Night Markets in Taipei

helloooo! (: I’m back with another Taiwan post! ^^ today’s one is gonna be about all the night markets 夜市 i went to in taipei. we were so excited about our first night market upon arriving in Taichung! there seemed to be so much to eat, literally impossible to finish!! after visiting a few night markets, we realised that the food was more or less the same though, but various markets have their own specialties, and since you can’t eat everything, hope this post sheds some light on what you should eat at each market! (: you have to excuse me though…this seems such a long time ago now and i can barely remember the exact names of all the food we ate :P haha.
Feng Jia Night Market
one of our favourite night markets in taiwan was Fengjia Night Market 逢甲夜市 in Taichung which i wrote about in an older post, so you can check that out too! (: 
Miaokou Night Market
the first night market we visited in Taiwan was the Miaokou Night Market 庙口夜市 in Keelung. it’s one of the biggest night markets in Taipei if i’m not wrong, and is famous for its seafood as its next to the sea. you can visit this market on a day trip together with Jiufen/Shifen like we did, since they’re all in the outskirts of Taipei around the same area (: 
have to say that this was one of my least favourite 
Tian bu la 甜不辣 
the taiwanese version of tempura – this was highly recommended by many food blogs, but was unfortunately really disappointing for us! i guess it was to do with our expectations (cos we were really hoping to get something like the japanese tempura). it’s actually more like a sweet fishcake with a sweet/spicy sauce. you’ll have to try it to know!
Cheesy scallops
Since Miaokuo is so famous for seafood, you can find stalls selling it EVERYWHERE! And of course we had to try it. though decent, it didn’t live up to our excitement though. 
Nutritional Sandwich
haha this was quite a misnomer :P it’s a really interesting sandwich that was chock full of ingredients that were totally NOT nutritious/healthy at all :P but the rest thought it was not bad la haha. 
Pepper beef steak
The best item we ordered that day, or rather Ngan & Jiayee ordered bcos they can’t eat seafood, was ironically a non-seafood item! this beef steak sandwich had a really generous amount of beef in it, fried with spring onions and chilli and it was super duper tasty!! look out for this ^^ i definitely recommend it! 
okay so i didn’t really have a great time at Miaokou, but i enjoyed the other night markets much more!! :)
Shilin Night Market (Nearest MRT: Jiantan)

When you mention night markets in taiwan, the first one that comes to mind is Shilin Night Market 士林夜市 of course! as the largest and most famous night market in taiwan, this place is synonymous with the bustling night life of the country. i came back here TWICE simply because there was so much so see & eat! the first time we were there, we spent two whole hours shopping from the moment we stepped into the market, and simply couldn’t find the food area!! that’s how huge it is :O just cross a few parallel streets and you should be able to find the food area though! 
there is even an underground food hall which is basically a night market moved to the basement. WOW.
lots of good food here!!! have to say that this is one of my favourites as well (: though ti’d be best to come on a weekday because i heard that weekends are SUPER crowded and you’ll barely be able to get anywhere because you’re just swept up in the crowd.
this cold noodles 泰式冷面 looks deceptively simple, but that is exactly where the beauty lies because you have no idea what to expect. just three ingredients plus a sauce, that is super flavourful and spicy!! there are different levels of spiciness too, for those who wish to challenge themselves :p MUST TRY.
i can’t really remember what this was :P but i think it was an eggy thing with four different toppings – corn, seaweed, tuna and sth else! and topped with fish flakes. it was quite nice! :) and we found a really nice taiwan sausage stall near this one too! almost comparable to the one in Taichung ^^
there was a really long queue for this! can’t really decide whether i like it or not though! haha. it’s actually sprain onions wrapped in bacon. it was nice the first time i tried it, but the second time it was really spicy!! guess it depends on how well they fry it.
Fried squid can be found in most of the night markets, and it’s another must-try! there are so many flavours to choose from ;) i got the wasabi sauce, which had a really satisfying kick!
in the basement food hall, this coffin bread 棺材板 is really popular! it’s basically a deep fried piece of thick toast, with lots of ingredients inside. we found that while it looked pretty yummy, it was severely lacking in taste though! :/
on the way out of the night market, we came across the stall selling Fried Milk!! it sounds like the strangest thing ever, but it is SOOOO YUMMY!!!! even SK, who doesn’t like milk at all, felt that it was not bad. it doesn’t really taste like milk! rather, it’s lightly crispy on the outside, while nicely gooey and creamy within. it was so good! ^^
okay I think I’m becoming too long-winded! Shall not go into too much detail from now :P 
Raohe Night Market (Nearest MRT: Houshanpi)
Raohe Night Market 饒河夜市 is one of the oldest in Taipei and also one of our favourites! We didn’t have much time to explore the place, but we loved almost everything we ate here. 
This Japanese Egg Omelette was really good!! Lots of ingredients and very tasty. 
I have no idea what this is called!!! D: But it’s a pancake with this eggy/custard interior which is SOOO GOOD. must try!
Spare ribs stewed in herbal soup 肉骨汤 – similar to the herbal bak kut teh we have in Singapore!
One more item that is really famous at Raohe is the black pepper bun 胡椒餅 which you can find right at the entrance of the market. But the queue for that is perpetually long! We didn’t have a chance to try it.
Huaxi Night Market (nearest MRT: Longshan Temple)

