). There are many different workshops  including custom jewelry production, embroidery, Japanese-style plants and decoration, glass blowing, DIY ceramic art studio, custom leather products, and countless other interesting products. You can learn more about local art industry and maybe take home a handmade unique souvenir for friends and family. 
Well for me, i took the photography class at Motai Art 莫泰藝術. The whole class is around 3 hours, including the outdoor photo shoot ( by the photographer using his camera ), 3 B/W photos and the photo making experience. The fees is around NT3950, quite pricey but if you are really into photography and curious about the process of photo making during the old times, why not. 

I chose the one on the left. 

Our teacher of the day, also the photographer of the day
Step by step. That’s why it is so precious.
The photo is in B/W because it was how we started off in photography, and how we saw our images in print during the old days. I took photograph a lot but this one is a totally different experiences, where you can get a peace of mind to start things from zero once again. It has been a while i never see film in my life. I still remember those days before digital camera came in. Every single click is so precious and everything was so real and irreplaceable back then. Now, look how has the digital camera changed over time. It is really good to appreciate the things we had once a while. 
The outcome of the photo. 
Well, If you don’t have enough time to join the workshops, you can still visit that place.
 It's a good place for a stroll as there are some cafe inside the mall. 

For the workshops, you can check the schedule and timetable HERE

誠品生活松菸店 Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store
Address : 110台灣台北市信義區松德路204號
Eslite Spectrum is open daily from 11:00am to 10:00pm
Phone: +886 2 6636 5888


How to get there - MRT BLUE LINE, Taipei City Hall Station EXIT 1


NOW, it’s all about EATERY.................hahaha


#3 DINNER AT MUME TAIPEI

This is one of the Taipei’s Newest Trendsetting Restaurants. In the past, when I go to Taiwan, food that immediately comes to mind are local snacks, cheap food, and beef noodles!  Rarely does the word "fine dining" comes to mind.  Recently, it has been changed as a wave of modern western restaurants opened in Taipei and this is one of the trending one, also it’s one the Asia Top 50 best restaurant list! Basically, it modern European cuisine more on a casual fine dining together while using some of the best local ingredients available in the market in Taiwan. 

Love the cement and minimalist setting at the entrance. You know how much i love modern interiors.

The Menu
Fancy dinner on to go...Every dish was so pretty, decorated with flowers, swirls, patterns and more
Everything is a piece of art, not just to flavor, visually, fusion of aromas, simplicity.
What to order - BBQ Pork Ribs, Liver Brûlée, Wagyu Tartare

Love the food, especially the BBQ pork ribs, very flavourful and juicy. The portion is perfect (for small eater like me), you can order a few for sharing so that you can try more different dishes. The only things is that there is not much choice in the menu, not enough dishes to choose from. BTW, it is also a MUST to make reservation before you go. So, make your reservation earlier to avoid disappointment. haha. 

MUME
No. 28, Siwei Rd 四維路28號 大安區 (Da’an District)
Call : (02) 2700-0901  
MRT: DaAn or XinYi/AnHe Station
Hours: 6PM -12AM (last order at 10PM). Closed Mondays



#4 TRY THE JAPANESE CUISINE 

I’m a big fans of Japanese cuisine. Well, i know Sushi very good grip in Taipei so i ate one of the best few. 魚道生 is more like a Kaiseki, not just sushi courses but with some grilled and different ingredients, slightly different with Oribe and Sushi Hinata i’ve been in KL. There is no menu for the set, you can only order accordingly to the different price sets. Feel free to ask the waiter for assistant, they are more than happy to explain. The services is good, probably all of the restaurant in TW is well trained. Most of the Taiwanese are super friendly, i must say. 
Remember to book in advance for the sushi bar seat. 
The food is like a piece of ART
Overall, everything is good. It would be better if the sashimi can be colder and the rice be less moisture. (personal preferences) hahaha. But still, the tastes, presentable, services, everything is good. Worth to try. 

