Friday, December 21, 2012

24 hours in Taipei

Y'all must all be used to these travel-related absences by now but I would like to announce I am now back in the fine city of New York after a wonderful time in Asia. Cue the fireworks, huzzah!

This trip wrapped up my travel for 2012 and boy, it sure ended with a bang, otherwise known as continous high fever that knocked me off my feet followed by jetlag that didn't let up for over a week. A WEEK! I am clearly no longer the spring chicken I think I am. 

Anyway, here's the first of a list of write ups about the trip. My first stop was a quick 24 hours in Taipei (if you think that was short, wait till you hear about Hong Kong.. )

Taipei reminded me very much of Seoul with one clear advantage - I don't get to bust out the Mandarin much in New York and it was great to travel to a non-English-speaking country and be able to read and speak the language. 

I left the itinerary to my dearest friend and current TPE local, HW, whom I most recently traveled with to Biarritz and San Sebastian. Girlfriend knows me to a tee - so it came as no surprise that everything she planned for me involved some form of eating. 
Besides having dumplings at Din Tai Fung and plenty of bubble tea, I couldn't visit Taipei and not go to a night market. We hit two that evening - Ning Xia (寧夏夜市) and Shi Da (師大路夜市) - the former for food, the latter for sartorial delights. Here are some pictures I took when I wasn't stuffing my face:
Think of the guac you could make with these GIANT avocadoes! 

Oysters everything

Egg-shell filled egg custard tarts
Stinky tofu - not the faint-hearted. I managed 3 pieces so I call that a VICTORY!


The next day started with more chow. I now believe there is only one place and one place alone to have breakfast in Taipei: at Fu Hang Dou Jiang 阜杭豆漿. Located on the second floor, the lines (all locals no less) went down the stairs and snaked around the block. This was one time I thanked my NYC training of waiting forever for food - if there is a line, it must be good!  
You Tiao twice has long as I the ones in Malaysia/ New York!

Fu Hang, which I am told has been around since the 1950s, is famous for traditional Taiwanese breakfast eats. Since most dishes were on the smaller side, we ordered practically everything on the menu - from sweet and savoury soy milk dishes to Taiwanese bread rolls - and promptly licked our plates clean. You would think we had starved ourselves the night before.

Fueled up, we squeezed in a visit to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial before my flight. 

J Crew Lucille Dress, Uniqlo cardigan, My Ferragamo ballerina flats, Hermes belt, Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody

He had great taste in cars. Not shown, his other Cadillac!

This was a memorial hall, hence set up to portray CKS in nothing but a positive light. Naturally, there wasn't much on his dictatorial-like rule of Taiwan, apart from pictures of various diplomatic visitors and displays of his affinity for the finer things in life. 

Luckily my disappointment was satiated by plenty of pictures of the perfectly put-together Mrs. CKS aka Soong May-Ling. I remember watching The Soong Sisters growing up - set in pre-modern China, the movie dramatised the lives of three sisters who, as the plot set out, married influential men in the then-burgeoning nation, either for "love of country, love of power or love of money". Great movie. Maggie Cheung was in it too. Must rewatch. 

So there you have it - my 24 hours in Taiwan. Next up, the Fragrant Harbour!


  1. wearing the cardigan today!

  2. Looks fantastic...I'm jealous!

    1. Haha don't be!
      I have zero holidays next year due to wedding prep so promise you travel for me?

  3. I love your travel posts. Looking forward to some more photos!

    1. Thanks Lisa - I still have a few more planned. They just seem to take a little bit longer to put together..that or I am just lazy!

  4. I was born in Taipei and only have been back once in high school, so you are making me nostalgic. The food is one of my fave things about Taipei - oyster omelettes, mian xian, and those shaved iced concoctions with the fruit and other weird but delicious things on top.

    Happy holidays, girl - hope you're feeling better!

    1. There was only so much I could eat in 24 hours but I think I did well. It's so close to KL that I am sure I will back there sometime.

      Happy holidays to you too Lisa - hope you had a great time with family!