17 Reasons To Visit Taiwan

Booked a 7-days trip to Taiwan last November and I had an amazing time there!
Taiwan has been on my bucket list for the longest time and since it's my first time there, there were so many things that I want to do, see and try.

My itinerary was jam-packed with famous tourists attractions and in this blog post, I will summarise my trip and share why I feel that you should visit Taiwan for your next holiday destination. The post is categorised according to the locations that I've went, Taichung, Sun Moon Lake and Taipei. Also, I will try to include useful information and addresses of places that I recommend :)

If you would like to have a copy of my itinerary, feel free to leave me a comment or drop me an email at Felicia-@live.com.sg

1. Inexpensive Holiday Destination
Similar to Bangkok, Taiwan is a place which offers inexpensive food and shopping. Unfortunately, cabs there are not as cheap. But it's really convenient to travel around with their train services, so no fuss on transportation. In addition, I feel that it's safer for girls to travel alone in Taiwan and the fact that I can communicate with the locals makes everything better.

For my airfares, I spent $386. I travelled to Taiwan via Scoot and return home via TigerAir. Given that November is always the peak season to travel, I would say that for the price that I paid, it's a steal. I looked for my flight through Skyscanner and then got redirected to the respective sites to make my booking.

For accommodation, I spent $170 for 6 nights on 3 different boutique hotels at Taipei, Taichung and Sun Moon Lake. I travelled with 2 of my friends, so we got the big rooms with 2 queen-sized bed. And the hotels that we stayed in Sun Moon Lake and Taipei even provided breakfast. Such a great deal isn't it!

The hotels that I accommodated during my trip was booked via Booking.com and Agoda:

Taipei: Go Sleep Hotel
Taichung: Moon Lake Hotel
Sun Moon Lake: Love Home Garden Inn

I would say that all 3 hotels are pretty decent and they are located at central area which are convenient to travel around.

2. Lavender Cottage


426, Taiwan, Taichung City, Xinshe District, Zhongxing Street, No. 20

Getting There

The cottage is located at a pretty remote area (among the mountains), it is not accessible by public transport so I would suggest to travel by cab or private car.

Public transport is not exactly convenient at Taichung so we engaged a cab driver to drive us around during our 2-days stay. He charged by the number of hours that we engaged him. We paid around $70 each by engaging his service for around 14 hours over the 2 days. It will be more worth it if you're travelling with a bigger group.

Entrance Fee

NT$100 ($4.18) - Inclusive of NT$100 voucher that can be used to offset any spending in the cottage.

Breathtaking views of mountains along the way.

The sight of lavenders which signaled that we were about to reach our destination.

Nestled in the middle of scenic mountains and lush greenery, Lavender Cottage is one of the prettiest and cutest garden that I have been to. It's a perfect hideout to get away from the bustling city.

Look ma! There's a carousel!

The carousel is in working condition, you have to pay an admission fee to ride on it.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the lavender season so the field looked quite pathetic instead of a sea of purple.

Wrote and hung our wishes on the overcrowded wishing tree.

Following the trail, it felt like a hike.

This place felt like a forest instead of a simple cottage.

Thank goodness the weather was around 20 degrees, the cool and crisp air made all the walking less tiring.

 Mini flea market that retailed lavender related merchandises.

Time to do some shopping at the souvenir shop.

Most of the items in the shop are lavender or floral themed.

Bath salt that contained flowers extract from lavender, roses and sunflowers.

Instead of the pre-packed bath salts, I got 2 bottles of DIY bath salt which I got to mix it myself. Apparently my friend mentioned that it helped to lighten the dark spots on her body but the results weren't really obvious.

Handmade lavender flavored cookies.

Fresh lavenders.

The most adorable thing in the garden.

Check out my pretty brief Lavender Cottage tour.

3. Xinshe Sea of Flowers Festival


No. 30, Xiexing St, Xinshe District, Taichung City, Taiwan 426
The festival is held within the mountainous area of Taichung on an annual basis.

Literally drowning in a sea of flowers.

I have never seen so many pretty blooming flowers at a go.

Covering an area of more than 50 hectares, we gave up halfway and headed for food.

Adorable looking buns which stated red bean, strawberry and sesame flavor.

Looking at how the Taiwanese displayed the huge pot of food at the stall front really scares me.

We went for the safe options like the XXL chicken, fried mushrooms, braised tofu and fried smelly tofu.

My virgin smelly tofu experience and I like it! 
The taste wasn't as bad as the smell. Drenched in some garlicky sauce, it was so fragrant and good. 
I've tried different stalls of fried smelly tofu during the trip and most of it tasted as good. But it was a pity that I didn't get to come across steamed / stewed smelly tofu. I wanted to try it so badly after trying the fried ones.

