Posts tagged Taipei

7 Notes

Last Day in Taipei

We started our last day in Taipei with a super cheap and filling breakfast. We took the MRT to Muzha station and found a small eatery nearby. We each had our own “fan tuan” sticky rice and warm soy milk. We also shared some pan fried turnip cake. This meal cost us less than $2.00 US. image

After breakfast we met up with Lydia’s aunties to browse through Shen Keng Old Street (深坑老街). image

We shopped for peanut brittle. This place makes their brittle on site and one of the best peanut brittles I ever had. image

Next we stopped to taste some fried stinky tofu!image
You can also find grilled stinky tofu as well. I liked them both!image

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For dinner we headed out to Shilin Night Market; the largest night market in Taipei City. Not only is there a lot to eat, there is also a lot to shop and to play. imageSome favorite games include fishing for shrimps and for gold fishes. image

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I was particularly looking forward to some fried chicken. We searched for the famous Hot Star Large Fried Chicken stand. imageThey pound the chicken really thin. It comes out super hot and crispy. It’s bigger than my face!image

A lot of the food stands can be found outside along the streets, but there is a centralized food court located underground. We walked though and settled at a random stand for a stuffed sausage and grilled squid. Taiwanese sausage tends to be on the sweeter side. The white thing around the sausage is not bread, but actually sticky rice that was stuffed into a casing and then split open to wrap around the sausage. It was so good.image

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I’ve always been curious about their famous oyster omelettes (蚵仔煎) after watching so many Taiwanese food shows. Almost every stand had someone making them. imageWe picked a busy/packed stand to try. It must be good right? But I thought it was just okay. It was a little to slimy for my liking. image

And that concludes my trip! Thanks for reading. 

To reach Shilin Night Market take the MRT to Jiantian Station (劍潭站). Don’t be confused with the Shilin Station. Once you get off the train, follow the crowds. Shilin Night Market is right outside. 

1 Notes

Taipei Trip Continue…

I just realized I never finish writing about my Taipei trip when I was there in January. Continuing where I left off…

Day 2 in Taipei

We woke up after our first night and went to search for breakfast near our apartment. We decided to eat at a small but busy little shop across the street. Soy milk is a popular breakfast drink. Get it warm and sweetened.image

I wanted to eat something warm and picked their black pepper noodle with chicken cutlet. Lots of MSG and black pepper. Nothing special.image

Lydia ate a more traditional Taiwanese breakfast “shao bing” which is pan fried dough. You can add egg and meat. imageJen got a chicken burger sandwich with egg.image

The rest of our day consisted of meeting and eating Lydia’s family. It’s great to have her family take us around town, and I got to experience Taipei like a local.

For example, I would have never found this tiny lunch spot that served healthy home cooked set lunches if we didn’t meet up with the Aunties. What I wanted more than anything was to eat some veggies. Each set came with your choice of fish, purple rice, cooked veggies, and soup. It was a one man operation so food came out slow, but this was exactly what I needed. image

Since it was just a few weeks before Chinese New Year, we all went to visit a special new year themed market. imageMaybe because it was the weekend, it was super crowded. There were vendors selling all sorts of Chinese New Year goodies like peanuts and candies. Of course there’s also your typical street food like fried stinky tofu!image

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We walked and shopped and walked some more. At one point we stopped for some red bean cakes. You can also get these filled with cream as well.image

For dinner, we decided to try this noodle restaurant near our apartment. I tried the beef noodle soup. It was delicious. I can’t remember the name of the place. image

Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos. And thanks to your family for showing us around town!

6 Notes

Taipei Day 1: Living and Eating like a Local (sort of)

We flew out of Osaka and arrived in Taipei in the late afternoon. Looking to save some money, we decided to book an apartment in Taipei rather than spend $200 a night for a hotel. I found an apartment rental through www.vrbo.com and made several inquiries for apartments throughout Taipei city prior to the trip. We decided on an apartment located in the Daan District. It was nicely located within walking distance to some great food locations, about 7 minutes away from the MRT subway station, and it was pretty well priced at around US$82/day. The apartment was clean and just enough space for 3 people. We were living among the locals. image

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Lydia has family in Taipei and her cousin Meng met up with us at the apartment. Meng had a whole itinerary planned out for us. Our first stop was dinner at Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐), the original store located on Xinyi Road in Daan. When in Taipei, Din Tai Fung is a mandatory stop. Everyone goes there for their famous paper thin yet juicy soup dumplings.image

Being the original restaurant, the Xinyi Road location usually is pretty crowded but we were seated pretty quickly. Over the few years, many other stores have opened around Taipei as well as overseas. They must get a lot of Japanese tourist because all waiters and waitresses speak fluent Japanese. For a second, I thought I was back in Japan. image

I particularly love their Shanghainese appetizers especially the drunken chicken and pickled spicy cucumbers. image

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We ordered a round of soup dumplings and some other vegetarian dumplings to share. image

