Finally got myself motivated to finish this guide that I’ve planned since I headed there last December. A lot of people seem to be headed over to Taiwan (must be the Scoot deals lol) and this should be pretty helpful if you need some help getting around Taiwan. Here goes!!!!!
Well of course we checked in our baggage at Changi, only difference was that my Dad and brother were flying ScootBiz while Jw and I took the usual economy class…. Kanasai. So unfair lor….
Before that we headed to T2’s Rainforest Lounge before boarding the plane. Was hoping for a nice place to chill but it looked and felt more like a Sakae Sushi establishment… So waste money this Priority Pass. -_- Gna cancel it.
Food choices were quire limited so I had more of the Saba fish cuz more worth it ma…
We were served set menus with sashimi and other stuff but I don’t remember anything standing out and being very “wow” so… No pictures.
I went to do some duty free shopping before boarding the flight and got myself new Clarisonic brush heads (SO MUCH CHEAPER!!!) which made me super happy!!! YAY!!! Saved like 20 bucks off original retail leh!!!! I would 100% recommend shopping around Changi before your flight if you have the chance. Our airports are so good for shopping!!!!!
One before the flight!!!! This was me acting all melancholic like I was going to miss Singapore (LOL), but of course I was super excited about flying!! It feels like it’s been forever since I went overseas. Couldn’t wait!
And this was our window seat view. I love sitting at windows just because I can capture clouds/sunsets/birdseye view of everything. It’s one of the things I appreciate a lot when I fly. I can’t wait to sky-dive in Norway!!! OMG!!!! #sorryImdigressing
I’m also quite a freak on planes because I always make sure I have a mask on. A Hello Kitty mask most preferably. It’s completely psychological but I’ve always had this thing about breathing in airplane air…. I find it damn smelly and unpleasant. So my masks are always a must-have lol.
After about 6 hours in the air, we arrived safe and sound at Taoyuan Airport. I’ve learnt to become very thankful every single time the plane touches down safely.
Made our way to immigration and I realise how pretty the airport’s interior was. It’s totally vsco-worthy for those who are into architecture pics. I took some just to kay-siao.. Lol. But really very nice lah….
Right after getting through customs, we headed over to get data-sims because having internet access is very very important in-case we need to contact one another. Especially since my brother and Dad were travelling with us and staying at a different area, it was quite important for us to keep in contact even when we were outside so could decide on meeting points etc.
OK LA I BULLSHITTING. I needed Instagram. LOL.
AIYA IMPORTANT RIGHT!!!! I needed unlimited data access to remain contactable!!!!
Anyway, I’d definitely advice getting a data-sim when you’re overseas because it really does make things very very convenient. Especially when you’re outside and trying to find your way around… Google Maps is AMAZING.
We opted for ChungHwa Telecom.
They have a range of plans that you can pick from, so based on your period of stay in Taipei, you can decide which plan to get. I honestly didn’t think that it was very expensive, and my whole family and Jw chose Plan D (500NT) which gave us unlimited data for 7 days (we were there for 6) and it works across the WHOLE OF TAIWAN. Taichung included.
We had almost zero problems with the data service, but it only covers 3G and not 4G connection. Not a big deal. Remember to check their opening hours, they have a few branches at the different terminals at Taoyuan.
Before the trip, I prepared a metro map and highlighted the metro stations which were closest to our places of interest in Taipei. That explains the red circles on the train map above. Can refer to it if you’re using my itinerary! I’d recommend saving this onto your smartphone so it’s easier for you to check for directions.
Anyway, now we had to get to our apartment, Jw and I opted for an apartment at Zhongshan Elementary School. We were quite clueless about how to get there so we went straight to the information counter to get some help. The information counter is right opposite Chunghwa Telecom so you really should have no problem locating it.
But ANYWAY, Taiwan people are DAMN HELPFUL AND FRIENDLY!!! If you need any help in Taiwan, just ask!!!!! Serious!
We were directed to the basement after asking the information counter for directions and told to buy a bus ticket for bus service 5201. It would bring us to Xingtian Temple (Line 4) and we would just board the metro from there. Again, quite brainless. The tickets were super cheap! It’s one of those tour buses that help ferry people around, super comfortable.