If you are planning to visit Taichung during end of the year, don't miss out on the flowers festival! 
It was an eye-opening experience! Oh, and admission is free.

4. Tian Ma Ranch

56, 水美村山腳巷, Waipu District, Taichung City,

Entrance Fee
NT$250 ($10.46)

After making a couple of rounds, we finally got to the alpaca farm that was hidden amongst the mountains and valleys.

Got the tickets and dried alpaca food at the entrance.

Hi humans!

The younger alpacas were kept in the enclosed area.

Probably with their mom. How adorable!

And here are the rest of the alpacas!

They come in brown, black and cream color.

You so cute! But you are full of saliva.

Ok guys . . . .

Apart from alpacas, there were other animals as well.

These goats who literally 'meh-ed' their ass off throughout the time we were there. Isn't 'meh' a sheep thing.

The bull which was left in the open area.

The ranch is not exactly huge, so dedicating 2 to 3 hours of your day there will do.
It got pretty boring after awhile because there wasn't much to see and the alpacas won't really interact with the visitors because everyone is there to feed them and once they are full, they will kick you aside.

More alpacas actions here.

Alpacas, you're off my bucket list now.

5. Gaomei Wetland

Qingshui District, Taichung City, Taiwan 436

The best way to spend an evening? Admiring the sun disappears into the horizon.
Known for its breathtaking view, Gaomei Wetland is one of the best place to admire the sunset from.

Tip: Sunset time in Taichung is pretty early, so do Google on the time and be there early to secure a good spot to capture the perfect moment.

Painting the skyline a myriad of orange, yellow, pink and purple, you wouldn't want to miss this spectacular sunset against the horizon.

6. Feng Jia Night Market


One of the main factor why I wanted to visit Taiwan so badly - the food!

Taiwan is widely known for its night market culture. There are so many night markets around that even if I visited 1 - 2 night markets every night, I couldn't even cover 10% of the total number of night markets in Taiwan.

Even though the variety of food is pretty similar across but different night market has its own specialty. Every night market is like a food heaven.

I have came across countless TV programs introducing Taiwanese Food and instead of drooling behind the screen, I finally get to try them!

Tagged with affordable price tags, Taiwanese food is incredibly yummy with a punch of innovation.

Feng Jia Night Market is the first night market that I visited - the iconic night market of Taichung.

Following were my favorites!

Torched Beef
火焰骰子牛 is known for its good quality of beef and reasonable pricing.

The stall assistant will prepare the beef cubes on the spot when you make your order.

Completed off with salt and pepper.
There are also other condiments that you can choose from.

I'm starting to drool while watching this.

The torched beef stall is available at most of the night markets in Taiwan.

Lu Wei
Braised in soy sauce and other spices, Lu Wei (braised food) is one of the famous street food in Taiwan that is well-loved by the old and young. It's like the braised tofu, pig intestine, braised egg that we have with our kway chup but it tasted really different most likely due to the spices used in the sauce.

The Taiwanese braised almost everything and anything. With a wide selection of ingredients like braised beancurd skin, tofu, sausages, fishcakes, eggs, vegetables, noodles, you pick what you like and hand it over to the stall owner where he/she will chopped it in smaller pieces and mix it together with more sauce and chili oil (optional).
I spent a good 5 minutes on selecting because there were plenty of ingredients to choose from. Tofu alone, they had like 3 to 4 different kinds?

Couldn't get a better picture because everything was packed in a plastic bag.
And the nice owner even threw in more food.

Ai Yu Jelly Drink

My antidote for having so much salty stuffs.
Ai Yu Jelly is made from the gel from the seeds of a variety of fig. Drizzled with lemon juice, every mouthful is sweet and sour.
This refreshing drink is a perfect after meal drink.

7. Chung Hua Night Market

Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan 400
Chung Hua Night Market is the oldest night market in Taichung with all the old school snacks and games. It gave off a different vibe compared to Feng Jia Night Market which caters to a younger crowd.

Despite the long history, the night market has stalls that are selling 'hipster' food like cronuts!

Some braised food again.

This looked like a zichar stall which allowed customers to sit down and enjoy the food.

Singapore's version of yong tau foo, Japan's version of oden.

Those games that we always come across at pasar malam in the past.

Catching little fishes using a little net made from paper.

Getting all the retro vibes from Chung Hua Night Market, it was a pretty cool experience.

8. 謝氏早點・豆花專賣店

No. 136, Jiguang St, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan 400

My first Taiwanese style breakfast at a traditional Taiwanese breakfast shop with over 50 years of history.
Got excited by looking at the stall assistants preparing the food in front of the stall.

