Taipei City, Taiwan (Part 1 of 2)
Continue on to: Taipei City, Taiwan (Part 2 of 2)
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It’s been years since I am back to Taipei, Taiwan!
My friends and I loved to shop around Ximending when we travelled to Taiwan. That was then. Now that I am older and hitting the big 3-0, the crowd and clothes around Ximending are not really suited for me nor to my liking.
But anyhow, it’s amazing to see Taipei through more mature lenses. Though this Part 1 of Taipei seems more like a foodie post, I promise Part 2 will be more of Taipei’s creative energies.
♕ DAY 0.5 ♕
Huayin Street 華陰街
Reached Taipei from Hualien in the afternoon.
This street is near Taipei Main Station.
STAR HOSTEL, where we stayed for the next few nights. Read review of this hostel.
KARI, the signature donut is sooo delicious that you will want to go back for more. Fried and crispy. Make sure to get the signature donut, which looks like the one on their shop sign.
Tip: Most of the food stores at Huayin Street open late in the morning and close early in the evening. Hence, it’s best to go in the afternoon – to have lunch or tea break snacking.
BEEF NOODLES LUNCH IN A SMALL ALLEY.
Pepper Biscuit 胡椒饼
Just beside Star Hostel at Huayin Street is an awesome tasting pepper biscuit 胡椒饼! This was even better than the famed one in Raohe night market. But this could be because we bought it at the right time – just when the biscuit is fresh and hot out of oven. Moreover, there’s no queue at this Huayin Street stall – probably because of the hours and obscure location. Though we heard from the Star Hostel staff that the shop usually take hours before a fresh batch is out, and it’s usually sold out very quickly. So we were lucky!
The pepper biscuit we tried at Raohe market tasted a bit uncooked, probably due to the hasty preparation for the long queue. But the Raohe team has impressive speed and coordination.
Left: Huayin Street | Right: Raohe Market
Raohe Night Market 饒河街夜市
Night markets are everywhere in Taiwan. And Raohe St Night Market is one of the major ones in Taipei. Though it’s not as big as Shilin.
“…one of the oldest night markets in Songshan District, Taipei. The Ciyou Temple is near the east end of the market.” – Wikipedia
Is this why the entrance gate of Raohe market looks like one of a temple’s?
Opening Hours? 5:00pm to 12:00 am
How to get there? Train to Songshan Railway Station (松山火車站) OR take MRT on Bannan Line (板南線) to Houshanpi Station (捷運後山埤站). For details on how to walk from the stations, or other traveling options, click here.
Tip: You can consider going to Wufenpu (scroll down) before going to Raohe Night Market. They are near to each other.
I first got to know of this cafe because its logo kept appearing at the end credits of a Taiwan variety talk show I watch, Kangxilaile (康熙来了). And with some of my online snooping skills, I found out that this cafe in Taiwan is opened by a rich Taiwanese ABC
Anyhow, they have many branches, and each with a different colour theme! I sort of went to 3 in my short stay in Taiwan. =X If I live in Taiwan, I am sure to visit all the outlets… to conquer them all! Smart marketing.
Check the various locations and timings here:
1) Dazzling Cafe Sunshine (Yellow)
THE HONEY TOAST IS AWESOME.
Break it open, and it’s a tantalising visual experience.
Put it in your mouth, and you will go woooaah!
It was so gooood that we guessed that their main course would be delicious too! But we were too full to eat at Dazzling sunshine. Hence we decided to go to another outlet later in our trip to try their Spaghetti menu.
2) Dazzling Cafe Mint (Green)
We went to Dazzling Mint to eat their spaghetti menu, only to find out that they only have dessert menu. >.<
Probably best if they indicate this in their EN website, or did I miss it?
But thankfully, there’s another Dazzling cafe nearby for us to dig in.
p.s. they have a Dazzling mint cafe in Singapore (The Capitol). However, the service and toast were definitely not as good as in Taiwan. And S$20.00 just for a honey toast ice cream that disappointed us.
3) Dazzling Cafe Pink
So finally we tried their Spaghetti dish…
and it didn’t disappoint! :)
This outlet could be their first and thus oldest. Visible wear and tear, especially on the outside.