Huaxi Night Market (a.k.a. Snake Alley) 華西街夜市 is supposed to be one of the largest night markets in Taipei! Unfortunately we were quite full on the night we went there so didn’t get to try a lot of things! :( What you really HAVE to try is the wild boar taiwan sausage!!!!! This was literally the BEST BEST BEST we found, on par with the one in Taichung ^^ Haha I know I keep comparing with the Taichung Taiwan Sausage, because that was really the epitome of chinese sausages that we had. Can’t stop raving about it :P
Shida Night Market (Nearest MRT: Taipower Building)

The Shida Night Market 師大路夜市 was by far one of the most disappointing night markets we went to :( Formerly one of the most popular night markets in Taipei, it has since been scaled down significantly and there were hardly any food stalls left!! :( They’re supposedly really famous for their sizzling giant steaks, but I really wouldn’t recommend the one we tried (it was actually a proper shop in the midst of the night market!) because it didn’t even taste much like a steak? Same for the pork chop. Totally dubious!
I enjoyed these Pan-fried dumplings though! :) 
gotta say that i did get kinda scared of all the night markets at the end of my two weeks there haha. the food is sooooooo sinful and unhealthy! and guess what! i never did try stinky tofu in the end, even though i was quite game to try it. anyway, if you’re in taiwan, just go all out and EAT!! :D check out more must-eats in my other foodie post (: 

Must-eats in Taipei

hellooooo! :) i’m back with another Taiwan post! hope you’re not sick of it yet because there are still quite a few more to come… :P today’s gonna be a post for all the foodies – Taiwan is a food paradise, and you can literally find (good) food within a stone’s throw. we had a crazy long list of MUST-EATS in taipei to munch through, led by Sam who was totally raving about the food there ;) of course, i was extremely excited as well! ^^ Taiwan is known for its night markets (that will be coming right up in my next Taiwan post!), but there is really more to the food than that. 
here’s my list of must-eats ;) P.S. it’s really long.

