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Visiting Taiwan: The Capital City, Taipei (Part 2)
Directions to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall from MRT
Visit to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
On our second day in Taipei, we headed to the Ximending MRT station and headed towards the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station. Upon exiting the station, you will see clear directions pointing you towards the Memorial Hall. It is just a few minutes walk away and soon, you will see the entrance to the Zhongshan Park.
Upon entering the building, you will see a huge statue of Dr Sun Yat Sen. Besides learning about the influential man himself, there were also exhibitions of artwork and during our visit, an exhibition on the history of Taiwan's currency and banking industry. Look out for the hourly march by the military honor guards which happens in front of the 19-foot bronze statue of Dr Sun Yat Sen. When you are outside at the park, you will also realize that on a clear day, this is one of the best spots to take a photo with the soaring Taipei 101.
Tripod Used for Hotpot at Ding Wang
Delicious Hotpot Lunch at Ding Wang 鼎王 (Tripod King)
From here, we took a cab to Ding Wang 鼎王 (Tripod King), a famous hotpot restaurant. Be prepared to queue for a long time though if you have not made a reservation. We waited for about an hour although my friend was number two in line. We ordered a combination of the spicy base (made of mild Chinese medicines and chili peppers) and non-spicy base (stewed with a one-of-a-kind vegetable vinegar) with main dishes like pork, vegetable set, meat balls, mushrooms etc.
Cod Fish Teppanyaki at Shihlin Night Market
Admiring Chinese Artifacts at the National Palace Museum
After such a filling lunch, we decided to hail a cab towards National Palace Museum. This was the most convenient way for us, instead of taking a cab, switching to MRT and then taking bus again. Also, the ride only costs TWD 225 and we reached the museum comfortably.
Once inside, head up one level to purchase your entry ticket. The counter at B1 level is only for group tours. As of December 2012, it costs TWD 160 per person. Note that if you are a local resident, you will enjoy free entry on Saturday from 6.30 to 9.30 pm (extended hours). As we were there on a Saturday, essentially we could slowly browse through room by room as we could remain within the museum for about four to five hours. The collection here is awesome and as the brochure will inform you, the two most popular artifacts are the jadeite cabbage and the "Dongpo pork" shaped stone from the Qing Dynasty. They are really that beautiful and intricately made. Personally, I would recommend you to come later in the day as most of the tour groups had left during the extended hours. Hence, you will be able to admire the collections on your own.
Friendly Seller at Shihlin Night Market's "Da Ji Pai" Stall
Trying the Local Specialties at Shihlin Night Market
From the National Palace Museum, you can board a bus just right outside the museum. This will bring you to the Shihlin night market after a few stops. As there were three of us, we decided to just take a cab. The information counter at B1 will assist you in booking a cab and provide you with the taxi number to look out for. There is no additional booking fee by doing so.
As the traffic wasn't that smooth that day, the ride costs us TWD 150. Our main aim at the Shihlin Night Market was to try the "Da Ji Pai" (Huge Chicken Cutlet). It is extremely delicious and I strongly recommend it. We also tried other specialties such as "Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang" (Sausage Wrapped in Glutinous Rice). To escape from the never-ending rain, we headed to the indoor food court where there are also many stalls. Here, we tried the teppanyaki which was quite delicious as well. Soon, it was time to head back to the homestay and so we walked towards the Jiantan MRT station. The station is rather crowded so be careful with your belongings and ensure that your group does not get separated.
More Information on Taiwan
- Visiting Taiwan: Taichung and Shinshe
- Visiting Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake
- Visiting Taiwan: The Port City of Kaohsiung (Part 1)
- Visiting Taiwan: The Port City of Kaohsiung (Part 2)
- Visiting Taiwan: The Port City of Kaohsiung (Part 3)
- Visiting Taiwan: The Capital City, Taipei (Part 1)
- Visiting Taiwan: The Capital City, Taipei (Part 3)