Taipei Travel Journal – Day 2

–  We woke up at 10.30 a.m., so we missed free breakfast which ended at 10. I showered first while my sister watched “The Nanny Diaries” on TV. At about 15 to noon we left our room.

–  Surprisingly, most shops in Xi Men Ding open at 12 p.m. Where I come from, shops open at 10 a.m. in general. There is a clothing shop which opened earlier than the rest and we did a quick shopping there while waiting for the restaurants to open.

–   At 12.10 p.m., we had lunch at Young Tea House. We were attracted to this restaurant because of the swing seats! We ordered lunch sets which consist of main course, drink and dessert. I had beef curry rice and my sis had spaghetti with bacon.  I had difficulty reading the menu and pronounced some Chinese words wrongly to the waiter. If in doubt, one should point the menu instead of trying to read it. Also, I have to warn you even though the swings are cute if you sat for too long, you’ll have butt sore.

–  After lunch, we took Metro train from Xi Men to Taipei City Hall Station. It’s best to get an Easy Card which cost 500 NTD (100 NTD as refundable deposit and 400 NTD value). It can be use on Metro Train, Railways and buses. Our first place of interest is Taipei 101. We walked quite a distance from the train station to Taipei 101. We didn’t go up to the observatory site because we reckon it’s not worth the cost. Plus it was drizzling; the view wouldn’t be as great.

–  We went from New York New York Shopping mall to Taipei 101 Mall. There’s Page One bookstore at the top floor of the mall along with several restaurants and tea houses. Being devotees of tea, my sis and I decided to have afternoon tea at London Tea House. The cake and sandwich are mediocre and the tea is fine.  The ambience tops them all.

–  It rains a lot in Taipei therefore it’s advisable to carry an umbrella everywhere you go. Fortunately last night my sis and I bought an umbrella each at Xi Men Ding. It was pouring outside and we took shelter in Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Mall, a huge mall with few different buildings joined via connecting bridges. There are heaps of labelled stores inside, you name it. However, most items are more expensive than in Singapore.

–   Next we took the metro to Taipei Main Station. There are lots of malls in that vicinity but I feel none of them are any good. First we went to New World Mall, there isn’t anything that tempt us to buy. We had dinner there in a restaurant called Xiao Liu La Mian. The food is cheap and decent. We tried Xiao Long Bao too which doesn’t taste good but I’ve never liked Xiao Long Bao anyway.

–  We had some time to kill and decided to walk to Taipei Underground Mall which turned out to be a very bad idea. First, it’s not easy to find the mall. Second, it was worse than New World Mall. Well, there are lots of cheap bargains but it’s very hard to find something good. There are a few shoes stores with wide variety of shoes. If you look hard, you might find decent shoes. Unfortunately for us, we left empty handed.

–  Our final stop for today is Shilin Night Market. To get there, we took Metro train to Jiantan Station. The Night Market is right opposite the station exit. Fashion hunters should not miss this place. Don’t be afraid to ask for discount. We asked and got few dollars off. Try to compare prices between stalls too. I bought a hat for 200 NTD (cheap as!) after negotiation and the same hat cost 400 NTD in another stall.

–          The shops at Shilin Night Market close at midnight. We would love to stay there longer but we wanted to catch the last metro home and since the shops were closed, there’s no point in staying. Take note, metro train terminates its service at about 11.45 p.m.

The second day was exhausting in a good way. It was a happy eating, happy sightseeing and happy shopping day!

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