Thursday, November 14, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 12 - Taipei (台北) | Taipei City Mall | Ximending (西门町)

12 December 2018

After spending 4D3N at Kaohsiung, it is time to embark on our final league of travel in our 2 weeks Taiwan trip. It is a mixed feeling traveling up to Taipei as it also means our holiday is coming to an end soon!

8:15am - We checked out of Jia's Inn and travel down to Kaohsiung HSR Station at Zuoying (左营站)

8:50am - Traveling to Zuoying Station is a breeze as it is easily accessible via the metro line. We took about 30 minutes from R10 Formosa Boulevard to R16 Zuoying (THSR). Arriving early is important as we definitely do not want to miss the train!

Setting off on time at 9:55am towards Taipei!

11:30am - Arrived in Taipei after 1 hour 30 minutes train ride. We placed our luggage at Taipei H Imperial Hotel which is located directly opposite to Taipei Main Station.

11:45am - We first headed down to Taipei Main Station Underground Shopping Mall. It is a labyrinth beneath with lots of exits, stairways and shops. Even with maps, we are confused!

Basically the underground mall is divided into 4 sections - Station Front Metro Mall (Z), Taipei City Mall (Y), Taipei New World Mall (K) and Zhongshan Metro Mall (R).

We explored the Taipei City Mall (Y Zone) briefly during our trip. While it can be really confusing as it is a LONG stretch with many intersections, you can find a lot of great stuff below! From clothing, apparels, arcades, anime toys & figurines, food, household items, hair accessories and even live performances.

If you are an anime otaku fan (like my daughter), head down to the - Anime/Manga haven at Taipei City Mall (Y15/16 and Y18-21/22 Area)

You can also play video games for free at the stations.

1:15pm - Our next destination : Ximending (西门町) which is only one station away from Taipei Main Station.

1:30pm - Ximending (西门町) : Also popularly known as the "Harajuku of Taipei" is one of the top favourite destination for tourists as it is a shopping and food haven. The first and largest pedestrian zone in Taiwan attracted millions of shoppers every month. It is the central location where you can find fashion apparels, beauty products, entertainment, movie theaters, cafes, restaurants and a great place to stop by for souvenirs.

We were a little hungry and had some snacks at the nearby food street stalls. This Korean style cheesy fried chicken is our boy's favourite eats. He never fails to order a serving when he spotted one.

Have learnt that Hot-Star large fried chicken in Ximending is very popular and attracted a lot of crowd. Hence we also bought one to give it a try.
Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken (NT70/SGD3.20) has a crispy crust and juicy, tender meat. The portion is quite big but it is not entirely boneless.

I was desperately looking out for drinks after crunching down the fried chicken. Spotted Tiger Sugar (老虎堂) - a popular bubble tea shop famous for its Brown Sugar Bubble Milk Tea in Ximending. We didn't wait very long long our drink.

The signature cup is priced at NT55 (~SGD2.50). This is definitely much cheaper compared to  Singapore. While I love the tiger stripes surrounding the cup which looks very pretty and tasty, it is a shame that most of it is covered with ice and the flavour of the tea is not as strong compared to the other bubble tea drinks we had tried in Taiwan.

Nevertheless, if you bought a cup, remember to shake the cup well before consuming!

At Ximending, you can find lots of affordable eats in the area. We spotted this shop selling assorted rice bowls. 

We had our lunch set for about NT110 (~SGD4.80)

Its time to walk and shop after our meal

Our boy managed to bought some TWICE CDs at a local CD shop. He shared that the price is much cheaper here compared to back home.

Other merchandise that we spotted and bought.

Ximending is even prettier and exciting when the night falls. Neon lights light up the district, with live street performers and many locals and tourists swamp to the streets to shop and chill. 

Red House - The century-old iconic historic landmark that now serves as an art and culture centre which hosts exhibitions.

You also frequently find talented buskers/performers got on to the street and deliver their items (e.g stunts, singing, instrumental) which often attracts a crowd.

Walking on the streets of Ximending in the cold month of December is extremely pleasant for us as we enjoyed the breeze and away from the tropical heat. 

The vibrancy of Ximending is what attracts many tourists preference to stay in the area. Which explains why there are also many boutique hotels in the coolest, exciting district of Taipei. Shopping haven is literally near to the comfort of your stay and you can shop and dine till late.

Taipei City Mall
Address: No.100, Sec. 1, Civic Blvd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 100, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Ximending (西门町)
Address: Chengdu Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City 108, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Check out our 2 Weeks Taiwan Itinerary Family Trip here

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