Taiwan Trip: Taipei (台北)

Taiwan Trip: Taipei (台北)

Taiwan is the beautiful land of smiles. And no wonder too! Their exquisite spread of food and up-to-date fashion will put a smile on anybody's face! 
Throughout my 4 nights in Taipei, I stayed at City Inn III near Taipei Main Station. City Inn has a few branches in the vicinity and rumour has it that 90% of the occupants are Singaporeans.

I liked this place because it’s clean and affordable. Plus point – They have free milo/coffee machine in the lobby, but I only discovered it on the last day!

The first place we went to in Taipei was Xi Men Ding (西門町) and we were really spoilt for choices because there were so many street stalls selling food and fashion wear. We did some research beforehand and went to try the famous Ah Zhong Mian Xian (阿宗麵線). The queue was very long but fast-moving, and there were very few seats so most people just stood around and ate with only a spoon.

Ah Zhong Mian Xian

To be honest, I never liked this kind of mee sua so I didn’t find it special. We were too full for dinner so we wandered around and found a small risotto restaurant with a huge golden retriever just lying around sleeping in the middle.

Ah Mao Risotto

The highlight of the night was our buffet steamboat dinner at 馬辣頂級麻辣鴛鴦火鍋 recommended by Yiling.

Ma La Huo Guo

For just SGD 20+ we got a free flow of various kinds of beef/pork/chicken, vegetables, seafood, Haagen Daz ice-cream, as well as Taiwan Beer! Good food = long queues, so the best thing is to book beforehand and walk around for an hour before it’s your turn to feast.

The next day was a day trip to Jiufen (九份) and Shifen (十分). There’s actually not much to do at Jiufen other than walking through the streets and eating their famous taro.

Yam Balls

There is also  ice cream with chopped peanuts wrapped in popiah skin, which was quite refreshing.

Peanut Popiah Ice-cream

Taiwan is also famous for their white bitter gourd juice. When mixed with honey, it’s a refreshing and healthy summer beverage! Try to spot them behind the huge watermelon.

Bitter Gourd Juice

I would have allocated more time at Shifen instead. The thing with getting around is that Ruifang Station is the common point between Jiufen and Shifen, and the train intervals are not very frequent (including the train ride back to Taipei).

Shifen Station

We only had around 30 minutes at Shifen, just enough time to do a quick 放孔明灯 there. Thankfully they were all within walking distance from the station and the shop-owners were experienced, the entire process took less than 20 minutes.

Sky Lantern

I would love to explore Shifen more on my next visit! There’s waterfall nearby and some beautiful scenery and walking trails as we were passing by.

The next day was a trip to XinBeiTou (新北投) for our hot spring session! Ironically, the weather was hot as hell and we were already overexposed to the sun, but since it’s the first time for my parents,  we didn’t regret it. The place we went to was a hotel called Sweet Me.

We booked a private room that allows us to wear swimming costumes into the bathtubs. It was a pretty tiny bathtub meant for 2, with another tub for cold water.


They also had a separate gender hot spring area, but you have to go in naked and there are more pools with different minerals and temperatures there.

We walked around the XinBeiTou area and we found a Thermal Valley (地热谷) that has fumes rising out of the pool. The place did smell very sulphuric though, and we didn’t stay for long other than to snap pictures because it was burning hot.

Thermal Valley

After a relaxing bath, we went to Danshui (淡水) Fisherman’s Wharf (渔人码头) to catch the sunset!

Fisherman's Wharf Sunset

We had a spectacular view on the 情人桥 and it was another mesmerising moment.

Qing Ren Qiao

Our dinner was at Shihlin Night Market (士林夜市). By then, we had enough of the food from the night market that we were just browsing through the stalls without eating.

Our second last day was spent walking a pilgrimage to Taipei 101, a must-go destination when you visit Taiwan.

Taipei 101

However, I would like to recommend another place called Si Si Nan Cun (四四南村) that is 10 minutes walk away.


It used to be military barracks/hangars, but now it’s a quaint area with a cafe called Good Cho’s (好丘) that’s famous amongst the locals. My Taiwanese friend introduced this hippy place to me. You’ll never find it on Tripadvisor.

Good Cho's


If you’re reading this and planning to travel to Taiwan, do visit this place!

Our last interesting place for the trip is WuFenPu Wholesale Market (五分埔). The girls will go crazy just shopping there. For them, wholesale means two items or more. Thankfully, there are some shops that sell males clothes nowadays, but I didn’t get myself anything.

There is a famous 鲁肉饭 in between the train station and the entrance of WuFenPu. Their portions are very small, so do order more because each bowl is only $1.50.

Lu Rou Fan

This sums up my trip to Taipei! Along the way we visited XiMenDing and Taipei Main Station Underground Mall a few more times, and ate plenty more food that probably wasn’t that memorable.

During these nine days, I had a wonderful time with my family and I hope that we can still continue going on vacations like this in future!

Cheers to quality family bonding time!

Also Read:

No Restaurant, Only Street Food At Taichung (台中)

Taiwan Trip: Hualien (花莲)


Contributed by Jeremy’s Blog.

About Author

Jeremy Khong

Jeremy loves travelling and hopes to share his tips and experiences with readers. Holding a full-time job, he treasure the free moments he has by exploring the world and expanding his horizons.