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

our first stop in Taipei was at DTF!!! we were absolutely ravenous and couldn’t wait to dig in. there are tonnes of outlets in Taipei – all you have to do is google for the nearest one. we went to the outlet at Zhongxiao, which was a pretty big outlet! (this was near the blackball outlet *see below* that we wanted to visit as well) it was really crowded when we reached though, so had to wait for a table. we were utterly mesmerised by the waitress though :p hahaha, the taiwanese service staff are too cute & friendly already!!! they were SO NICE and hospitable, from the way they greeted us, helped us put our bags in the bag-holder, took photos for us…and even when they were trying to chase us away after we’d finished our meal, they did so in such a nice manner that it was endearing. and they never stopped smiling!!! :O it was fascinating. haha :P we ordered the usual dishes there – xiao long bao (of course!!!), rice wine chicken, fried rice etc. 
have to give a special mention to this sesame bun though!! ^^ this is a dish that DTF in singapore doesn’t have (whyyyyy!!), and it was a real pleasant surprise! we totally look like we’re operating on the bun, cutting it open this way. the sesame within it was piping hot and had a deliciously rich aroma which didn’t disappoint. a must-try in Taiwan! :)
Zhongxiao store: No. 218, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District
Nearest MRT station: Zhongxiao Dunhua station
Ah Zhong Mian Xian 阿宗麵線
it’s not difficult to spot this famous oyster mee sua shop in Ximending with a nearly perpetual snaking queue in front of it. it always looks overcrowded, with a tonne of people standing in front of the store slurping their noodles. there is nowhere to sit, and you’ll be holding a piping hot bowl, but it’s completely worth the trouble. add a rainy day to the equation, and there you get a perfect comfort food experience. 
while the queue is long, it moves really fast, so be sure to grab it even when you’re in a rush! remember to add the condiments (chili, garlic & vinegar) which will add that extra oomph to your noodles. Small bowl for NT$45 and large bowl for NT$60.
No. 8, Emei Street, Wanhua District 
Nearest MRT station: Ximen
Formosa Chang (Lu Rou Fan) 鬍鬚張
this has got to be one of my most favourite food in Taipei! it’s really difficult to pick a favourite really, because everything is so delicious. but this, i could eat it every day and not get sick of it ^^ at NT$33 for a small bowl of rice (i think guys can probably polish off two bowls easily), it packs a punch in terms of flavour. we ordered a bunch of side dishes – tofu, braised egg, radish soup – to go along with it and thoroughly enjoyed everything! it was a super satisfying meal. 
and for those (like me!) who love the braised meat so much, the great news is that you get to bring it home with you if you want!!!! they sell their braised meat in vacuum-packed packages for you to bring home, and you get bulk discounts if you buy more. there are several outlets for this as well, so google to find the nearest! :) we went to the outlet near Wu Fen Pu.
No. 533, Yongji Road, Nangang District
Nearest MRT: Houshanpi
Taiwan Beef Noodles
we had two recommendations for the beef noodles actually, both around the Yong Kang Street area. and the first we visited was Sam’s recommendation – Lao Zhang Niu Rou Mian 老张牛肉麵. after a day of walking in the rain and a rather failed attempt of searching for cafes in the area, we were completely sold by this rich broth of slurpy noodles! we tried both the chili and tomato-based versions, and they were really delicious! the beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and was so so good.
No. 105, Ai Guo East Road, Da’an District
Nearest MRT: Dongmen
on a separate occasion though, we decided to have a beef noodle PK match! haha and compare the two recommendations to see which was better. and the winner was…Yong Kang Beef Noodle 永康牛肉麵! the former was by no means unsatisfactory. in fact, we were super impressed the first time we tried it, without any prior expectations! but the latter was simply, WOW. the broth was heavenly. even richer and more robust, and we liked how the noodles here was more QQ, and that made it easier to finish the whole bowl. the beef was equally superb (Y)
look out for this signboard!
No. 17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road
Nearest MRT: Dongmen
Taiwanese Breakfast
a typical breakfast in Taipei goes like this….
this is a highly unflattering picture that does no justice to the food that we ate. BUT I AM SO IN LOVE WITH Yong He Dou Jiang 永和豆漿. i have too much favourite food in taiwan already…hahahaha. but it’s soooo nice!! and the other girls didn’t get to see the other outlets in Taipei – we went to one near our airbnb at Nangang together the first time, but there are tonnes of other outlets (stone’s throw!) everywhere in taipei. 
it’s strange though, that different yong he outlets seem to sell a slightly different range of products. or at least, some is more limited than others. the one at nangang had SUPER nice soy bean milk though!! if you happen to stay at the apartment, please go search for that outlet!! (i’m sorry i don’t have the addresses of yong he at all >.< but they are really EVERYWHERE). the selection at nangang was smaller though.
at the Ximen outlet (first pic above), there was such a mind-boggling selection that we were absolutely lost for words!!!! :O we wanted to go back every day to try something different hahaha. and we wouldn’t even be able to finish. lots of stuff that you can’t find in sg!! please be adventurous! they had different categories you could choose from – the rice roll 飯糰, mantou 饅頭, egg bread 蛋餅, crispy bread 燒餅 and even prata 抓餅!! haha. seems like prata is actually quite common there, and its super yummy with the fillings! really sinful obviously…but it’s so good :D the options are endless! take your pick ;)

while the ubiquitous presence of Yong He makes things really convenient for those who want a quick breakfast, the throng of people willing to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and queue (approximately 45min!!!) for Fu Hang Dou Jiang 阜杭豆漿 was really quite frightening! haha. nevertheless, we braved the queue on one of our last few days in taipei to find out what the hype was all about. you’ve got to try their savoury dou jiang 咸豆漿, which sounds really dubious but lived up to its reputation of being super tasty! don’t think of it as dou jiang, but rather like a porridge, with scallions and you tiao inside it. on top of the crispy bread you tiao 燒餅油条 (crispy thin flatbread with youtiao) that Yong He has, Fu Hang has a thick crispy bread 厚燒餅. we felt that this was too floury for us though, and preferred the thin version anyway.
Hua Shan Market 2F, No. 108, Section 2, Zhongxiao East Road
Nearest MRT: Shandao Temple 
overall, while Fu Hang Dou Jiang was worth a try, i don’t think i’ll ever queue for it again when Yong He is so much more readily available! in fact, Fu Hang’s food was rather oily imo, and still think that Yong He trumps in the end ;)

