Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Taiwan Sep 2014: Taipei Places We Visited

Ximen Ding 西

Taiwan has many Japanese influences and the name of this street is one example. Ximen 西means East Gate and Ding in Japanese is read “machi” which means street. Though open in the day, this street lined with eateries and shopping comes alive at night. A popular hangout among youngsters, you can find various Japanese restaurants and fashion shops.

There is a shop selling dog apparel near the entrance of Ximen Ding and I got a kimono for melody :)

If you intend to get gadgets and camera equipment, Hankou street near exit 6 of Ximen station is a good place to go. I got my Hello Kitty camera bag from there.

Access: Take the MRT to Ximen station (from Taipei Main station: 1 stop blue line westward toward Yongning)

Shilin night market 士林夜市

A popular night bazaar with lots of shopping and local food, your visit to Taipei will not be complete without popping by this night market. You may want to stay away from stinky beancurd stalls if you can't stand the pungent smell.

Obscene cakes!

Access: Take the MRT to Jiantan station (from Taipei main station: 5 stops red line northward toward Tamsui) and follow the crowd.

Maokong Cable Car 猫空缆车
There was a hello kitty theme (6 Dec 2013 - 5 Dec 2014) when we went so we took the cable car to Maokong where Taipei 101 and a good view of Taipei can be seen. We took the crystal cabins which have glass bottoms. We tried a Tie Guanyin ice cream at a shop opposite the Maokong gondola station and love it!

Maokong Jian 猫空 café is a good place to chill and take in the sights. To get there, go straight through the row of food stalls after getting off Maokong station and keep walking until you see the café sign which cannot be missed. There are also tea-houses serving tea-inspired dishes after Maokong Jian.

You may buy entrance tickets for Maokong station or just use your you you card if you already have one. Do get the you you card 游卡 as it can be topped up and used for travel as well as purchases at convenience stalls such as 7-eleven, Family Mart etc. You also get a 20% off travels using the you you card eg if the trip costs TWD30, you pay TWD24 with the you you card.

We got the hello kitty you you cards :)

There are 4 gondola stops. Try to go straight to Maokong and not stop in between because we saw people who got off at the intermediate stations not able to get back on the cable car to go back down during peak hours because the cars were all full.

Access: from Taipei Main station, take MRT 3 stops blue line eastward to Zhongxiao Fuxing then transfer to LRT brown line southward to terminal station Taipei Zoo and the ticket counter for Maokong is a short walk away.

Yangming Shan 阳明山 and Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall 中正念堂

Yong Kang Street

Access: Take MRT to Dongmen station (from Taipei Main station: 2 stops red line eastward toward Xiangshan)

Here's a Taipei MRT map for reference.

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