"Auntie, what is this? I want!" A pretty good marketing tactic to openly show your food in front of the stall.

We got egg pancakes (蛋饼) with different topping and a soup with different ingredients (综合汤), the one we saw at the stall front.

Pig blood!
Apart from that, the other ingredients in the soup were fishballs, meatballs, radish and beancurd skin.
This tasted like Yong Tau Foo soup, the perfect comfort food for a chilly morning.
The food was really cheap as well, the pancakes was and soup was about SGD$1+ for each item.

In general, I feel that the food in Taichung is cheaper compared to Taipei. Maybe it's due to the lower standard of living. Taichung seemed more laid back than Taipei.

9. Sun Moon Lake

599, Zhongshan Rd., Yuchi Township, Nantou Country 555, Taiwan

Getting There
The most convenient way is to take a direct bus from Taichung. 
Tickets can be purchased from the main station.

Crowned as the largest freshwater lake in Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is one of the top tourist destinations due to it's scenic view.  

Upon arrival, we headed to the visitors' center and got tickets for the boat tour to get to the different piers located within the lake. 

Since there are different boat operators, prices for the tickets differs. But the tickets should not cost more than NT$300 ($12.50).  If you are accommodating at the hotel/guesthouse there, you should be able to get the tickets at a better deal. 

At Sun Moon Lake, there are total 3 piers - Shueishe Village (水社), Ita Thao Village (伊達邵) and Xuan Guang Pier  (玄光碼頭). 

Everyone will arrive at Shueishe Village and all the accommodations, gift shops and eateries are located there.

Shueishe Village is an area on its own.
It's like Genting Highlands whereby there is only a shopping area and a few hotels and guesthouses around.

Tip: Hop on for boat tour first then get back to Shueishe Village to shop around as the operating time is from 9AM to 5PM. 

First stop: Xuan Guang Pier (玄光碼頭)

An oasis of serenity amidst the bustling city.

Located at the entrance of Xuan Guang Pier is the renowned Grandma's Tea Eggs (金盆阿婆香菇茶叶蛋). The grandma has sold tea eggs at this location for more than 50 years and she sold more than a thousand eggs on a daily basis. So if you are there late, you may not get to try it. The shop is hard to miss - just keep a look out for the long queue.

Since Day 1 after I had my virgin tea egg from 7-11, I got addicted. I didn't expect them to taste so good and fragrant. Throughout my trip, I need to have at least 1 egg each day. And it's really cheap, 7-11 sells it for around NT$5 ($0.21) or NT$8 ($0.33) if I don't remember wrongly. 

And I was telling my friends to keep a look out for Grandma's Tea Eggs all the time at Sun Moon Lake cause it's highly raved by everyone on the internet.

Tea eggs are basically eggs that are braised tea leaves and spices. The longer you braised, the more fragrant it get. So that's the reason why it is always kept in a pot that is constantly boiling. Grandma's Tea Eggs are braised with mushrooms which I can't wait to try. Braised mushrooms are the best thing ever. Just imagine the fragrant sauce oozing from the mushroom every bite you take.

Disappointed to say that the tea eggs at 7-11 tasted better. Look at how light the colour of the egg was, the egg wasn't thoroughly braised, so it wasn't as fragrant. It was totally not worth the hype.

The eggs cost NT$10 ($0.42) each and the mushrooms cost NT$5 ($0.21) each. 

Beside Grandma's Tea Eggs is Xuan Guang temple (玄光寺).
In Chinese history, one of the most famous novel that everyone is familiar with is none other than Journey to The West (西遊記). The story is about a monk, Master Xuanzhang (玄奘), travelling to the Western Regions during the Tang Dynasty to obtain scared scriptures together with his three disciples.

During the war between Japan and China, a Japanese took away a fragment of Master Xuanzhang's bone from Nanjing. Then it was taken to Ci'en Temple in Japan. In 1952, this piece of bone was brought to Taiwan, and after Xuanzang Temple was built at Sun Moon Lake in 1958, Master Xuanzhang's bone piece was placed there.

This small temple pays homage to the holy monk and it attracted many tourists throughout the day, especially the Chinese.

The Xuan Guang Temple and Grandma's Tea eggs were the main attractions for Xuan Guang Pier.

We explored further to get away from crowd of visitors, there wasn't a lot to see, or I should say there wasn't anything to see, seemed like everywhere were carparks.

But we managed to catch a bird's eye view of the lake.

Overlooking the lake against a picturesque mountain backdrop.

Time to proceed to our next pier - Ita Thao Village (伊達邵).

Ita Thao Village was once known as Dehua Village and is the main Thao settlement. This area was severely damaged by the earthquake in 1999, but have been restored since then. It is currently one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sun Moon Lake.