Muah Chee

i love muah chee!! and taiwan has the nicest ones ever ^^ i loved how there was peanut/sesame filling inside of it! though i felt the peanut on the exterior was too fine (prefer the crunchy ones that singapore has!)
this can be found along the streets of ximending. there are quite a number of pushcarts selling this :) 
another version was the grilled muah chee, which was even more interesting!!! the glutinous rice flour was literally placed on a grill, to make it piping hot, and then drizzled with your topping of choice. i looooved the sesame and peanut versions!! :) 
Snow Ice

one cannot leave Taipei without trying one of these ice thingys! okay sorry i’m doing a really poor description of this, but i have no idea what it’s called. anyway, there are lots of versions of this ice shavings dessert in Taipei, but if you’re looking for a really good mango ice, check out Smoothie House at the Yongkang street area! the serving is MASSIVE – five of us shared it and we were super full after that!
No. 9, Yongkang Street, Da’an District
Nearest MRT: Dongmen

it seems funny to be recommending porridge as one of the must-eats in Taipei. but this was, simply put, THE BEST PORRIDGE I’VE EATEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. and so it is a must. it was so incredibly delicious, i don’t even know where to start. i loved the option with lean meat, scallops, cabbage, mushrooms, egg and other stuff! it was sooooo tasty. 
the store is located in Ximending, but i’m not sure of the exact address! :/ just walk around and look out for this store front. (from the central area of ximending, look out for the Hot Star chicken cutlet and walk down that stretch!)
Nearest MRT: Ximen

Bitter Gourd King 苦瓜大王 

starting to cheat a little here – this is not exactly a must-eat, but rather, a must-drink. haha. taiwan’s food is insanely unhealthy, and even though i thoroughly enjoyed it, i have to say that the oiliness got to me really quickly. you pretty much feel greasy all the time, especially with all that food from the night markets. 
thankfully, there are a plethora of drinks for you to choose from to cleanse your palate (and intestines) after all the sinful food. i can’t believe i’m recommending this, but white bitter gourd juice was one drink i always ran to whenever i needed something refreshing. i tried two other versions prior to this store, and i absolutely could not stomach the taste of the bitter gourd. it was just too bitter!!! >.< this store though, is not called Bitter Gourd King for nothing. this variation of white bitter gourd juice has honey in it to counter the bitterness, and hey, it suddenly tasted so yummy!! i could easily slurp down a gigantic cup (NT$65) on my own, and it was really refreshing for my system :) 
it’s located in Ximending, just opposite the porridge store above! ^ you can look out for both stores when you’re there :) 
Nearest MRT: Ximen

Bubble Tea

one thing everyone looks forward to in Taiwan is….bubble tea of course! 50嵐 is the predecessor of the KOI bubble tea chain in singapore apparently! and the outlets can be found everywhere in taipei! this was the first bubble tea we drank ^^ and many moreee. i’m actually not a fan of bubble tea. but it’s so cheap in taiwan, and so abundant that i couldn’t help but join in :p plus the flavours sound so interesting! i didn’t buy much from 50嵐 actually, but i liked chachagi for its taro milk tea! love anything with taro in it. i literally went on a craze in taipei. whoops :P and i really liked some of the more innovative flavours like tie guan yin milk tea etc. 

Other food you might like to try

Ba Fang Yun Ji 八方雲集 Dumplings

dumplings seem to be quite a popular food in taiwan and Ba Fang Yun Ji 八方雲集 has quite a number of branches in Taipei! we tried both the deep fried and steamed dumplings in the original and spicy flavours. loved the spicy flavour for the satisfying kick! the golden tofu that we ordered as a side dish was nice as well :)

Goodies along Yong Kang Street 

a very commonly-found snack in taipei, Chong Zhua Bing 蔥抓餅 is basically like a prata with ingredients wrapped in it. sinful and oily but worth the calories while you’re on holiday ;) we saw a long queue at the outlet in Yong Kang street area and joined the queue for it hehe. btw the NT$35 item refers to basil if i’m not wrong, which tasted really strange in the prata, so avoid that if it sounds weird to you too.
i love tau sar piah!!! and i absolutely could not resist them when they were freshly made and piping hot ^^ look out for this store in the Yong Kang Street area too! 
Sadaharu Aoki
i was SO STOKED when i found out there was a Sadaharu Aoki outlet in Taipei!!!! :D in fact, there are two. i’ve heard soooo much about it and i was really excited to try it! unfortunately i wasn’t exactly in the right state of mind (nor attire) to fully enjoy the experience xP and it’s super atas. and didn’t have the eclairs i wanted to try. *sobs* i guess that means i’ll have to try again sometime in the future then! ;) hahaha. obviously my less-pleasant-than-expected experience hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm about it. i mean, it’s supposed to be one of the best patisseries in the world, right?! anyway, if you’re interested in checking it out too, here are the outlets! –
Boutique Bellavita 
No. 28, Songren Road, Level B2
Nearest MRT: Taipei City Hall
Boutique Formosa Regent
No. 3, Zhongshan North Road, Section 2, Lane 39, Level 1F/B2
Nearest MRT: Zhongshan 
Blackball 東區粉圜
Jiayee was super excited about this when we went to taiwan haha. personally not a fan of the one in singapore (which is a huge hit here too!) but i was sorta pleasantly surprised by the taiwanese version (: the store is really near the din tai fung outlet we went to, so you can check them out together! 
choose from a base of glutinous rice balls 粉圜, hot/cold bean curd 豆花, red bean 红豆湯 or grass jelly 仙草 and select three additional toppings! there were a plethora of toppings to choose from, and the reason why i was quite happy with it in the end was because….they had steamed yam! haha *does a happy dance*
No. 38, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District
Nearest MRT: Zhongxiao Dunhua
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken
this is what everyone flocks to in taipei – the MEGA LARGE fried chicken, which is just wayyy too much friedness imo :P i only ate one mouth of it. too sinful!!! but anyway, lots of places sell this, i think the most popular is at shilin night market, but you can find it at ximending or even at the Danshui Fisherman’s Wharf area.
and there you go! my massive foodie list for taipei :D my goodness, it is too long. there is literally too much to eat there. haha eat to your heart’s delight ^^ thank you for reading all the way to end, and look out for my next post on Taiwan’s famous night markets ;)