We were guided to queue at Lane 6 for our bus and the whole process went very smoothly. We just asked and got our answers. The bus arrived in less than 5 minutes, saving us from the cold winds outside. Quite shiok!
So like I said, you’ll drop off at Xingtian Temple and take a short 5minute walk to the metro station. After that, GET AN EZY PASS!!!!!
It’s like our ezlink but you might want to consider the unlimited travel pass if you’re going to be using the trains a lot. Although Jw and I travelled quite moderately and thought the normal pass (plus top up) would be sufficient, we actually saved only peanuts and had to keep topping up our cards. Quite annoying, should have gotten the unlimited pass. Remember to plan your routes before your trip!
If you’re moving about a lot with the MRT then just get the unlimited one lah.
Please take note that for Line 4, there’s a 4A and 4B so remember to check if your apartment is on line 4A or 4B! Jw and I had no problem with this but my Dad and brother had some issues because they were staying on line 4A.
The train stations are quite similar to Singapore’s just that the frequency of their trains are…. Longer. We being Singaporeans couldn’t stand waiting and complained LOL.
And took some pictures.
And then we went our separate ways. Had to go back to our apartment and wash up!! I find planes SO DIRTY!!! Cannot tahan not bathing and going out. Lol. If only I was that clean in Sg. Hahhaha…. Thank goodness it was only 1 stop away!! Convenient to the max. Hehe..
Our apartment was SUPER SUPER pretty, big, and clean and I’m so glad we managed to get this at only $80 per night!!!! Damn worth it!!!!! The facilities were comparable to hotels!!! We had a TV, fridge, kitchen, toilet, and even a sofa to lounge on. Lolololol…. Damn awesome and worth our money!!! Also the location was SUPERB. We didn’t face much trouble changing lines etc (but you should really check which lines are most convenient for you) and were almost 10-15minutes away from all the destinations we had in mind.
SHIOK!!! TOILET SUPER CLEAN!!!!!!
I cannot stand dirty toilets. It’s my ULTIMATE pet peeve and a dirty toilet will RUIN a holiday for me. I’m super duper anal about this so when picking apartments I always make sure the owners show clear pictures of their toilets. This toilet was FAB. It had a freaking HEATER inside the toilet!!! Because we were there during winter, it gets VERY cold after taking a bat and that heater was a LIFESAVER.
They even had a “dryer” option which allowed you to dry your clothes and the room would be optimised for just that. DAMN AWESOME. I really loved this apartment, and the hosts from Airbnb were SO SO nice!!!! We freaking reached at 10pm BTW. They waited for us at the lobby immediately and brought us up without a blackface. I have no idea how they did that. I would be super pissy please…
They even provided us with towels and we didn’t have to bring our own!! YAY LUGGAGE SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Greeted with Taiwan snacks in a basket. These hosts are… !!!!! Customer relationship management must give them A+!!!!!!!!!
After washing up and changing into new clothes, I pulled out my comfy shoes because I knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking and eating at our next destination…
SHILIN NIGHT MARKET!!!!!!!
We were completely starved on the flight (not like my Dad and brother who had freaking food lor, ScootBiz all -_-) and I was DYING for some street food!!!! Took a train towards Shilin from our apartment and met my dad and brother at Shilin.
(Can refer to map above if you need to know where to switch and stuff, very similar to Singapore’s train system!!!!)
Dropped off at Shilin Station and asked for directions at the control station. Can never go wrong when you ask! Followed directions and signs along the way and it’s really quite impossible for us to go missing there. We walked towards the crowd, and usually where there’s bustling activity, it’s likely that there’s food there. Our hunches were right and after looking around for 10 mins we found Shilin Night Market.
The street is very very long and you’re basically overwhelmed by everything once you arrive. We were quite focused though, the only thing on our minds were FOOD. LOL.
The queue was INSANELY long for this store, but I wasn’t exactly in the mood to queue for anything. I needed food FAST, so I KIV-ed this and came back later.
I saw like alot of endorsements on this Cheese Fried Potato store’s signboard and decided to give it a try. It was super disappointing lor…….
I look very happy here because I hadn’t tried it yet, but it’s so yuck!!! Kns, the cheese tastes SUPER fake. Like worse than movie nacho-cheese. And the stupid guy was cooking it while smoking. W t f. Gross.
