Holla! Pardon the unimaginative title, creativity is in short supply because I’m sleep deprived (I know, what else is new right?). Anyhoo, let’s get on with it then!
So, this was the trip that nobody knew about until I went on the plane. And I must say. t’was a fun trip although I did gain weight after I got back… *dark*
It was a girls trip with only my mum and I as my brother was more interested in staying home and playing his computer games rather than traveling and my dad had to work.
My mum and I at the boarding hall. Pardon the swollen eyes and bare faces. I had to wake up at 5.30am, and there’s no way anybody can look hot at that kind of ungodly hour.
Low cost carrier at a low cost terminal means hauling your luggage and walking 2864 miles to reach the plane.
Fast forward a couple of hours after I caught up on some much needed sleep on the plane…
And I look human again! (You might have seen the cropped version of this in my instagram a few weeks back lol)
Landed at Taoyuan Airport!
Here’s my mum in the Taipei airport!
And me, of course.
After redeeming my youth travel card and the digital tour buddy, we then took the Guo Guang Bus to Taipei Main Station which was the nearest station to our hotel. If you’re aged between 15-30, go apply for the youth travel card and digital tour buddy! It’s absolutely free and is part of the government’s initiatives to encourage youths to travel. 🙂 More info can be found in their website.
Our bus tickets! NTD125 each and takes you directly from the airport to the Taipei Main Station. And check out the awesome itinerary courtesy of my OCD-ness. I do all the itineraries in our trips overseas. -_-
After a 40-minute journey where we took in sights of everything and wondered aloud if the construction workers building a highway were immigrants like what we have here or if they were Taiwanese, we arrived at the Taipei Main Station (They weren’t immigrants, by the way).
Obligatory touristy shots with a stationary train at the train station wtf.
When I was researching for the trip, I thought it’d be reasonably easy to navigate the Taipei Metro System seeing that everything in the city is well-connected. Little did I know, the Taipei Main Station is freaking ginormous. -_______- I don’t know how many times we’ve gotten lost inside the station itself during the first few days of the trip.
Huge-ass Christmas tree in the lobby.
This is where all the transit for metro, normal railway and the high speed rail takes place. Even the bus station is just a stone throw away. Imagine KL Sentral but much much bigger and of course, much cleaner as well. There are several underground malls at the Taipei Main Station which are quite worth a visit, seeing that the things are quite reasonably priced.
We stayed at CityInn III which is part of a really popular hotel chain in Taipei. CityInn II is just next door and CityInn I is a bit further away.
Be warned though that their rooms get fully booked really fast. We booked ours way back in February after we got back from Bangkok. The price (about RM150 per night), cleanliness and facilities (self service bar and laundry room all for free) makes this a highly recommended hotel to stay in! The only grouch would be that it is a bit far to walk from the metro to the hotel. It takes about 20minutes to walk from the metro to the exit of the station (yeah, it’s that huge) and probably another 5 minutes before you reach the hotel. And believe me, after a looooong day of walking all over town, the last thing I felt like doing was navigate the underground maze of the Taipei Main Station. The first day itself we took 40minutes navigating the underground maze before we could find the right exit FOL. -______________________-
Our funky room door. Each room has a different design on the door and ours is actually at the end of the hallway.
A very useful mirror right outside! Expect to see a few more photos like this in future posts.
Interior. Quite spacious and please excuse my sweater on the bottom left corner.
Free snacks that changes from time to time. Room service will refill them everyday! Yay for free stuff (kiasu)!
A look at the whole table. And say hi my humongous handbag.
TV! We were obsessed with the shopping channels that sold everything from pots to storage boxes to live crabs wtf. And one Japanese channel that does home makeovers that are super amazing.
Bathroom with an amazing rain shower that I’ve missed sorely ever since I came back. T-T
Hi! Here you can see a bit of the sink and a very disheveled me. What? It was sweltering! Whoever said it was autumn in Taipei was lying. -_- 27 degrees is NOT autumn weather.
After we freshened up a bit, it was off to the most famous night market in Taipei – Shihlin night market 士林夜市! Yay!
But first, we had to walk all the way to the metro… Their metro is brightly lit, clean and surprisingly spacious.
A question, why do our LRT/KTM/monorail stink? Like literally. I’ve taken the MRT in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Taipei and none of their trains have the kind of musty sour smell ours have. I really cannot understand. Does the fact that our trains are NEVER cleaned has anything to do with it?