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So good! I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Next we walked to a nearby night market and settled for some pan fried dumplings. Made on the street, fried on the street, and eat on the street. So good! imageimage

Next we went to look for shaved ice! I did not get to eat shaved ice the last time I came to Taipei so I was really looking forward to it. Meng took us to this famous local dessert spot. imageWe shared a strawberry shaved ice and a bowl of hot peanut tong yuan (sweet glutenous rice ball). It was so refreshing and good. I was in heaven!image

After shaved ice, we walked back into the night market. Taipei is filled with night markets where various vendors set up shop. Vendor range from clothing, jewelry,to all kinds of food. It’s especially busy during the weekends. I found a gua boa stand (steamed bun wrapped around fatty pork) I just had to have one! Lydia and I each got one to go and ate it while walking back to our apartment. I love Taipei!image

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More eating in Taipei to come!

Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos.

4 Notes

The best Taiwanese breakfast. All this for less than US$2.00…warm soy milk, turnip cake, and rice roll.

The best Taiwanese breakfast. All this for less than US$2.00…warm soy milk, turnip cake, and rice roll.

6 Notes

Snacking on a red bean cake (紅豆餅)

Snacking on a red bean cake (紅豆餅)

3 Notes

Roaming around Taipei Shida Night Market. Stopped for a piping hot gua bao filled chunks of fatty pork belly, pickled veggies, peanut powder, and cilanto. TW$50/pc.

Roaming around Taipei Shida Night Market. Stopped for a piping hot gua bao filled chunks of fatty pork belly, pickled veggies, peanut powder, and cilanto. TW$50/pc.

2 Notes

First stop in Taipei-at 鼎泰豐 信義店 (Din Tai Fung) for soup dumplings!

First stop in Taipei-at 鼎泰豐 信義店 (Din Tai Fung) for soup dumplings!

5 Notes

I’m so ready for Taiwan part 2.  Just not sure when I’ll be back.
Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.  I hiked up Elephant Mountain to get this shot on my first night in Taipei.
Oh, what sweet memories…
The sense of happiness, that I was able to find this place without a proper map.
The exhaustion of hiking up a mountain without the proper shoes, clothing, and hydration.
The sense of awe from the beauty of the landscape surrounding me.
The anticipation of waiting for the sunset with a bunch of strangers in a foreign land.
And finally a little bit of embarrassment because I had the tiniest camera among the group.
Ahh, it was the best part of my entire trip!

I’m so ready for Taiwan part 2. Just not sure when I’ll be back.

Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world. I hiked up Elephant Mountain to get this shot on my first night in Taipei.

Oh, what sweet memories…

  • The sense of happiness, that I was able to find this place without a proper map.
  • The exhaustion of hiking up a mountain without the proper shoes, clothing, and hydration.
  • The sense of awe from the beauty of the landscape surrounding me.
  • The anticipation of waiting for the sunset with a bunch of strangers in a foreign land.
  • And finally a little bit of embarrassment because I had the tiniest camera among the group.

Ahh, it was the best part of my entire trip!

4 Notes

Man with his horn, selling ice cream in front of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall MRT Station in Taipei. Flavors include Peanut, Strawberry, and Pineapple. 

Man with his horn, selling ice cream in front of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall MRT Station in Taipei. Flavors include Peanut, Strawberry, and Pineapple. 

11 Notes

Sketching the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan.

Take the MRT to CKS Memorial Hall Station exit 5.

4 Notes

Sketching the National Theatre at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall during the day.

At night, when the lights are all turned on the National Theatre look so majestic. I actually think it looks so much better at night. My photo does not do it justice. It’s so beautiful. 

3 Notes

Sketching the Main Gate at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall during the day. Also a night view.

7 Notes

My first stop after checking into my hotel in Taipei was to grab lunch at Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung is most famous for their soup dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao. The first original shop is located on Da’an Street in Taipei. Due to it’s popularity, there are many branches not only around Taipei, but also all over the world. Unfortunately, one hasn’t made it to New York yet. I stopped by their Zhongxiao Branch which was just 2 blocks away from my hotel.

There are 10 pieces with one order of Xiao Long Bao. In addition, I also ordered a bowl of hot and sour soup and a small dish of sauteed sugar pea shoots with garlic. First, the dumplings were delicious. The wrapper was so thin, yet sturdy enough to not break when you like it up with your chopsticks. They come piping hot, so if you don’t want to scald your tongue with the juices inside the dumpling, let them cool just a little bit. The hot and sour soup was just okay; it wasn’t sour enough or spicy enough. The pea shoots sauteed with just some fresh garlic were perfect. 

If I closed my eyes and just listened to the table conversations next to me, I swear I was in Japan. Din Tai Fung is quite popular with Japanese tourist, and all the servers speak Japanese fluently. In addition to Chinese and English the menus also have Japanese.

Din Tai Fung, Taipei Zhongxiao Branch, No. 218, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Rd., Da’an District, Taipei City (Alley 216)