Ita Thao Village is quite different from Shueishe Village and needless to say, Xuan Guang Pier. 
It's like a day version of night market whereby there are many snacks and souvenirs shops by the streets.

Their version of red bean potong ice-cream.

The Taiwanese do love their fried food very much.

The food offerings were different from what we saw in the cities.
Fried vegetarian pau (素包) that consisted of cabbage and mushrooms and drizzled with sweet sauce.

Taiwan mochi. 
Singaporeans go crazy over this every Chinese New Year at the Chinatown bazaar.

Mochi is a type of glutinous rice cake that is wrapped with different fillings.
In Taiwan, they have lots of exotic flavours like honeydew, sakura, brown sugar walnut, assam tea, which I have not come across before.
Since these are freshly made mochi, it's not suitable to be kept for long. That's why I didn't want to bring it back to Singapore.

Another variant of smelly tofu.

Came across a few stalls selling roasted muah chee.

And many stalls selling Taiwan sausages made of wild boar meat.
I got one and I thought it was pretty gross unlike the usual ones we got at the night market.

Pretty looking guesthouse by the lake.

A different view of the lake that I probably won't get tired of.

Around 4ish, it's time to head back to Shueishe Village as the ferry services are ending for the day.

The iconic food in Sun Moon Lake has got to be the locally produced Assam Tea Infused Egg Rolls.

The shop that we visited at Shueishe Village claimed to be the original stall for the egg roll.

NT$50 ($2.08) for a pack of 4s.

They come in original (assam tea), seaweed and sesame flavors.

Freshly made on the spot.

Then we hang around the visitors' centre for a bit.
Looking at the sky changing colours is a beautiful and romantic dance presentation from nature.

At the visitors' centre, there is mall that consist of restaurants, personal stores and some other small little shops.

We came across Carton King which is apparently one of the famous tourist attraction at Taichung - the Carton King Creativity Park.
As the name suggests, everything from the shop is made of carton.

Including these tables and chairs that you can actually sit on it.

Of course, there are ornaments made of cartons and even accessories such as caps and bags which can be worn. And that rocking horse above can actually support the weight of an adult.

It was an eye-opening experience.

Tip: Avoid staying overnight at Sun Moon Lake. Most of the shops closed before 9PM, so basically there isn't nothing much to do there. And lodging isn't exactly cheap as it is a tourist spot. Arrive early at Sun Moon Lake and you should be able to cover all the attractions before sun sets and that is when buses going out of the town is still available.

Because most of the eateries closed early, we resorted to getting our dinner at 7-11.

I got my favourite Taiwan instant noodles - Yi Du Zan (一度赞)
It costs about SGD$2.50. 
Pretty expensive for instant noodles but look at the chunks of meat.
The noodles come in a couple of flavors like pork and beef, spicy or non-spicy.
Another of my favourite - Man Han Da Can (满汉大餐).
Similar price point and it also comes with meat inside.
These are conveniently available at most of the supermarkets and convenience stores.
And even in Singapore! But slightly more expensive.

The highly-raved, beautifully packaged instant coffee / tea that is priced around SGD$1.
I managed to try all the flavours, not too bad I would say.

Favorite noodles with XXL chicken and fried mushrooms.
If you are wondering what is in the blue cups . . .

Tea eggs!
Need some eggs to compensate for disappointing famous tea eggs the earlier on.
Look at how well braised these eggs are. The color of shells tell.

Next morning, this place is a true beauty.

MOS burger breakfast before setting off to Taipei.
The breakfast set is better than Singapore's.

10. Shifen

Getting There
Muzha (木柵) Station
Take Bus 1076 or 15

Have your own Taiwanese idol drama moment by releasing sky lanterns (天灯) to the sky!
Releasing sky lanterns is a significant ritual among the Taiwanese and the most notable place to do that will be Shi Fen. And apparently, it became a popular thing to do among the tourists as well. Releasing sky lanterns with your wishes written on it signifies sending wishes to the sky.

Shi Fen Old Street is occupied mainly by sky lanterns and souvenirs shops.

We were pretty lucky to catch a train passing by the railway at the nostalgic old street.

Sky lanterns are priced around NT$200 ($8.33). 
Each colour signifies different aspect of your life such as Luck, Wealth, Family, Love etc.

Our sky lantern.

I guessed we were pretty greedy with our wishes.

That's our sky lantern! May all our wishes come true!

Don't forget to get some mini sky lanterns ornaments as souvenirs.