♕ DAY 2 ♕
Yong Kang Street 永康街
What’s there? If you are a foodie, this is your paradise.
Getting There: By train, take the blue line to Zhongxiao Xinsheng station and change to the yellow line to Dongmen Station. Otherwise, cab to Yong Kang Street and drop at Din Tai Fung.
We didn’t actually know about this foodie paradise. We went to that area because we wanted to visit the original Din Tai Fung located at that area. Then it was when we came across the map (below) mounted on a street pillar, that we realised that we’ve stumbled into a food cove.
So I googled and found a English food guide for Yong Kang Street for you to explore with. :)
1) Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐
We went to the original Dintaifung place for lunch. To where it all started.
The xiaolongbao was good, if not better than the ones in Singapore. But the food generally tastes the same as their outlets anywhere. So unless, you are a big fan of Din Tai Fung, you can skip this place and visit other food places at Yong Kang Street (read below).
Opening Hours: Weekdays 10:00am to 9:00pm | Weekend 9:00am to 9:00pm
Address: No.194 Second Section, Xinyi Road, Taipei 111-0021, Taiwan (MRT Dongmen Station Exit 5)
Side Track: We went to this book shop beside Din Tai Fung and saw an interesting “vending” machine. Press any number and see the wooden toy on that respective numbered platform come to life! Amazing.
2) Smoothie House 思慕昔
So after our Din Tai Fung lunch, we decided to find dessert around Yong Kang Street.
Saw this huge yellow shop – 思慕昔 (Smoothie House). So decided to try their Mango Snowflake Ice with Panna Cotta. The Panna Cotta is nothing too special. But I love how the Snowflake Ice melts in my mouth…
Wu Fen Pu 五分埔
What’s there? If you love shopping for bargain clothes! More specifically, it is an area best known for wholesale garment market, located in the Xinyi District of Taipei, Taiwan.
Shopping Verdict? Wholesale means you need to buy more than 2 pieces to get a good price. Back in those days, the shop owners were quite proud and refused to sell individual pieces. With an onslaught of options for online shopping to get bargain and nice clothes, the designs and prices here now pale in comparison. But if you still love shopping for bargains at brick and mortar, be sure to schedule in 2 to 3 hours to comb and shop the area.
Tips: Most of the shops do not have a fitting/changing room, and sell free size & ‘not-so-good-quality’ clothes.
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 11:00am – 12:00am | Weekend: 11:00am – 09:00pm
Getting There: 1) Take Taipei MRT-Bannan Line (捷運板南線) to MRT Houshanpi Station (捷運後山埤站). Use Exit 1 and walk towards Zhongpo N. Road and Yonji Road intersection (中坡北路永吉路口). 2) Or train to Songshan Railway Station (松山火車站) and walk towards Songshan Road(松山路). 3) For bus option, click here.
Tip: Plan your trip to Raohe Night Market after your day at Wufenpu. See how close they are in the map below.
Hungry? On the way to the wholesale area from Housanpi MRT station, you can consider dropping by Formosa Chang, Hu Xu Zhang Lu Rou Fan (Braised Meat Rice) 鬍鬚張魯肉飯 at 533 Yongji Road for a delicious and affordable lunch. We were told to go to this outlet to buy a few packets of its famous sauce back to Singapore as gifts. Only to find out later that they have other outlets in Taipei – one near our hostel. =x
After meal snack? Walking around Wufenpu area, we spotted this ice cream lady, wrapping ice cream with paper-like crepe or pancake sprinkled with peanut candy crushed on the spot. Spot that big block beside her.
Peanut Ice Cream Wrap
FATTER BY HOUR IN TAIWAN.
Other useful links:
Directions to Raohe: travelking.com.tw/eng/tourguide/taipei/raohe-st-night-market
Yong Kang Street Guide: ladyironchef.com/2013/08/taipei-yong-kang-street-guide
Formosa Chang, Hu Xu Zhang Lu Rou Fan: www.fmsc.com.tw/en/index.php#pageCont7
Wufenpu /Raohe Night Market Map: www.goingplaces.sg/taipei/raohe-night-market
Travels During July 2014
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