Our Taipei getawaytsewei | February 7, 2009
Going on vacation is a great thing. Even better if you fly for free. :p
Two months ago (Dec 2008), we went on a short weekend getaway to Taipei. We had enough miles on our Kris Flyer to each redeem a ticket, and we were given the option of choosing Hong Kong, Shanghai or Taipei. Cheap food, affordable hotels and friendly locals – it’s a no-brainer, so we went to Taipei for a short 3-day 2-night weekend getaway.
We stayed at TS Hotel, located on a street just under 5 minutes from Ximen MRT and Ximenting. It’s cheap, the room’s nice and comfortable, location’s convenient and the service is personal. So if you’re looking for good and cheap accomodation, that’s the place to go to.
At Taipei, you never stop eating. You never really have complete meals as much as you just walk around eating every snack in sight that smells or looks good. That’s probably why I never ended up eating the stinky tofu. I was determined to try it, but I’m sorry stinky tofu, your stench was just too much for me. Everything else was super yummy and super cheap. Gotta love the exchange rate! :p
I enjoyed walking on the streets. It’s filled with people, and food. It’s vibrant and surprisingly welcoming. And a new snack await at every turn, just like this potato chips stick I found. It’s a half-potato that’s carved in a continuous spiral, fried on the spot on a stick, and it never ever crumbles into a million pieces when you pick at it to eat. The trick, as the hawker told us, is to eat from the bottom up. It’s totally coated with MSG (as with every other fried snack in Taipei), but it’s yummy! I’ll worry about hair loss after the trip. :p
Even though our trip was really short (and I agree with most that to have a good tour of Taipei you’ll need 4 to 5 days), but we did manage to check out quite a few spots. The best thing about Taipei is that it’s really very easy to get around, so the only itinerary planning we did was the night before we flew, on Google. Their MRT service is very much similar to Singapore, and I’m very glad that I can comprehend their Mandarin better.
I think my favourite spot was Danshui (æ·¡æ°´). Located in the North of Taipei, it’s a quaint harbour-side town. Away from the hip and happening city, it’s a nice place to just relax. We went there on a Sunday, and it was obviously a popular spot for the local families as well. Thankfully it wasn’t too crowded, so you could still have a slow stroll down the streets on the waterfront while still enjoying a fun carnival-like atmosphere. Again, there’s lots to eat. I especially love that ice-cream is so cheap.
I’ve uploaded some photos that’ll explain more about what we saw on the trip. Hit on the Photo Gallery button on the navigation bar on top, and check out our 2 Taipei albums. If you’re too lazy to scroll, click on this right here.