魚道生日式料理
Address: No. 13號, Lane 199, Section 4, Xinyi Road, Da’an District, Taipei City
 Hours: Open today · 12AM–2PM, 6–10PM 
Phone: +886 2 2702 4323


#5 EAT THE YAKINIKU - HU TONG 胡同燒肉

Besides japanese cuisine, Taiwanese BBQ is another must-eat when traveling to Taiwan. Especially this one. The shop i visited is the 4th chain shops in Taipei. Mainly because the rest are fully booked. It can be difficult to get a reservation — even with six branches in Taipei alone. It is better to book your reservation earlier before your visit here - http://www.hutong.com.tw/reservation.php
 fresh scallop with raw crab roe as the starter
The service is excellent too, you have no worry about how to grill the food. There are skillful waiters/ waitresses whom always standby to help cooking the meat for you. 
The BBQ food was great.You don't need to get extra sauce for the BBQ meat. They are already very yummy and juicy in your first bite. Especially like the beef tongue, especially eaten with the freshly chopped onions and spring onions spiked with the fragrant lime juices. 

What to order - Ox tongue ( Cause I’m ox tongue fans), Chicken Cartilage soft-bone in Salted Style, 
If you are a meat lover, don’t miss it! 

HU TONG 衚同燒肉4號店
Call : 02-2777-2549
Address : 台北市大安區仁愛路四段91巷12號
Daily from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (final call 11 p.m.)




# HOTPOT IN DING WANG

How can you not eat the HOTPOT when you are in Taipei? It’s a MUST to try out this famous hotpot in Taipei - DING WANG HOTPOT. There is a lot of outlets around Taipei, but still it is always full. It is better to make a reservation to avoid the hassle. Without reservation, you might need to wait for 45-60minutes for a table. Also, there is a time limitation to dine in, which is 90minutes per table. 
We ordered a hotpot with two flavours, 麻辣锅 (spicy) & 酸菜白肉锅 (sour veg, white meat). Apparently, there is only twi flavours to choose from. You can also choose the spicy level and the sour level yourself. I requested for the ‘medium’ for both but still, it is not as spicy as i thought. It is very different with the China Hotpot i’ve been. So, if you like spicy, you can go for more. There are vegetables, and duck's blood which are refillable without any extra cost.
Overall, I am rather pleased with this ambiance, the service and the quality of ingredients. However, the soup broth was rather lacking in the spicy kick as i expected. But still, it is quite nice to try. Especially during raining day and cold weather!  

鼎王麻辣鍋 DING WANG HOTPOT 
台北市光復北路89號
Contact: 03-657-1879 (+886 3-657-1879) 
Operating Hours: 11.00 am - 03.00 am (Daily) 
Online Reservation: http://www.eztable.com



WHERE TO STAY?

http://hmwy.co/homeawaywithkaren
Well, this is my second time staying with HOMEAWAY. The first time was in Singapore not long ago and you can check my staying experience HERE. If you’re unfamiliar with HomeAway, let me do a quick introduction. Basically HomeAway is a platform where allows you to choose from many vacation houses that accommodate your entire family or travel squad during travel. Apparently, compare to others hotel booking, HomeAway is more economical and more spacious. Perfect for people who travel with a group of friends and family. 
The living room is well decorated
There is two queen bed in the house.

There is also a kitchen just in case we need to cook or heat something up
The Toilet. There is water heater, shampoo, shower gel, towel. Everything you need. 
Overall, I’m pretty satisfy with my stays as it is super convenient and worth of money. The host, Cindy is very helpful, friendly and sweet! She was there to welcome me upon arrival, she always send me a map to find the location of the house. The location is good too! Less than 5 minutes away to the Metro, and there are many restaurants around that open until late night, don’t worry about getting hungry. LOL. The host literally bring me for a quick home tour and explain everything to me. Everything is well prepared and i feel like home. 

The best things about renting a HOMEWAY is you have the whole place to yourself and loved ones for the entire duration of your stay. Will definitely book HomeAway again on my next upcoming trip!  For those who have upcoming trip, Feel free to use the discount code < HomeAwayKarenKho > enjoy 8% discount when you do your booking on homeaway.com.my Hurry up, plan your trip now.

Here’s the link for quick booking http://hmwy.co/homeawaywithkaren

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