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Taipei is the Capital City of Taiwan and it is the place that most first-time tourists to Taiwan would visit. It was during my first visit to Taiwan that I fell in love with the place, the people, and the food. As a matter of fact, words alone can’t really express the feeling I have whenever I visit Taiwan because Taiwan is like a second home to both Jacqueline and myself. Hence, it is not surprising that every year without fail, Jacqueline and I would travel to Taiwan and we would always go to our usual hangouts to do some eating, shopping, and sightseeing. Some of our usual hangouts in Taipei would include Raohe Night Market, Shilin Night Market, Ningxia Night Market, Ximending, Wufenpu, Q Square Mall, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Zhongshan Metro Mall, and Taipei Main Station Underground Mall.
Truly, there are also many other places in Taipei that we have yet to uncover and every year as we travel to Taiwan, there would always be something new for us to explore and discover. Hence in this blog post, we will be sharing about our usual hangouts in Taipei and why we make it a point to visit these places every year without fail! As we have explored new attractions in our recent trip to Taiwan, we will be sharing about our experience in the next blog entry and as crazy as it may sound, we actually have plans to include these new “finds” into our usual hangouts the next time we visit Taiwan.

Raohe Night Market

There’s a store at Raohe Night Market that specially sells Taiwanese goodies like the “Iron Egg” [also known as Tie Dan], Sun Biscuits [also known as Tai Yang Bing], and fruit-flavoured Jellies. This would perhaps be the best place to get souvenirs for all your family members and friends as they would be slightly cheaper as compared to the retail stores at the airport. Sumptuous street-food at Raohe Night Market

Yummy Grilled Scallops

Desserts Galore at Raohe Night Market

A must-try at Raohe Night Market, fried Oreo balls!

There are quite a number of mini arcades at Raohe Night Market and most of them have the toy catching machine which would get people instantly hooked. Though playing the toy catching machine provides much thrill and is cheaper than playing in Singapore, we would still suggest people to buy the toys from other retail stores as it would be much more cheaper!

Having some fun at Raohe Night Market.

A photo with our Taiwanese friend.

Personally, Raohe Night Market is a haven to me because this is where I can get my business long-sleeved shirts and long pants at a great deal. The quality is comparable to what you get from G2000 and it’s way much cheaper. The best part is, the tailor is able to alter the pants on the spot.

Whenever we are at Raohe Night Market, we would always visit our favourite desserts shop to have this really yummy oreo chocolate with peanut-flavoured ice-shavings. We highly recommend it if you’re planning a visit to Raohe Night Market.

Truly, Raohe Night Market is one night market you do not want to miss when you travel to Taipei! In fact, this is the place where we bought lots of Taiwanese goodies for our family members and friends. Apart from the tempting food that you could find at Raohe Night Market, you would also be able to shop till you drop!

Wufenpu

[Image Courtesy of Wikipedia]

Wufenpu is rather well known as a wholesale hub for clothes retailers and it is Taipei’s largest wholesale clothing market. As Wufenpu is about 10-15 minutes walking distance from Raohe Night Market, we would always just drop by to take a look at the clothing that are being sold and also check out if there are any good deals. Hence, you might want to visit both Wufenpu and Raohe Night Market on the same day.

Shilin Night Market

[Image Courtesy of Wikipedia]

Shilin Night Market is the most famous and busiest night market in Taipei and it is also a favorite focal point for Taipei’s night life among residents and visitors alike. Usually, when we visit Shilin Night Market, we would always check out the clothing and apparels that are available and also indulge in the sumptuous local street-food at the same time.

Ningxia Night Market

Fishball Store at Ningxia Night Market

Fresh Sashimi at Ningxia Night Market

Chicken with Egg on Hotplate at Ningxia Night Market

Having some fun at Ningxia Night Market

Ningxia Night Market is a rather small night market and it would be the best place for delicious local street-food because of the large variety of food stalls that are operating there. If you’re planning to do some shopping, Ningxia Night Market would be out of the question because the stalls there mainly sell food.

Ximending

Ximending is a place for the youths and it is comparable to our local Bugis Village/Street. Most of the time, we would go there to check out the latest fads and also indulge in some Japanese food at our favourite Japanese restaurant.

Sushi

Salmon Sashimi

Chicken Cutlet Bento Set

The Japanese restaurant has a rather interesting train conveyor belt that some Japanese Restaurants in Singapore used to have. Besides dining at the Japanese Restaurant at Ximending, we would also be shopping around for stuffed toys and backpacks.

Feeling pretty adventurous, we would often visit the hair saloons at Ximending for a haircut!

At the Special Hair Saloon.

