Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Taipei Trip - Part 1

In April 2006, I went on a trip to Taipei with my husband and a friend. It was a 5-day-4-night trip and we flew via KL to Taipei on a Boeing 747-400. It was a big plane as the plane will transit in Taipei and continue its journey to Los Angeles.

When we landed in Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, we took a bus to the city centre, which was quite far away. There was a huge traffic jam and the supposed less than an hour journey took more than an hour and a half. When we reach the city centre, at the Taipei Main Railway Station, we took a taxi to our hotel. After checking in, we explore the area and streets nearby the hotel.

There's this small shop near our hotel that sells very nice food. I especially like the plain beehoon soup. Really delicious. Had a lot of bowls of it throughout my whole trip. Anyway, our hotel is very near the popular shopping area called Ximending. We walked around Ximending and there were heaps of people there. There's also alot of illegal food stalls around the walkway and the moment they spot some policeman coming, they'll quickly push their stalls away. Very similar to our TV series where you see stall owners pushing their carts away when there's a police ambush. First time in my life that I've witnessed this in real life. I even experience that in the midst of buying some food from the stalls, the owner just suddenly push his stalls away running and left me standing there like an idiot. What the heck!! @#*%!!

We also tried out the "chow tofu" (smelly tofu) at Ximending. It wasn't all that smelly to me and it tastes just ok I guess. When I came back to Kuching and told people about it, they told me that the one I had was not the original really smelly one.

I also tried the famous "Ah Zhong Mian Sian" (mee sua - rice flour noodles). It's different from the way we prepare it here. It's quite spicy and has thick gravy with alot of "spare parts" as the ingredient. And there's no place to sit. Everyone just stood outside the shop and eat. Alot of shops in Taipei have this concept. They sell food in their shop front only and when you buy from them, you just stand right in front of their shop and eat. Damn tired, my legs. #$@%!!

After finishing the mee sua, we explore the nooks and cranny of Ximending and return to the hotel only around 11pm.

The next day, we went to look for the famous Taiwan beef noodles for breakfast. We found a shop and ordered the beef noodles. Gosh, they were huge!! Taste quite nice. Not too bad.

Then we proceeded to take the train to some shopping areas. We headed for the last train station of the railway line at Danshui. The Danshui train station was gigantic and looked like a palace.

It was a Sunday and there were practically thousands and thousands of people along the crowded small streets.

This place is like our Sunday market, India Street and Main Bazaar rolled into one. The shops there sell alot of things that you never see in Kuching before, apart from the Giordano shops that is. They've got unique crafts, food and rare delicacies (snails, tiny crabs, etc). They sell "chow tofu" here and the "chow tofu" here really stinks. You can smell it from a distance away. Smells like sh**!!!

They also sell fried birds' eggs on sticks. Sorry I do not have photos of the fried birds' eggs as I gobbled it down the moment the stall lady passed it to me. Hmm..Yum Yum..delicious. They also sell some snails and crabs that I've not actually seen before at our Kuching Sunday market.

We also spotted a statue that seems out of place there. Not sure who the statue depicts though.

We tried out one dish called "Ah Keh" after the name of a famous actor I think. I didn't like it. It's sweet. Was expecting it to be, you know, something like our "Yong Tau Hu".

We walked around till the night came so we could explore the night market nearby.

They also sell durians there.

Another night market nearby is called the Taipei Hwashi Night Market. This place has got nothing much except lots of snakes. All sorts of snakes. They've got shops and restaurants, all selling snakes as delicacies. And they do not allow people to take photos of the snakes.

We went back to Ximending area and walk around Ximending again just for fun. Got back to the hotel around 11pm. The small shop selling beehoon soup was still opened so we went there to eat again. By now the lady there already recognized us.

~ Posted 19th November 2006 in Friendster Blog

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