Tai Chung

hi! (: sorry for the hiatus in blogging about my taiwan trip! haha now that i’m back from europe, i’ve got yet another trip to blog about :P not that I’m complaining! ^^ i’m really glad that i could go on so many grad trips :))
shall start my entire series of taiwan (detailed) posts with Tai Chung – we started our grad trip here, and it was really quite a relaxing change to be away from the hustle and bustle of a city (especially since we’d just ended exams). while Tai Chung does have some sort of a city centre, it’s not very developed and there is just this whole “ruggedness” about the place. we only spent a night in the city though, so i don’t have much to say about it. but the highlight was going to our FIRST NIGHT MARKET!!!! *yay!!* we were so excited to check out Fengjia Night Market 逢甲夜市 also because it was known to be one of the top night markets in Taiwan! and after my entire trip of exploring numerous night markets in taiwan, i’ve got to agree that it’s absolutely true! probably kinda biased too  because it was our first experience with a night market. but still….it’s GOOD!
super crowded!!! i think we went there quite early, around 5.30/6pm? awesome that there were stalls already open then ^^
first stall we came across was this! haha actually i can’t really remember exactly what this was, but i think it was the pepper bun 胡椒饼 that is also very popular at the Raohe Night Market 饒河夜市. it was piping hot! and quite interesting, but don’t think we were huge fans of it haha. it was, in Sam’s words, “ok la”. 
this was some cheesy chicken thing! which was quite nice ^^ look out for the stall name in the pic
Sam’s favourite fried prawn! it’s grilled/fried till the ENTIRE prawn is crisp and you can eat the thing whole, including the tail, shell and head :O i didn’t try it, but Sam absolutely loves it and it comes with lots of different seasonings which sound really interesting!
this golden squid is a MUST TRYYYYY. the squid-alternative to the prawn above. i love it!!!!! so much easier to eat haha. and it comes with all sorts of seasoning too. we went for the simplest salt & pepper flavour, and it was SO GOOD.
after all the sinful fried food, we were dying for a drink!!! and we’re such suckers for nice packaging ^^ hahaha. this box tea is so adorable!! and i’ve gotta say it tastes quite nice too :) super refreshing and clears up all the oil after munching on all the street food. 
Da chang bao xiao chang 大腸包小腸 is another popular item to order! though it actually appears in most of the night markets, but idk why it was recommended for Fengjia. anyway, it’s definitely one of those must-try items in ANY of the night markets (wherever you can find it) because i think it’s quite a signature taiwan street food! basically it’s a chinese sausage wrapped in glutinous rice. personally i’m not that crazy over it because i’d much rather eat the sausage on its own! ;) hehe.
cheesy potato with bacon on top! also one of those recommended items for Fengjia. and superrrrr sinful as you can see from all the oozy cheese :x it was pretty good though! AAAAAND for all this food (and more), we spend about SGD$20 in total. taiwan food prices (Y)
 next day we went up to Cingjing farm 情境農場. and as you can see, the weather was terribly foggy >.< 
this was taken at a rest area where our van was parked. so pretty!
there were some shops there (selling lavender stuff!!!) and i bought bath salts there ^^ yayyyy. which reminds me i haven’t actually used them yet :P oops…
we visited the Little Swiss Garden 小瑞士花圜! kinda sad that it was so foggy :((( we had to pay to go in somemore (students with ID: NT$90, adults: NT$120). if not it would have looked even prettier!!! sk edited the pics very well ^^ (thanks babe! and i koped quite a lot of your photos cos i’m too lazy to edit mine haha)
