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Visiting Taiwan: The Capital City, Taipei (Part 1)

Updated on March 26, 2013

Delicious Oyster Mee Sua in Ximending

Rain, Rain, Rain in Taipei

Before heading to Taiwan for our holiday, I had done some research on Taiwan's weather and realised that it would vary depending on which part of Taiwan we head to. Kaohsiung welcomed us with clear skies, and in fact, it was so hot that it did not feel like winter at all. However, Taipei was the direct opposite. It rained for the entire three days that we spent in this capital city. Luckily, I did some research beforehand and we stayed mostly dry by exploring what this city has to offer indoors.

We reached Taipei via High Speed Rail and stopped at the Taipei Main Station where we headed to the taxi stand. After just a short stand, we boarded a cab which brought us to our homestay near Ximending. It was a cheap ride (about TWD90) and definitely the best choice of transport for us, considering the fact that we had luggage and it was raining heavily.

Andy Lau Photo Spotted At Shop

Must Eat in Taipei: Oyster Mee Sua

After checking in, our first stop was at the Ah Zhong Mian Xian shop where we each got a bowl of the tasty oyster mee sua (vermicelli) noodles. Note that this outlet at Ximending has no proper seating area so be prepared to stand while you slurp the noodles. Just opposite this shop is a popular Lu Wei (魯味) store. You will notice an old photo of Hong Kong star, Andy Lau in the shop!

Louis Vuitton Outlet at Taipei 101

Eslite Xinyi Outlet, near Taipei 101

Must See in Taipei: Taipei 101

From Ximending, we took the MRT towards City Hall station where we alighted and caught the free shuttle bus to Taipei 101. If you do not wish to wait for the shuttle (which comes about every 30 minutes), you can board almost any of the mini buses which stop here too. At Taipei 101, we did not really shop as the shops here sell mostly luxury goods, particularly the top floor where you will find Louis Vuitton and Burberry. For most tourists, the main attraction here is definitely going up to the observatory at the 89th floor for a great view of the city.

Must Visit in Taiwan: Eslite

From Taipei 101, we took the shuttle back to Taipei City Hall station. Here, there are many shopping malls here including Eslite. Eslite or Cheng Pin in Chinese is a household name in Taiwan. Essentially Eslite is a book shop but I would actually consider it more like a lifestyle brand just as how Starbucks is not just about coffee! If you are a book lover, definitely pay Eslite a visit. There is an outlet in Taipei that is open 24 hours so if you are suffering from insomnia, you know where to head to...

For us, we visited the outlet at Xinyi. This branch is huge and consists of many floors, selling not just books or magazines but also offering a cafe, a children's bookshop, and lots more. You can really spend lots of time here. It is also normal to see visitors browsing through books for a long time. The staff will not stare at you, unlike at other bookshops! So feel free to browse in comfort and spend your time here.

Map of Taipei

show route and directions
A markerTaipei Main Station -
Taipei main station, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
get directions

B markerXimending -
Shi-men Ting, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
get directions

C markerTaipei 101 -
Taipei 101, No. 7, Section 5, Xìnyì Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
get directions

D markerEslite Xinyi Branch -
Sōnggāo Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
get directions


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