I digress. Here are some of the stuff we saw (and ate) at the Shihlin night market 士林夜市.
The very famous Hu Jiao Bing 胡椒饼. The queue was massively long and I’ve read multiple recommendations online about it so we did the touristy thing and lined up for it.
青蛙下蛋 which we didn’t try.
Boneless chicken feet (50NTD) which wasn’t boneless at all. And it was cold, like just-took-out-from fridge kind of cold. -_- Nevertheless, having eaten nothing since breakfast, we devoured it. There was also a packet of lu wei 卤味 (80NTD) which didn’t last long enough to be photographed. Heh.
Hu Jiao Bing 胡椒饼 that looked like an oversized siew pao.
The insides. It’s basically meat with spring onion inside a pastry bun. The meat however, was very juicy and springy. So much so that when my mum tried to pull it apart for me to take photos of the fillings, the meat just bounced apart. I took one look and burst into laughter at the sight because you really don’t get to see bouncy minced meat very often.
Low light conditions coupled with uncontrollable laughter from both of us meant photos like this.
Here’s the packaging in case you’re interested. At 45NTD, it’s honestly quite worth it as they really don’t skimp on the filling. I’m not a huge fan of pork so it wasn’t really my cup of tea. If you’re a meat lover though, this would be good. Their original stall is at the Raohe night market 饶河夜市 which I will cover another day.
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce to you, the best oyster mee sua I’ve had in Taipei. This is from a stall that’s in front of the temple and the best part? It’s 20NTD. TWENTY NTD. I could eat this and be happy forever wtf.
Me with the best mee sua ever. Remember, the stall in front of the temple! There’re actually two but look for the one that’s priced at 20NTD.
What temple, you say?
Oh, this temple. Where we sat on the steps and ate our dinner.
My mum with our shopping bags. And a random aunty in a very unglam pose lol.
Crowd in the night market.
Fresh oysters for 40NTD each or 100NTD for 3. Didn’t try because I don’t fancy oysters (except when they are in oyster mee sua or oh-chien, lol).
Fried milk! 1 for 20NTD, 3 for 50NTD.
Mum looking very happy with it.
Here’s how it looks inside. Basically tasted like condensed milk which were battered and fried. Not a fan.
This is a quite common bubble tea stand that can be found in most night markets, if not all. The name literally means Super Large Cup 好了啦超大杯. Their largest size is 1000cc. =.= We bought 2 regular 500cc tea at 15NTD each.
Strangely enough, I didn’t come across any of the “hot” bubble tea franchises (Chatime, Gongcha, Dingtea, etc) in Taipei and I’ve only ever seen one Come Buy shop. By the way, ever since I came back, I balk at the exorbitant price of Chatime. RM5.90 for a cup?! I can get it for 15NTD in Taipei! Same thing happened for my Bangkok trip earlier this year where I found myself completely unable to shop here for several months after seeing Bangkok’s fashion and prices.
I love mushrooms! This is like their famous fried chicken chop, only in mushroom form.
50NTD. Quite good though I think I would’ve preferred the oyster mushroom over these eryngii mushrooms.
They also had these games where you attempt to catch prawns/fishes.
Penis waffles. -__-
Gigantic Taiwan sausages.
Massively long queue for the Hot Star Fried Chicken Chop. Those are bigger than my face and since there really isn’t any space in my stomach for it, I passed.
Tapaoed this back to the hotel for supper.
大肠包小肠 Big sausage wrap small sausage (I almost wrote big intestine -_-) which is basically a Taiwan sausage wrapped with glutinous rice roll. There’s pickled vegetables in there too. I quite liked it too. 😀
Funny stall name.
Game center that is woefully deserted.
Candy store with really nice display.
Autumn/Winter fashion. Why Malaysia no four seasons? D:
Novelty tees. Check out druggy Doraemon. -_-
A very nice looking bakery.
Looks damn nice.
Sky Blue Shop! If you shop online, you might have heard of them. Bought another cup of tea at the shop next door too.
Kitty bag was bought there for 290NTD. 🙂
Taking the metro back!
Both of us were exhausted despite it being only 9pm. -_- Oh, mum was holding another bowl of mee sua which we tapaoed for supper too! This one was 30NTD and is also quite good (though obviously not as yummy as the first).
And thus conclude the first day of our Taipei trip! If all goes right, the second day will follow soon, so stay tuned! 😀
p.s. Has it really been a month since then? T-T I wanna go again, like nao.