**random tip: for students, bring some sort of student identification with you! most of the attractions have student rates :)
popped into Carton King just to take pictures with their really interesting creations! entry is free, and it’s really quite incredible to see what can be made out of cardboard boxes 
the weather at Green Green Grassland 青青草原 was even worse!!!!!! :'( like where was the 青青草原??!! couldn’t see ANYTHING. we were supposed to watch the sheep shearing performance and this was all we could see at the start. O.O 
thankfully, the weather cleared up just in time for the show!! :) really glad for that :’) it was amazing. haha we literally saw the fog being blown away. and it was slightly less cold. and we were actually all excited to explore the 青青草原. unfortunately it crept back on us towards the end of the show >.< you can google to see how the place looks in nicer weather. we didn't really explore it in the end sadly…but in the sunlight, this place could almost pass off as new zealand! :) with all the sheep hehe. the sheep performance was surprisingly entertaining! and gotta say that the taiwanese in general are just great at hosting ;) another horse show we watched at the same place was pretty boring though. Prices for students with ID: NT$120 and adults: NT$160. i think it would be really worth it if the weather is good and you'll probably spend lots of time just walking around and enjoying the scenery ^^ (same for the Little Swiss Garden above! we really enjoyed them, even in the bad weather :))
as mentioned, lots of places to take photos ;) 
OH YES. and the Green Green Grassland had the BEST TAIWAN SAUSAGES EVER!!!!! you have to eat it when you’re there! look out for that stall behind us. 山猪香肠 – it was so damn good. we bought two for all of us to share at first. then sk decided that she wanted one on her own. then sam. and then all of us decided to buy more of it, cos it was SO ADDICTIVE. idk what is it about the 山猪 haha. i would have thought that the meat would be more tough! but NO. it was so juicy and succulent and bursting with delicious sinful (but who cares) flavour. the aroma itself was enough to make us drool.
we stayed in a minsu on top of the mountain, and i believe that is the BEST way to have the full experience of Cingjing! :))) waking up to this view is love :’) 
next day we took a boat out to Sun Moon Lake 日月潭. the weather was beautiful that day! :)) i can’t remember how much we payed for the ferry. it seems like there is no exact place to buy the tickets, but rather there are people hawking everywhere in that area, and i think they generally offer the same price. we were ambushed the moment we stepped out of our van O.o and we just took the deal. basically it’s a boat ride around the lake with stops at 2 “islands” (idk how to describe it haha). 
the first stop was to eat the really famous tea leaf egg 茶叶蛋! i don’t really recall when is the last time i ate tea leaf egg, but this was REALLY good. it deliciously fragrant, and every mouthful had a really distinct essence of the tea and herbs.
and this was the crazy queue for the egg. goodness. plus the fact that it’s made up 80% of ATs who are always trying to cut the queue, it was quite a horrendous experience. but since we were already there, we decided to just queue anyway! and it was worth it ^^ but next time, please buy a few more eggs each. hahaha.
second stop had nothing much. mostly a street of food, which wasn’t that great. but love this picture of us anyway!!!! ^^ we look so happy :) and we totally have the ‘we’re-going-to-sail-off-for-a-holiday-on-our-private-yacht’ feel. hahaha <3
yay end of my first detailed post! hope it wasn’t too boring :x thanks for reading :)
other taiwan blog posts:

