Hey there, apologies for the long hiatus!
Just started school so did not have time to update this travelogue of mine. But anyhoo, am backkkkkkkkk for day 7 and 8 of Taipei!
Left Hsinchu for Taipei on Day Seven! We took the TRA (Taiwan Railway Administration) over from Hsinchu Station to Taipei Main Station, and the journey was approximately an hour plus? Hsinchu is pretty near Taipei, so you do not need to spend more money on HSR (High Speed Rail), the TRA will get you there in no time 🙂 From Taipei Main Station, we took Taipei internal train (their MRT equivalent) to our hotel that was located in Ximen, which was only one stop from Taipei Main Station!
6F., No.70, Xining S. Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City 108, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
For more information: http://www.ecfahotel-taipei.com/en/rooms.php
They have a couple of ECFA hotels in Ximending itself, so you don’t have to worry of not being able to find the hotel! Laughs. Reached Taipei in the afternoon and checked into our hotel right away. Had some problems checking in hotel, as the previous occupants in the hotel destroyed the teevee in the hotel. So we could only put our stuffs at the lobby and we headed out for lunch! Lunch was at the nearby Japanese Restaurant, they serve pretty decent Japanese lunch set meals at an affordable price.
For those who will be staying in Taipei, DO get a hotel in Ximen as It’s really a perfect location to be in! You can easily get to different parts of Taipei and Ximending itself is another attraction of Taipei. You can always head over to Ximending to do last minute shopping, Teeheeee.
Day Seven Itinerary:
1. Wufenpu (Nearest MRT: Houshanpi Station – Blue Line)
2. Raohe Street Night Market (Nearest MRT: Houshanpi Station or TRA: Songshan Station)
We headed for Wufenpu after lunch! Wufenpu is about a 7-10 minutes walk from Houshanpi Station. Wufenpu is supposedly a shopping paradise, since it’s a wholesaler place that sells apparels and all. HOWEVER, Shuwen and I didn’t managed to get much things at Wufenpu. It was partly because the clothes were not suitable for us, it was mostly knitted wear (which was TOOOOOOOO thick to be worn in Singapore), and we were not buying in bulk, so it was not cheap to purchase things there too. The poor guys gave up shopping after like 5 minutes? They had their own broski session at the nearby cafe till we were done. laughs.
Dinner was at Raohe Street Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市 which was about another 15 minutes walk from Wufenpu and it is one of the oldest and most famous tourist night markets in Taipei. And it is located just beside the famous Ciyou Temple (which I/we didn’t know until I googled about the place before I wrote on this post…laughs). Do try the famous pepper meat bun (Hu Jiao Bin), the shop is located just right in front of the night market, and you will probably not miss it, since you can see the long queue from the entrance of the night market. And below is the picture of the Pepper Meat Bun, it cost us about 25-35 NTD (less than S$2)
Headed back to Ximen and decided to have an early night since we had a long day from all the travelling. So that was our day seven in Taipei! Didn’t managed to take much photos since we did not visit much attractions. Laughs
On to Day Eight of the Taipei Journey!
Day Eight itinerary:
2. Taipei Zoo
3. Taipei 101
4. Shopping at Ximending (YAY)
It was a packed day 8 for us! Wanted to visit the iconic Shifen and Jiufen, however the weather was not the best. Woke up and it was pouring heavily, so we decided to skip the place. The gang felt Taipei Zoo was prolly the only attraction we can visit on a gloomy weather, so we headed for the zoo after our hotel brekkie!
Maokong and Taipei Zoo
Nearest train station: Taipei Zoo Station (Brown Line)
From the station, we have to take a cable car ride up (aka Maokong Gondola 猫空缆车) to Maokong and Taipei zoo. Couldn’t remember the price for the tickets for Maokong Gondola ride, but you can use your Youyou card (Ezlink card) for the entry to the cable car ride.
