Taipei Travel Guide: Ish Meets Taiwan

So, it’s been a while since I’ve made an entry here and since it’s March once again, I’ve decided to write about one of my most frequently visited Asian cities. Taipei is the venue for the annual Amway Cup, a Women’s 9-ball tournament which is attended by the best players in the world. The Philippines sends a contingent yearly and this is one of the events that we always look forward to.

Top 3 reasons why we love Taipei:

1. THE WEATHER-We’re always here around spring so it’s pleasantly chilly. Enough to be able to wear winter clothes (any chance to wear winter clothes, f you live in the Philippines, is a treat!) but not too chilly that we can’t stay outdoors for extended periods.

2. THE FOOD- Yup it’s the home of stinky tofu, chicken ass on a stick and all sorts of other crazy street food! Of course, you can’t go to Taiwan and miss Din Tai Fung for the best Xiao Long Bao! Even the food court fare in the malls are great. Servings are big and everything is prepared fresh as you order. We always prepare for our Taiwan trips with a couple of weeks of dieting since we know we will easily gain a few lbs. during the trip.

 Giant sausages which taste like Filipino longganisa
 chicken ass on a stick! yum!
 din tai fung dumplings
The gang enjoying xiao long bao
 My best friend
enjoying some food court ice cream
3. THE NIGHT MARKET-  We know that all the cheap stuff that we get in the Philippines comes from China or Taiwan…this only means that they can be found here and are quite possibly cheaper. We love the night markets since we’re at work most of the day and are only able to go out at night. There are several markets and most offer various products like food, clothes, toys, furniture and even pets!
 Here’s the gang with our shopping haul
Practicing my archery skills
Night market street food
Quite frankly, with food, shopping and beautiful weather, we really can’t ask for much more. But hey, since I’m at it, here’s a few more things that I like:
4. Bubble Tea- yup. this originated in Taiwan and the stalls are just everywhere. None of the powdered kind here, just freshly brewed milk tea goodness
5. Cheap Accommodations-There are hotels dotting the city and we always have various choices within walking distance from the event venue. There are 5 star hotels but the choices go all the way down to Motels which are still lovely and spacious. Prices range from about US $60- $180.
6. 7-11- I know, this sounds weird but seriously, you would never imagine how excited I get to go in a 7-11 when I’m in Taipei. They have the best Sushi here haha. Not to mention all sorts of bottled drinks to die for like the now famous Mineshine milk tea drink. Their meals are also pretty good. a lot of office workers actually eat here for lunch. They take this more seriously than we do. It’s not just a convenience store!
7. The Taipei Zoo- They have pandas. ’nuff said. Some pics from the last time we went to the zoo:
8.  The People- I’ve been to several countries and Taipei has some of the nicest people around. Granted that there’s a language barrier, we always manage to get some help from the locals.
9. Efficient Mass Transportation- Well, coming from the Philippines, we’re not that hard to please. Anyway, taxis are cheap (although if you’re going to the tourist spots you need to watch it. Like anywhere else, they often ask for crazy fixed prices. The rail system is pretty good though!
goofing off at the metro station
10. Taipei 101- Well most of central Taipei is pretty cool. However, visiting what was once the tallest building in the world should definitely be on anybody’s list.

That’s the best of Taipei for me! I’d like to visit one time when I don’t need to work. Maybe I can get a chance to visit the countryside and the hot springs. Tell you all about that next time. Cheers!