Again, a deceiving photo. Basically crappy potato deep fried and topped off with shitty condiments. Wasn’t fresh at all. Thinking about it makes me want to hurl vulgarities!! I was hungry and it still tasted like shit. DON’T TRY THIS.
My dad got very excited when he saw this… His favourite Smelly Tofu.
I find the smell damn repulsive so I’ve never had this. But I guess it’s a bit like durian, either you like it, or you don’t.
It was everywhere though… Totally affected my appetite T_T I ran away from these stores, but if you’re a lover of Chou Tofu you’ll be so happy in this place. IT WAS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!
Walked a little more and stumbled upon this BBQ store?? The lady had like so much BBQ items on sale and I just couldn’t resist. I MEAN SERIOUSLY, how badly can you screw up BBQ meat??!?!
They also had this, Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang (Glutinous rice wrapped Sausage), and it’s been recommended by so many of my friends that I HAD to try it! So I bought a portion to try and idk if it’s because I was hungry, but it really tasted quite decent!!!
Now the next item which I saw on sale is quite…. NSFW. I WARN YOU FIRST!!!!!
PENIS-SHAPED CUSTARD CAKES. LOL.
WE ALL BURST OUT LAUGHING WHEN WE SAW THIS. HAHAHHA IT WAS HILARIOUS.
And I’d say the idea was SO SMART. They got so much attention even without having to GET people to their stores!! The item itself attracted so many people lor. HAHAHA. We didn’t buy it though, thought it was quite inappropriate to be biting on a… Penis-cake. LOL.
AHAHAHHA I AM STILL VERY TICKLED BY THIS. I show it to all my friends when I see them. This is hilarious. I cannot imagine how the store owner came up with this genius idea….
Walked on further and I smelt this INSANE aroma attacking my nose….. I walked towards it and found this glorious BBQ grill on display.
They call it Cube Steak and even have a Facebook Page so I thought it CONFIRM + CHOP damn nice!!!! I ordered a portion even though it wasn’t exactly cheap because it looked so good!!!!! And the smell!!! Wah!!!!!!!!! Really last warning that kind!!!!
WOOO!!! Like a cooking show on display!!!!
The end result was this. FATTY, BBQ-ED, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH BEEF CUBES.
GIVE ME MORE NOW.
It’s so good!!!!!!! Damn oily but SUPER SHIOK!!!!!! I’d definitely have this again……….
Continued walking and found this rather famous Bear Paw store selling…. Bear Paws!! LOL.
I know Singapore recently brought this over from Taiwan but I never had to chance to try it because I was always too lazy to travel for this. Anyway, what better than to have it at the country of origin right! Heh.
Can’t exactly remember which version we bought but the little burgers were SO FREAKIN’ CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How it this not the most adorable burger you’ve ever eaten???
Taste wise, I don’t remember it being extremely yummy or horrible. So it must have been ok. I was quite full by then though… Had quite a lot to eat before reaching this store. And I knew I was going to be eating even more as I continued walking. I wasn’t even half done with exploring the place!!!!
Passed by these toy-gun carnival stores while looking for Hot Star (the huge chicken cutlet!!!) and it’s so sad Singapore no longer has stuff like this anymore… I think we used to have this at Escape theme park but it’s probably gone already….
We followed the directions of the kind lady working at Bear Paw and she told us to just walk straight and we’d see a long queue, which means… HOT STAR!!!!!! (see, really just ask the locals!!)
I think no one can talk about Taiwan Street Food and forget about their XXL chicken cutlet. It’s like, EPIC. So Taiwan!!! Joined the long queue and had a chicken cutlet myself!
Yes, the Taiwanese really love dogs. You’ll see owners bringing their pups EVERYWHERE!! I wish we could do this in Singapore…
Waited maybe 10 minutes for our chicken cutlet and my brother and I got one each. Shared it with Jw and Daddy because it’s freakin’ big!! Cannot finish one lor!!!!! Like it’s so big it’s bigger than my face….
SEE. I wasn’t kidding.
There are also LOADS of fruit stores along the streets of Taiwan so there’s really no excuse NOT to eat fruits while you’re there. I think I was close to getting a heart attack by the time I reached this store… Lol. I was eating so much fried food it’s crazy.