Zhongshan Metro Mall

[Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor]

For the avid readers, there are a couple of bookstores at Zhongshan Metro Mall and they are really cheaper than what you get here in our local Popular store. The only downside is, most of the books are written in Chinese and there are few English books. Nevertheless, the books that are being sold at Zhongshan Metro Mall are really cheap and you might just want to consider picking up a book or two. Taipei Main Station Underground Mall We would always end up at Taipei Main Station because whenever we travel to other parts of Taiwan via the High Speed Rail, this would be where we eventually end up before heading to our serviced apartment in Shuanglian. Whenever we are at the Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, we will always buy this really delicious Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake that always have people queuing up for it every day! The Cheesecake is made on the spot and served fresh from the oven!

The Long Queue for Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake.

Q Square Shopping Mall

[Image Courtesy of Trip Advisor]

For some upscale shopping, we would always head to Q Square as it is within walking distance from Taipei Main Station. Furthermore, Q Square Shopping Mall has quite a number of well-known retail stores. We were quite surprised that we even found an Awfully Chocolate store there!

Guang Hua Digital Plaza

For the geeks whom are into electronic and tech gadgets, Guang Hua Digital Plaza is the place to go. Whether you’re planning to repair your mobile phones, get some computer accessories, or purchase a new tablet/PC, Guang Hua Digital Plaza is the place for everything geeky.

Convenience stores like the 7-Eleven are aplenty and we often visit them to get our cravings for convenience food fixed.

Cheese Risotto with Shrimp from 7-Eleven.

It really looks and tastes super yummy!

Every time we visit Taiwan, this is how much we would splurge at the 7-Eleven Stores.

Redeemed our free gift for splurging!

Well, there are quite a number of places that we have yet to uncover in Taipei, Taiwan but the places that we have listed here in this blog post are the places that we frequently go to every year! If you find this useful, do share it with your friends too! 🙂

Continuing from where we last left off in the previous blog entry about our stay at Mulan Motel, we will be covering about the Miramar Entertainment Park and the Five Dime Restaurant @ Taipei, Taiwan in this blog entry.
The Miramar Entertainment Park is a shopping mall that is situated in the Zhongshan District of Taipei, Taiwan. The nearest MRT Station is Jiannan Road Station and it is located just next to the Miramar Entertainment Park.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

On the roof of Miramar Entertainment Park is a 70-metre tall Ferris wheel; the second tallest in Taiwan, and the building and wheel have a total overall height of 100 metres.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

Frankly speaking, there really isn’t anything much to shop at Miramar Entertainment Park. In fact, we found the products to be quite pricey and the retails shops there mostly cater to upscale customers. The one and only reason why we were there was to take a ride on the ferris wheel.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

A standard adult ticket will normally cost $150 TWD [approx. $6.37 SGD].

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

Our tickets came together with a Haagen Dazs $50 TWD discount voucher.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

There are two different types of carriages that you can board, one which is entirely transparent and the other which is the normal one. However, the waiting time for the transparent carriage will take quite a while as compared to the normal one.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

So here we are onboard the ferris wheel!

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

Here are some photos of the wonderful views that we saw from the ferris wheel.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

After admiring the breathtaking views from the ferris wheel, we adjourned to the Five Dime Restaurant [which was nearby] that my mum personally recommended to us.

This is how the external facade of Five Dime Restaurant looks like.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

From the external facade, you can tell that Five Dime Restaurant is quite a unique dining place. However, when we arrived there, the interior decorations of Five Dime Restaurant was even more quirky.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

Here’s the entrance to Five Dime Restaurant.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

And here is how the interior of Five Dime Restaurant looks like.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

Even the furnishings and decorations are uniquely designed.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

They even have a water feature in the restaurant!

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

Their restrooms are also designed in a rather peculiar way.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

There are a wide variety of food choices to choose from and we were so spoilt for choices. By the way, Five Dime Restaurant serves authentic Taiwanese cuisine.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

After having our order placed, tea was served and we waited for our food to arrive.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]
From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

Here are photos of the food that we ordered.

Fried Mushrooms Coated with Salted Egg Paste

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

Fried Rice

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

Crispy Chicken with Spicy Sauce

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Melvin’s Perspective]

The food portion at Five Dime Restaurant are pretty huge and even the both of us couldn’t finish what we ordered. Nevertheless, the quality of the food is superb and the price was quite similar to the average restaurants in Singapore. Not only that, Five Dime Restaurant is even featured on Tripadvisor‘s website. Overall, we found Five Dime Restaurant to be quite a unique dining place and it is one restaurant you must visit at least once in your lifetime.

Here’s a parting shot at Five Dime Restaurant.

From Day 4 Taiwan Holiday 2012 [Jacqueline’s Perspective]

In our next blog entry about our Taiwan Holiday Trip, we will be covering the Raohe Night Market, the Vogue Star Serviced Apartment, and many other interesting sights we saw in Taipei, Taiwan.

Stay tuned to more updates from us.

God bless!