Prior to this, we visited the Shifen Waterfall (十份大瀑布), nicknamed The Taiwan Niagara Fall, that is a 15 to 20 minutes walk from the old street.
The 20 meters tall waterfall that all tourists were snatching to catch a better glimpse at the railings despite the rain.

Unfortunately, it was raining heavily after we visited the waterfall, so we were stranded for quite some time before we proceed to the old street to release the sky lantern. It was pretty late by the time we released the sky lantern and we had to rushed for the last train back to the city before operation ceased. Thus, it was a shame that we did not have ample time to visit Jiufen (九份) which was 4 train stops away from Shifen. Jiufen became popular in 2001, when its downtown was used as a model in the anime movie Spirited AwayAlso, Jiufen is famous for a couple of traditional local snacks like Taro Rice Ball dessert and Ice-Cream Roll. If I ever visit Taiwan again, I NEED to visit Jiufen for these.

Here are the addresses of the shops:

赖阿婆芋圆 (Taro Rice Ball dessert)
5, Shuqi Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224

九份阿珠雪在燒 (Ice-cream Roll)
25 Jishan St, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224

If you've been there, let me know if it's worth trying.

11. Tamsui Old Street / Tamsui River
淡水老街 / 淡水河

Section 1, Zhongzheng Rd, Tamsui District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 251

Getting There
Tamsui (淡水) Station, Exit 1
Head northwest towards 中正東路/台2乙線
Continue straight onto 中正東路
Turn left at 中山路 and 淡水老街 is on the right

Another famous tourist attraction that is highly recommended.

At Tamsui, don't missed out on their area speciality which is Ah Gei (阿给).
I had no idea what it was and I can't get any hint from the name.
Since we were there, why not giving it a try.

It's actually glass noodles wrapped in fried beancurd skin, drenched in sweet sauce.
I wouldn't say I like it but neither do I dislike it. I love glass noodles and fried beancurd skin. I simply don't like having sweet sauce on my food unless it's fried carrot cake. 

Tamsui handmade fishball that was pretty different from what we have in Singapore. Worth a try!

Tamsui Old Street is a boardwalk-like area with rows of entries, souvenir shops and accessories shops.

Tamsui is famous for its fish/prawn crackers (鱼酥/虾酥) which comes in different flavours like cheese, chili, etc.

And iron eggs/quail eggs (铁蛋), which comes in original, garlic, spicy and other flavours.

Originated from Tamsui, iron eggs are preserved braised eggs that you can eat it from the packet.

Iron eggs are repeatedly braised that resulted in the black surface. Chewy in texture, it is actually more flavorful than the usual braised eggs.

Then we move on to the Tamsui River after.
Undoubtedly packed with tourists.

The weather wasn't the best :(

Another ideal location to catch the sunset.

Tourists everywhere.

Waited for 10 minutes and helping x number of people to take a picture so that we can have an empty surrounding to take a nice picture with the background.

Another popular spot to visit at Tamsui is the Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭).

But we didn't want to because the weather got gloomy and we decided to leave the place before it rained.
Such a chic dog!

How cute! 

12. Shillin Night Market


Taiwan, 台北市士林區, 義信里

Getting There
Jiantan (劍潭) Station, Exit 1
Cross the street diagonally to the left to enter the night market
This has got to be my favourite night market. There are a handful of reviews online stating that Shilin is overrated and expensive. But I guess, you need to experience it yourself. 

Shilin Night Market is one of the largest night market in Taipei.

There are more food choices compared to the other night markets and they have a good mix of food and shopping.

Following are my recommendations at Shilin Night Market. 

I do not know what is the exact addresses of those stalls, but if you happened to come across, do give it a shot!

Vegetarian Food

If you are a vegetarian, don't worry about the food in Taiwan.
Vegetarian food stalls are available almost everywhere, albeit a little pricey.

My friend whom is a vegetarian highly recommend this vegetarian stall at Shilin Night Market.
Among all the different vegetarian stalls that we visited at the different night markets, this stall served the best food. The owners were pretty generous on how much food they put on your plate and it was pretty cheap.

Oyster Omelette

The highly recommended food in Shilin Night Market has got to be Oyster Omelette. 
I got mine from the Shilin Night Market Food Court that is located at Basement 1 of Shilin Public Market. We heeded to some recommendations that we saw online, which is Stall 29.

The food court was very crowded by the time we got there which was around dinner time. There were plenty of food stalls in the food court selling seafood, noodles, oyster omelette and many other local cuisine. 

They don't fry it like how the Singapore's hawkers do.

Totally different from what we have in Singapore.

Drenched in sweet sauce, the oyster omelette is made up of 30% egg and 70% starch which I totally don't fancy. I can't appreciate the gluey and sticky lumps of starch in my mouth. 