Got tempted by Muah Chee on the streets, and it’s usually sold by these really old folks, so I couldn’t say no. I don’t think it’s any better than Singapore’s version, but they have stuff like red bean/sesame/peanut stuffing in theirs. Try!!! It’s quite interesting.
They also have a lot of clothing stores, but I didn’t really give a crap about it because I was focused more on my food. LOL. I never planned to do much shopping in Taiwan anyway. At least not here. Maybe at Wu Fen Pu or something. But nothing really caught my eye, pretty much looked like Bugis Street. Haha…
Oops, kena caught for eating!
So remember the store which I saw at the start with a long queue?? Yep, we went back! They were selling some skewers and I really couldn’t stomach anything by then… Jiawei and my brother shared this! My brother hated it, but Jw loved it. He said it’s very fragrant. I guess Jw is more Taiwanese then. The TW people obviously like it a lot!! Queue was long but it did move very quickly.
They also sell toys at the Shilin Market, quite cute… These things would run around the table and go around in circles. So much childhood.
Walked past another Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang store and because the queue was pretty long here we decided to give it a try. My dad didn’t get to try it previously LOL. I gobbled it up too quickly… Heh.
After all the eating I was getting thirsty and bought my first milk tea in Taiwan!!!! From Yami-Yami. I was very excited about this because it’s supposedly the birthplace of milk tea right?!?!?
The menu was super intense lor, so many options but I had damn a lot of trouble reading it because it’s in freakin’ chinese. LOL. So paiseh, had to ask Jiawei for help.
BUT ONE THING FOR SURE I KNOW AND UNDERSTAND, their milk tea DAMN big and DAMN cheap!!!!! Must try!!!! And can pick sugar level also!! I was quite amazed cuz I thought only Sg allows that!! YAYYYYY~~~
This one I bought was quite nice but not the best lah! Like okok only…….. I just like how it’s super cheap lor. Don’t even need to think twice when buying bubble tea. Like it’s not going to be $4. Confirm.
Ok back to my Dad. He finally got his Glutinous Rice wrapped with Sausage (DCBXC) and it looked so much more legit compared to the one I bought at the BBQ store. LOL. Maybe that’s why the queue so long…
But this one really had a lot of stuffing. Ginger, garlic, chilli sauce etc etc. The one I bought had like… Nothing. LOL. Really just glutinous rice and sausage. I don’t really like ginger and all that kinda stuff la.. So I guess it really depends on your preference. The queue here was super duper long. Queued maybe 15minutes for this. Dad said it’s very yummeh!
Didn’t try this, but wtf, these sausages are damn huge. Wtf. Idk how anyone can finish one of these. Lol. Was purely amused.
Ended the night with a Twister Potato!! We were super lucky to have stumbled upon this store because theirs was REALLY DAMN, GOOD. Not the soggy kind, like really crispy!!! And the SEAWEED SEASONING WAS WAH. WAH. REALLY WAH!!!!
Better than seaweed shaker fries. You can choose like 2 flavours per stick but I’d say just go with the seaweed. ITZ DA BOMBZZZZ.
My brother was super happy because he bought this and he swore he would have another if he wasn’t so full. He regretted stuffing his face with so much “junk” when he could have saved more space for this. LOL. But I kid you not, this was really yummy. So much better than the crappy versions we get in Sg. MUST TRY!!!!!!!!
See his face you know I’m not kidding already!!!!
And then we bade farewell to Shilin, stomachs full and jackets smelly as hell. TOTALLY WORTH IT!!! I love Shilin!!!!
Really happy I brought a pair of comfy Timberlands to Taiwan instead of being a vainpot. Lol. Made travelling around so much easier and Jw had to deal with A LOT less complaining :P
No trip is ever made complete without visiting convenience stores, and neither is this one. Went over to a nearby 7-11 and bought some snacks and litres of water to hydrate ourselves before heading to bed. I love Taiwan convenience stores!!
It’s super colourful and really reminds me of the ones I visited in Japan. Everything is also quite cheap in comparison to our Sg 7-11s… No idea why. Maybe rental??
And that’s it for day 1!