The Ultimate Taiwan Travel Guide: Itinerary + other useful info

hello!! after reminiscing my entire holiday in Taiwan, here’s the general itinerary we had which could serve as a guide if you’re planning a trip to taiwan! (: i spent two weeks there, but the second week was really super duper chill (we woke up at 10plus every day and left the house only around noon haha) and explored areas outside of the usual tourist spots. but especially if it’s your first trip to taiwan, or you’re just interested in the usual tourist spots, one week was just about right for us to explore all the necessities in taipei at a pretty chill pace and we also spent a few days in taichung (: i’ve included details about our accommodations at each location and also some general info.
Day 1
Arrival in Taipei > HSR to Tai Chung > Pick up by driver > Check into Galerie Hotel > Feng Jia Night Market

we landed at the Taoyuan International Airport and were supposed to be headed for Taichung on that day itself! Took at shuttle bus from the Airport to the Taoyuan High Speed Rail (HSR) station – tickets can be bought on the spot at the airport. and from the HSR station, we took the train to Taichung! the journey was super fast (i was really surprised!) – around 45min, and it cost NT$590. there are many timings for the HSR, and i believe the ticket is valid for any of the timings! so you can just check the departure board to find out when the next train is :)
for our single night in Taichung city, we stayed at The Galerie Hotel. booked it through Agoda and paid about S$85 for a twin room! very reasonable price i think! and the hotel was pretty cosy ^^ it was sandwiched between two rather run-down looking buildings and at first we totally didn’t notice it! but if you look closer, you’ll see a ramp leading up to a stylishly-designed lobby. the staff were really friendly and accommodating (we asked them to heat up our food for us and they did so, even though the kitchen was already closed :p oops!). rooms were comfy, though a little dim, but we had a good night’s sleep! :) and breakfast was included! i really enjoyed a simple meal of taiwan porridge with just peanuts and pork floss :P yummmmmmy. haha but there was more to the breakfast than that of course!
our driver in Taichung ^^ Mr Zhang hehe. he was superrrr funny :P hahaha. though he didn’t talk much to us, he was very helpful with recommendations of places to visit, taking care not to be pushy, and cracked us up with his antics like looping 来也匆匆去也匆匆 for our 5 hour car ride back to Taipei. omg!!! haha poor sam in the front seat >.< hahaha. loved his comfy car though!!! i highly recommend him if you're going to taichung ^^ he was so reliable and was really a great help during our trip :') 
not sure whether you can contact him directly, but we actually got him through Mr Huang, who is some sort of a coordinator for drivers in Taipei and Taichung.

Day 2
Drive up to Cing Jing Nong Chang > Swiss Garden > Carton King > Cing Jing Qing Qing Cao Yuan > Check into Star Villa

sleepy faces in the morning cos we made the effort to wake up for sunrise at 4am!!

for our second night in Taichung, we were actually up in Cing Jing Nong Chang 清境农场 (okay i don’t know whether it’s just the farm that is referred to this way or the whole area is called the same thing). anyway, we stayed in the Star Villa Minsu. the view was… :O :O :O paid about S$210 for the family room with balcony if i’m not wrong! (: really thankful for the good weather that day! honestly, if you’re going up to cing jing, it really depends on your luck whether you get clear weather. and it matters A LOT, unfortunately. but it’s really unpredictable, so just hope for the best!!

Day 3
Sun Moon Lake > Drive back to Taipei > Check into Airbnb > Din Tai Fung > Blackball

SUPER LOVE OUR FIRST AIRBNB IN TAIPEI!!! :) We stayed at Joy’s apartment (and this is actually not the one we stayed in bcos somehow that has been unlisted :/ sad….not sure how similar this is, but it’s in the same building!). Joy was the loveliest host ever :) we were delayed on the way back to Taipei because of traffic and everything, but she was super patient and welcoming when we arrived! she explained all the features of the apartment to us – washer/dryer included!! WIFI was also included, and she provided practically all the necessities we needed for a comfortable stay – soap/shampoo/toothbrush/toothpaste/towels/hairdryer all included :’) and really good quality ones! the towels were super fluffy, and she even provided l’occitane hand soap :O WOW?! it was really like a home to us! of course i can’t guarantee that you’ll get exactly the same – especially since it’s a different apartment – but i’m sure you’ll be very comfortable staying in one of Joy’s apartments :) we paid about S$155/night for 5 pax (excluding airbnb service fees & cleaning fees!) 
perhaps the only downside was that the location is quite out of the central area of Taipei, with the nearest MRT station being Nangang Software Park. the good thing is that Taipei’s metro system is really well-connected, and it takes you to almost anywhere in Taipei really easily. the apartment was located a mere 5min walk from the MRT station, and despite the distance from the city centre, it wasn’t too troublesome to travel around.

Day 4
Jiufen > Shifen > Keelung Night Market

Day 5
Sabrina House brunch > Bei Tou Hot Spring > Dan Jiang High School > Dan Shui Fisherman’s Wharf > Shilin Night Market

Day 6
Xi Men Ding > Yong Kang Street > Lao Zhang Beef Noodle > Mr J Restaurant

Day 7
Wu Fen Pu > Formosa Lu Rou Fan > Raohe Night Market > Holiday KTV

we went to Holiday KTV at Ximending! :) i can’t remember what is the price we paid for it, but i believe it’s cheaper than PartyWorld? we had a student price, and it was basically a per pax price, including food. unfortunately we came from dinner already!!! there was actually A LOT of food. definitely would have been filling for all of us. had lots of fun singing there!! ^^ though we felt that the song selection was kinda limited :/ perhaps PartyWorld would be better that way!

Day 8
Move to second Airbnb

i realise i didn’t have any pictures of our second airbnb! but you can check out the website for the images (: the pictures are quite accurate! we were surprised that there were two beds instead of one in fact! and there was still some space to move around, which was great.

Sam & I moved to this apartment when the other girls left, because we didn’t need such a big space anymore. the location was great! right outside the busy area of Xi Men Ding, we could get there in 5mins and also reach the Ximen station very easily. generally a very cosy apartment that was comfortable for the both of us :) amenities such as shampoo/soap and hair dryer were provided as well, which was great! Free WIFI was included, but it malfunctioned on some days, which was quite troublesome. one thing i didn’t like about the apartment was that it was constantly filled with a smell of cigarette smoke!!! >:( it was really quite awful >.< probably bcos it is an old building and so the ventilation wasn't good. but it was quite a big boo-boo for me.