Upon checking with the staffs at the information counter, we found out that Maokong was renowned for their tea plantation, and the peak of Maokong has many tea-houses and tea plantations. Even though we aint a fan of Chinese tea (I personally loves the English tea), we decided to check out the place since it was a recommended tourist attraction. The gondola ride up was soothing and had some calming effect. Laughs. It’s been a long while since I last sat in a cable car, couldn’t remember when the last time was. It was a 15 minutes ride up, and the view up there was pretty spectacular (not as nice as the one at Cingjing, but it was still pretty)
From the photos, you can actually tell how gloomy the day was, since it rained the entire morning. But thankfully the rain stopped when we reached Maokong, and it was pretty humid at the peak of Maokong. Settled our lunch at one of the tea-house which was famous for their tea fried rice, had jasmine tea fried rice and some oolong tea fried rice. It was something new for all of us and it actually tasted pretty good. Just that I was not used to the rice tea that was served. I figured out in Taipei, rice tea is serve at most restaurants, and it’s something that was not to my liking I guess. Laughs
Taipei Zoo was next on our itinerary! It cost us less than NTD$100 (less than S$5) for the entrance ticket to the zoo. Since we had the student pass (the one who signed up when we were in Taiwan on our first day), our zoo tickets were really really cheap! Teeheeeeee. Took the Gondola down to Taipei Zoo, and was pretty excited for ittttt. I supposed you guys must be wondering why did we even visit the zoo in Taipei?
I was the one that wanted to visit the zoo badly, so they were not given a choice but to visit this attraction…laughs. Am aiming to visit THE ZOO of every country I go! I really love visiting the zoo, and Taipei Zoo is somewhat different from the one we have at home. It is pretty dead in Taipei, and the animals looked really really sad. Prolly it’s because of the weather? Also, unlike the one in Singapore, Taipei Zoo do not have special shows?!?! Was actually looking forward to the animal shows and all. Oh well. Laughs
I cannot deny the animals are really adorableeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. My new favorite bird/animal is the flamingo! Even though they really stink, I love how they are standing on their slender long stick-like legs, so pretty and adorable!
Ain’t the penguins adorbs!!! They are my favorite animals tooooooooooooooooo, really adorable looking thing! They were waddling on their two short limbs, and it’s as though their belly is impeding their movement. hahahaha. I love penguins, I really do! laughs
And yes, the face of my fellow comrades again! Was too caught up with the animals and neglected the human. Lelong lelong, here are my two hansum friends!
And with my dearest Shuwen! We were at some water pumping place, you have to manually pump the water out from the hose or something. laughs
More photos of the animals! Some photos were taken by Jo’s Olympus Pen! The camera which took many pretty photo. The tall and mighty looking giraffe, majestic lioness, the really skinny elephants, the mischievous but agile monkey, and the 3 sad rhinoceros (They were in a pretty small enclose, and they really looked very sad in it. One of the rhino was also injured. Poor them)!
And how can we forget the pandas!!!! Another one of my favorite animal in the zoo 🙂 Taipei Zoo has 2 pandas in total, and both are equally fat, fluffy and cuteeeeeeeeeee. The panda enclosure was near the exit of the zoo, so we visited it last. And when we were there, it was probably their dinner time (it was 4-ish pm), and so they were seen munching on their bamboo leaves. Man, they are REALLY ADORABLE! You can see them sitting comfortably on their designated spot, indulging in their bamboo leaves, with their big tummy sticking out! laughs
It was a looooooooooooooooooooong day for us all, and we were all looking happy for the only group photo of the day!
Taipei 101 was next, initially it was not in our itinerary for the day, but we found out Taipei 101 was only a 10 minutes bus ride from Taipei Zoo, hence we decided to head over to this famous attraction! Taipei 101 feels like Ion Orchard we have back at home, with the international brands within the mall. We wanted to head up to the top, but gave it a miss as when we were there, it was foggy and misty, and we figured out we would not be able to get the best view up there.
Had dinner at Taipei 101’s Ding Tai Fung, and it was a yummilicious dinner! The Xiaolongbao really lived up to it’s name! Ding Tai Fung originated in Taiwan, and it explains why there are quite a few DTFs in Taipei, and it was more affordable in Taiwan as compared to Singapore. The branch at Taipei 101 was really huge, but it was packed in no time. Thankfully we reached the DTF just before the dinner crowd, and so we did not have to queue. YAY us.
Took a shuttle service from Taipei 101 to the nearest station, which was Taipei City Hall Station (Blue line), and headed back to Xinmen! It was only about 8ish pm when we reached Ximen, so Shuwen and I decided to shopped around Ximen for a bit while the guys headed back to the hotel. I can’t helped but to emphasize how great it is to stay in Ximen, shopping is just a stone throw away! Teeheeeeee. Was on a Sasa shopping spreeeeeeee with Shuwen, Sasa Taiwan seemed cheaper than the one back home, so we gotten quite a but of stuffs from Sasa!
And yes, this marks the end of day seven and eight of my Taipei adventure! Will update this space as frequent as I can, will be back next week for my Day Nine (on Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village) in Taiwan!
Till then 🙂