Singapore's version of oyster omelette is still my preferred choice.

There were a couple of stalls near the entrance to the basement food court selling Taiwan's famous pineapple and mango tarts.
I don't really fancy these tarts. Still prefer Singapore's buttery pineapple tarts.

Shaved Ice Dessert

We walked past this lady push cart stall that was by the street.
Her stall smelt soooo sweet.

Look at the amount of different ingredients at the stall front!
The dessert is the authentic version of Singapore's Blackball.

I really like this simple and traditional shaved ice dessert - icy cold, flavored with syrup and topped with an assortment of toppings you like. It wasn't too sweet for my liking.
We got grass jelly, yam balls and ai yu.
And the price? Less than SGD$1.20 if I don't remember wrongly.
So much cheaper and tasted so much better than Blackball.

Honey Barbecued Chicken Wings / Drumlets

Never say no to barbecued chicken wings!
These wings are perfect for any time of the day. Whether you are just snacking on the streets or you would want to bring back to your hotel room and have it while catching your favorite Taiwanese drama.

Sticky sweet with honey and barbecue sauce, so simple but yet so utterly delicious.
Literally finger licking good.

13. Ximending

Getting There
Ximen (西门) Station

Known as Taipei's Harajuku, Ximending is a shopping haven among the Taiwanese, hosting wide variety of fashion boutiques, cinemas, cafes and bars. 

During our stay at Taipei, we stayed at Ximending. 

It was pretty convenient to travel to other places from there.

Shopping wasn't the best for me because most of the boutiques carry local Taiwan brands that are more of the street style clothing. But it was nice to look around.

The famous red house at Ximending.

I was more attracted to the food and here are my 'must have' at Ximending.

Yong He Dou Jiang

10, Hanzhong St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

Getting There
Ximen (西门) Station, Exit 6
Walk past Eslite 106 Mall, McDonalds, KFC, Uniqlo, Rainbow Hotel, 豪大大鸡排 until you reach the end of the street
On the right is a mango ice shop and on the left will be Yong He Eating House

One of the well-known breakfast shop in Taipei that most Taiwanese spent their morning at.

Yong He Dou Jiang specialised in soy bean drink (Dou Jiang = Soy Bean Drink). And they have a wide variety of breakfast selection like dough fritters, rice roll, crepe, pancakes, buns, pau and more.

Spoilt for choices.

I finally got to try the savory soy bean drink (咸豆漿), I heard so much about it. 
An acquired taste I would say. It's like mashed tofu in salty soup with dough fritters.
What's behind the bowl of savory soy bean drink is actually soy bean drink with egg! I guess it's super nutritious. Like how the pioneer generation in Singapore have their milo with a raw egg in it.

Dough fritter egg roll.
A pretty innovative combination and it's like one of the bestselling breakfast item on the menu.
I'm never a fan of dough fritter so this did not appeal to me.

Mine! Sausage and egg bun.
Among what my friends had ordered, I got to say this was the best.
The combination of sweet bun with savoury sausage and egg was perfect.

I love Taiwan-style breakfast! 

Ah Zong Mian Xian

No. 8, Emei St, 萬華區台北市 Taiwan 108
No. 8 Emei St, Taipei (East Ximending Pedestrian Area)

Getting There
Ximen (西門) Station, Exit 1
Head northwest on 寶慶路 toward 衡陽路
Continue onto 衡陽路
Continue onto 成都路
Turn left onto 漢中街
Head northwest on 漢中街 toward 峨眉街
Turn left onto 峨眉街

If the directions is too complicated, just ask any local how to get to Ah Zong Mian Xian and I am sure they will know the way.

If you haven't tried the famous Ah Zong Mian Xian, it's as good as you have never been to Ximending.
It's all about Ah Zong Mian Xian at Ximending.

Many would have mentioned that at Taiwan, you need to try the Oyster Mian Xian/Mee Sua/Vermicelli. And because of this, I thought that Ah Zong Mian Xian is actually Taiwan's famous Oyster Mian Xian. To my surprise, the main ingredient was pig intestines instead of oysters! Thank god I'm a fan of pig innards, so I had no issues with it.

Looked odd right. This is not like the mian xian that we always get in Singapore - white looking noodles in clear soup that doesn't really look appetising.

I believed that the mian xian is cooked in bonito broth which tasted really flavorful and the intestines were soft yet chewy. If you are worried that the intestines carry a stench, fret not! The intestines were well prepared. The chef added extra condiments such as minced garlic, vinegar and chili oil for that extra oomph, it was super satisfying!

Prices for different serving portion.

Look at the crowd queueing outside the shop. I would say its worth the wait.

