The easiest way of transport in Taipei is definitely by their metro. Cheap, easy and accessible to almost everywhere with just a tap of their Yoyo Card (a.k.a. EasyCard), which you can get at any train station. As compared to Singapore train system, Taiwan’s metro management fares way better. Mainly because the passengers are willing and considerate enough to maintain an orderly queue before boarding.
See! They even have advertisements to remind passengers to be considerate. Reading newspapers on train is definitely taking much more space than you think, make space for others!
I wish Singapore has this too. :/
Anyway, for the Yoyo card, I would say NT$500 is actually more than enough to travel around Taipei for 5 days, but you could top up more if you want to use the card to pay for your items at places like 7-Eleven.
Their 7-Eleven stores are so awesome by the way! <3 how they actually have table and chairs for people to eat there, even washroom is provided in the store itself! Last but not least, you can preorder music albums there too. How cool is this!
西門町 XI MEN DING
Spent quite some time at Xi Men Ding (XMD) and I admit I kind of regretted not staying near XMD or even Taipei Main Station because travelling to each place takes extra time. Nonetheless, the stay at Mudanhouse was quiet and serene.
Check out my post about Mudanhouse over here: http://lovelivfe.com/2012/11/10/my-backpacking-trip-to-taipei-the-stay/
XMD is one of the places in Taipei that most youngster hang out at. Even though the clothing and accessories are not considerably cheap (it is like a fusion of our Orchard Road and Bugis street), the quality and variety are pretty good. But the most awesome thing?
To be able to find random snack on the streets!
From hotdogs to sweet potato to spring onion pancakes, the street vendors are everywhere.
Designer stores are mostly located at XMD too, or for those who prefer to go to a less crowded place, try walking through the streets at Zhong Xiao Fu Xin or Zhong Xiao Dun Hua (train stations on the Nangang Line). Famous Taiwanese artistes have opened quite a few boutiques of their own, like Ashin’s (Mayday) STAYREAL and Show Luo’s STAGE.
Taipei Wuchang Street, 1st Floor, No. 85-4, Section 2
忠孝敦化 Zhong Xiao Dunhua (Daan District)
Lomography Flagship @ Taipei
No.35.Ln.187,Sec.1, Dunhua S. Rd., Da`an Dist., Taipei City 106
Telephone: +886 2 27736111
台北火車站 Taipei Main Station
I didn’t manage to squeeze out time for other cities but if you are interested in travelling with their High Speed Rail (different from their metro system) and eat their famous lunchbox (便當 Bian Dang), remember to visit Taipei Main Station.
國父史蹟館 Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial House
Sunday hours 9:00 am–12:00 pm, 1:00 pm–5:00 pm
To be honest, I was searching for 國父紀念館 (Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall) but I was apparently lost thanks to my poor sense of directions. This memorial house is not the real house of Dr. Sun Yat-sen but just a small and isolated culture heritage that is related to this important man. It consists of a few historical items set up and a wall of description of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s life. I wouldn’t say it is the most interesting place to be at but if you want a pretty background for photos, here is the place!
I saw a couple having their wedding photos taken over there and a bunch of people sitting around at the garden itself. Well, I kind of “picnic-ed” there too, with the pillars. Hahaha. #foreveralone
迪化街 Dihua Street
One of the oldest and more interesting culture heritage in Taipei that is still buzzing with business – Dihua Street. They have a lot of traditional snacks, blots of cloths, herbs and spices (sounds like our Arab street and Chiantown, doesn’t it?), which I believe many tourists would love to bring home some to try. Not the best place to have fun at but definitely a great location for shoots.
Eh… After reading and sorting out my posts and photos, I realized I am like an old soul looking for traditional places and find them as interesting as my solo journey. Oh my old soul. Haha. But these places have the prettiest background for good photos. Oh well~ I love it anyway. :D
Some random street near my hostel.
Well, if you are interested in Chinese-y things like the temples (for the Chinese deities), be sure to walk about some of the famous temples in Taipei like Hsing Tian Gong and Long Shan Si. Get involved by burning the incense sticks or even buy yourself some amulets, which is I did for my family. Nothing beats some blessings for myself and my loved ones. I don’t believe in religions but that doesn’t mean I am atheist, an action for blessings is never harmful. :)
行天宮 Hsing Tian Gong
Address: No. 109號, Section 2, Mínquán East Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Opening Hours: Sunday hours 4:00 am–10:30 pm
Phone:+886 2 2502 7924
艋舺龍山寺 Mengjia Long Shan Si
Address: No. 211, Guǎngzhōu St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Opening Hours: Sunday hours 6:00 pm–10:00 pm
Address: No. 7, Section 5, Xìnyì Rd, Xinyi District Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Day & Night view because I didn’t manage to see it the first time I went due to the bad weather.
Adult ticket at NTD450. ^^
Really amazing view from Taipei 101!
My Real Motive – Sodagreen Concert @ Taipei Arena
So… it just happened to be Sodagreen’s big concert at Taipei Areana! *suppressed excited scream* As the regular readers and friends who already know how crazy I am over Sodagreen, how can I miss their concert since I am already at Taiwan, right? *FIST PUMPS INTO AIR* WOOHOOOOOOO~~~~~~
Last March, I was at Taipei Arena crying my heart out; laughing my head off with Sodagreen. This April, their concert DVD is out! <3<3<3<3<3
*DOUBLE FIST PUMPS*
And that’s all of my whole solo journey in Taipei! :)
If only you were there.