Every day was a new and exciting day in Taipei as there were so much things to do and it surprised me each day. We got up early again had a simple breakfast. I had Chinese cruller or youtiao (油条) with soy milk and it is very common breakfast for Taiwanese. You can pretty much find it every corner of the place. I also ordered a small plate of dan bing (蛋饼) or egg biscuit. It was plain and simple but not entirely healthy as it was all deep fried or pan fried. 😛
After breakfast we headed to National Palace Museum where they kept the national treasures from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. A full story of how they transported out the artifacts can be read here – http://www.npm.gov.tw/en/Article.aspx?sNo=03001502. The entrance fee for the museum is NT$250 and no photos are allowed inside. Be sure to be there as early as you can as there are many tour groups flocking there and a lot of them are not very nice. There are a few key items that is a must see such as the Jadeite Cabbage, Meat-shaped Stone and Chinese calligraphy on a grain of rice. To get here: Take red line MRT to Shilin. Then take a mini bus S18, S19 or S1 to National Palace Museum. Price for the bus is NT$7.
Our next destination was Tamsui which is located at Northeast of Taipei. We didn’t explore much of the Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街) and from I saw it is a place where they sell souvenirs and lots of food stores. The picture below is the Tamsui Old Street with scooters parked along the road. Taiwan is basically a “Scooterland”.
A short walk from the street will lead you to the Tamsui harbor where you can take a boat ride to Yu Ren Ma Tou (漁人碼頭). It is advice to go this place in late afternoon to watch sunset. On a normal clear sky you will see a beautiful sunset at the harbor. This place is like Santa Monica in California, where you have a pier people can sit, walk or fishing. Some romantic guys may even propose to their girlfriend here.
Coming here without taking a photo of the Tamsui Lover’s Bridge is like you have not been here. This bridge is well popularized by bloggers or travelers like me. To get here: Take red line MRT to Tamsui then walk to the Tamsui Old Street. You can either cycle to Yu Ren Ma Tou or take a boat ride for NT$60. You can take a bus back to the Tamsui MRT station by this yellow gate.
From here, we took the blue line MRT to Mengjia Longshan Temple (龍山寺) for another visit. Aside from the temple there is another famous night market here. Huaxi Street Night Market (華西街夜市) is near the Longshan Temple and this is the place where they sell snake soup and meat. But, according to my Taiwanese friend, it is getting lesser shops now comparing with years back. Coming to Taiwan without having little snack here and there means you have not been to Taiwan. There are so many foods to try and explore your taste buds.
Xiaonan Zhengji Tainan Wanguo (小南鄭記台南碗粿) or literally translation is Tainan Rice Bowl Cake. Or the Taiwanese called it “wa guih” (碗粿). It is actually a dish that is eaten in Tainan but they brought it to Taipei. There are 2 things that you have to try here are the “wa guih” (台南碗粿) and fish ball soup (虱目魚羹湯). I never had something like this before and the texture and taste will blow you away. The shop is located next to Mengxia Park and near Longshan Temple (龍山寺). This place is definitely recommended and thanks to my new Taiwanese friend that introduced that to us. To get here: Take blue line MRT to Longshan Temple.
From here, we headed to Ximending for more food. We tried the Ya Rou Bian (鴨肉扁). It is actually selling goose and not duck but the word “Ya Rou” is actually meant duck. I have no idea why they called it duck. They serve slice goose meat accompany with a bowl of noodle soup and they claimed they are the only shop in Taipei. To be honest, I still prefer the way they prepared goose in Hong Kong.
Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles (阿宗麵線) is a sticky noodle serve w/ salty cure pork intestine, sliced bamboo shoots and cilantro. I find it a bit hard for me to swallow as I am not a fan of intestine. Don’t let the line scare you as they serve pretty fast and again you can find them in Ximending. The only problem here is there is no place for you to seat and eat. So, basically you have to carry your bowl and eat as you walk or stand. Don’t worry the rest of the people here are doing the same thing.
Lastly, we washed down all the foods we had with a cold cup of Chengdu Carambola Ice (成都楊桃冰). It is a preserved star fruit, pineapple or plum that make into a drink. I ordered a star fruit ice and it has its sweet and sourness taste. It was definitely a good drink after a long walk as it cools down the body. By this year, this shop have been in business for 50 years.
There are a lot of more foods here that we can’t stomach it. Hope to go back there again.