Prince Cheese Potato

Before visiting Taiwan, I came across countless Instagram posts of the baked potato drowning in a sea of cheese sauce stuffed in a variety of toppings.

There are many toppings that you can choose from - ham, bacon, sausage, egg, corn etc.

How sinful . . .

This snack is literally everywhere in Taiwan, but only Prince Cheese Potato serves their potato without skin and they fried it beforehand instead of baked. It's really convenient to eat it without the skin.

And compared to other stalls that I had tried, the texture of the cheese sauce is more consistent and it tasted more milky which I prefer. And they are really generous with their cheese sauce.

Patronised 2 other stalls and look at how much cheese sauce they gave.
And the texture of the potatoes were pretty dry.

I would recommend Prince Cheese Potato over other stalls.
Apart from Ximending, Prince Cheese Potato is available at most of the night markets. 

50 Lan

台北市萬華區漢中街136號, Taiwan

Getting There
Ximen (西門) Station, Exit 1
Head northwest on 寶慶路 toward 衡陽路
Continue onto 衡陽路
Continue onto 成都路
Turn left onto 漢中街 and destination is on the right

No Taiwan trip is completed without having at least a cup of bubble tea. 
Bubble tea are easily available on the streets of Taiwan and they actually have warm and cold options. 
If you know that KOI originated from Taiwan and you are searching high and low for it, don't bother! 
Because KOI is not known as KOI in Taiwan, KOI is known as 50嵐 in Taiwan.
It is so much cheaper to have bubble tea in Taiwan, probably half price of Singapore's.

There's an outlet located at Tamsui Station too.

Big Sculpture Roast / Popsicle / Soap
大雕燒 / 大雕冰 / 大雕

Only in Taiwan, you get to see these sick innovative desserts.

Publicly and openly displaying their poster everywhere in their shop and outside the shop.
The Big Sculpture Popsicle that comes in different fruity flavors.

Big Sculpture Soap that you can get it as souvenirs.

Big Sculpture Roast is like a waffle, pancake kind of snack.

Everything is really about Mr D, even the design of the table top.

This is our Big Sculpture Roast that was drenched in chocolate sauce. We waited for about 10 minutes as they are freshly made on the spot.
Was it dicklicious? I don't really remember how it tasted, but probably it was too sweet for my liking as I only had a few mouthfuls. Oh and it was pretty pricey too.

If you happened to see this shop, do walk in and take a look. It's pretty interesting.

I guessed even the Taiwanese aren't used to this concept as we came across people who were giggling when they walked past the shop.
Other than Ximending, this shop has other outlets around Taipei.

14. Rao He Night Market


Section 4, Bade Rd, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105

Getting There

Song Shan (松山) Station, Exit 5
The night market is right across the street next to the temple

Compared to Shilin Night Market, Rao He Night Market is a smaller scale night market but offering a wide variety of food choices.

Fu Zhou Pepper Bun

Upon stepping into the night market, we noticed a super long queue that caused a hindrance to everyone who wants to walk further into the night market because the stall is right smack in the middle of the street, near the entrance.

Since there were so many people queuing, it must be really good.
And we decided to join the queue.

After 15 to 20 minutes we finally got closer to the stall.

Freshly made and baked in a chinese style tandoor oven on the spot.

Pipping hot pepper buns that cost less than SGD$2.

The bun filling consisted of pork, spring onions and a good amount of pepper.
The golden brown crust was baked till perfection, it wasn't too dry. While enjoying the crispy fragrant bun, you will be able to savour the pork inside that was juicy and tender and every bite was filled with the fragrance of pepper.
The bun was pretty huge, the size of our big chicken pau. I felt quite stuffed when I was 3/4 done.

Check out some buns action here :)

Chicken Drumstick Roll

Behind the pepper buns stall, we noticed another stall that had a pretty long queue.

It was the Chicken Drumstick Roll!
I was so eager to try because of the enticing smell.

Basically, it's grilled deboned chicken drumstick that you can choose if you want to top it off with either chili, pepper, seaweed, curry or other available seasonings.

My first bite - the juice oozed out. The chicken was so juicy.
The meat was soft and tender, so much better than those yakitori whereby the cook will slap layers and layers of sauce. This was just so simple and good.
And even without any seasoning, it just tasted as good. I enjoyed this more than the pepper bun.

3 skewers for NT$100 ($4.18).

Grilled Abalones

Such an enticing sight.

Couldn't resist and got the smallest portion to try.
Nothing fantastic I would say, the abalones are probably too small to taste properly. And they added pepper and salt which kind of covered the taste of the abalone. But the abalone has a chewy texture which I kinda enjoyed. 

Before getting to Rao He Night Market, you can actually visit Wu Fen Pu (五分埔) and Formosa Zhang (鬍鬚張魯肉飯) first cause they are around the same district.

So the sequence is Formosa Zhang then Wu Fen Pu and lastly Rao He Night Market.
Starting point is Hou Shan Pi (后山埤) Station.

Formosa Zhang

533, Yongji Rd, Nangang District, Taipei City, Taiwan 115

Getting There
Hou Shan 后山埤 Station (Blue Line), Exit 3
Head northeast on 北基公路/忠孝東路五段/台5線 toward 玉成街
Turn left onto 永吉路, destination on the right

Formosa Zhang is a household name to all Taiwanese, well known for it's braised meat rice. 

I opted for the small portion cause I wasn't even hungry, but I just want to try it since it's all about braised meat rice in Taiwan. You can't get it elsewhere!

I was skeptical initially because all the braised meat rice pictures that I came across looked really greasy and there were lumps of fats lying on the rice and usually I am not a fan of those fatty pork. 
But to my surprise, this bowl that I got wasn't that greasy or fatty.
I never like having rice (except for short grain rice) outside because most of them are not well-prepared - super dry and hard. At Formosa Zhang, they used short grain rice and cooked it till a semi-sticky texture. Drenched with a scoop of braised pork oil and sauce, the simple bowl of rice was divine. The sauce and rice complemented each other so well! 

If you are crazy about the sauce and can't live without it, you can get the ready made sauce and bring it back home.

Wu Fen Pu 

Zhongpo N. Rd., Songshan District ,Taipei City

Getting There
From Hou Shan Pi (后山埤) Station (Blue Line), Exit 1
Walk north along Zhongpo N. Rd. to the intersection of Zhongpo N. Rd. and Yongji Rd
Wu Fen Pu is on the left

Wu Fen Pu, best known as Taipei's largest apparel wholesale market, is Singapore's version of Bugis Street + City Plaza.
A maze of lanes and alleys occupied with clothing racks that resemble Bugis Street, Wu Fen Pu carries almost everything. 
I browsed around and realised that the price ain't exactly cheap. And Taiwan's fashion is pretty much different from Singapore's or Korea's. So don't expect to find blogshop kind of apparels there. 
Also, it was close to the winter season when I was there, therefore most of the shops were retailing winter clothing.

Tip: Travel during the right season if you want to shop here. And visit here during the evening as most of the shops will only start operating after noon time.

15. Kuang Nan Wholesale Store


Getting There
1. Taipei Main Station (台北车站), Exit Z4 (exit for 新光三越)
2. Walk towards the back of the building, you can't miss the outstanding yellow signboard

If you love shopping at personal stores like Watsons and thrift shops like Daiso, you need to visit this place! 

Kuang Nan Wholesale Store is basically Taiwan's version of Watsons x Daiso that sells skincare, bodycare, haircare, makeup, household and other miscellaneous products at a wallet friendly price (some say it's even cheaper than Watsons).

Like Korea, Taiwan is famous for their facial mask. Kuang Nan Wholesale Store carries a massive variety of local brands like My Beauty Diary, Beaute Forest, SexyLook. And it is so much cheaper to purchase masks there compared to Singapore.

Also, if you are a fan of ZA cosmetics and Shiseido's Senka products, you are in for a treat! The products are relatively cheaper there. Maybe around 20% cheaper.

Time to stock up on your beauty products!

Here are the different outlets around Taiwan.
I came across an outlet at Taichung which is in the vicinity of Feng Jia Night Market. 

If you came across Daiso, do pop by too!

In Taiwan, Daiso carries their own range of skincare products which looked good aesthetically.
And the eye masks which I got are pretty moisturising.
And after currency conversion it's only $1.80 for each product, no harm trying.

16. 7-11 / Family Mart


This is the airport outlet.


Taiwan and it's endless selection of beverages.

And the endless bento sets.
Why are Singapore's convenience stores so boring and expensive.

I have no recollection on what is this called. But basically it's like yong tau foo whereby there is a massive selection of ingredients like tofu, radish, fishcake, pig blood etc cooked in a broth.
So you pick what you want together with the soup. Unfortunately I didn't get to try this.

Salmon roe onigiri - so cheap and good. Less than SGD$2 for this.
It comes in other flavors like pork floss, tuna, beef etc.

Never step out of 7-11 without a tea egg.

17. The People

I never met people friendlier than the Taiwanese. They love to help!
Got lost somewhere? Simply approach any local and I'm sure they are more than happy to help.

Taiwan, you have been amazing.
I'm already planning another trip there during end of the year.

Taiwan is a fantastic place to visit, regardless of whether you are planning to travel with your family or friends, there's something for everyone! x



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