Day 9
Tianmu > Dinner at a Dumpling restaurant

Day 10
Farmers market > Taipei 101 > Creative Park > Meng Jia Night Market

Day 11
Picnic Cafe

Day 12
Dihua Street > Sadaharu Aoki

Day 13
Yongkang Beef Noodle > Yaboo Cafe

Day 14
Fu Hang Dou Jiang > Da An Park > Perfume Dance

for your convenience, here is a guide to Taipei’s metro system! it’s super comprehensive and takes you almost anywhere you need to go. 

i’m still working on the rest of the posts so the details aren’t in yet! but i’ll link the other posts along the way when they come up so that it’s easy to navigate :)) haha this post is really just meant to be a general overview with an itinerary for your reference.

aaaaaand i’m off to my final grad trip! (: bye-bye for now ^^

Grad Trip in Taiwan :))

i’m back from my grad trips!!! (: or at least ⅔ of them hehe. and boy, am i glad to be back! travelling really does get pretty tiring after awhile. especially Nepal… :x haha once in a lifetime trip. i missed singapore so much!!! i’ve never been one to complain much about singapore (i honestly love it here, except maybe the weather) but the trip to Nepal just made me superrrr homesick. i was SO HAPPY to be back, i was literally bouncing off the plane the moment we landed at Changi Airport hehe ^^ though i have to clarify that despite everything, i thoroughly enjoyed the company (: – though i’m sure i would have enjoyed it more in any other country in the world hahaha. 
okie, here’s some photo spam of taiwan to start off!!! ^^ SUPER LOVED my grad trip there :’) first ever trip to taiwan and i spent two whole weeks there! honestly, i’ve had more than enough of taipei for awhile, but i miss the food already!!! definitely a place to go back, though probably not in the near future yet! 
so stoked for our first trip together!!! ^^ haha reality barely set in then that exams (and uni life!) was over. what would i give to go back to that day again :’) so excited!!
waiting for the HSR to Taichung! (: 
i miss the food already (though it’s actually quite unhealthy oops)
we started pigging out the moment we reached taichung hehe! :P first night market was Feng Jia Night Market, and one of the best! stuffed ourselves till we were going to burst because everything looked so delicious, and ended the night with a hilarious discovery moment when we realised how the food was S.O. C.H.E.A.P. woohooooo ^^
next day up the mountains to Cing Jing Nong Chang – we had really bad weather that day >.< super cold!!!! and of all days i'd decided to wear shorts. haha big mistake….look at how warmly everyone else was dressed!!! what was i thinking. haha. BIG LOVE for these girls xx :)
the weather cleared up the next day!!! ^^ and we had our ANTM Vogue photoshoot with gorgeous mountains as our background hahaha. looking at these photos just makes me miss grad trip with this bunch soooooo much!!!!! hehe we were all so enthusiastic and woke up at 4am to try to catch the sunrise. in the end it rose from behind our villa and we couldn’t see it :( so thankful for the clear weather anyway though!!! the scenery… :’)
on to Taipei!!! ^^ where more exciting things were to come.
hahaha so much meaning behind this photo. lol!!!! how the three of us were the naughty (irresponsible) kids running around and exploring our AWESOME airbnb and toilet (i miss it already!!! okay i’m officially having major nostalgia now haha :P) while our 双木林 parents were patiently listening to the landlady showing them how to use the facilities in the house keke. well, too many cooks spoil the broth right? no need for so many people crowding around the area. teehee ^^ 
first meal in taipei was awesome-possum!! we were totally blown away by the super friendly (and smile-y) staff at Din Tai Fung, and how delicious the food there was ^^ the service itself just made up half the experience already. look at the big smiles on our face! ;)
one of my favourite moments! (: 放天灯 was super meaningful with the best company ever <3
bestie! <3 love this photo of us!! (perfect if not for that butt in the picture -.-)
another of my favourite places was the Dan Shui Fisherman’s Wharf/Lovers’ Bridge. can really feel the loooove there hehe! and it was so spacious and windy and all! super super love that place :’) 
visited Jay Chou’s restaurant too! hehe so that dearest SK could fulfil her dream ;) could see how happy she was! haha. and it was really quite cool with the piano and all ^^ definitely a must for Jay Chou fans! 
we got so lazy that by the last day of our trip together, we woke up past 12pm!!! :P omg haha. honestly i think this is the FIRST time in my life (not counting when i was a baby) as far back as i can rmb that i’ve ever slept till such a time. i’ve really never done this in singapore before!!! and the feeling was SO SHIOK. haha. this was taken on the last day before we parted ways :'( i was so torn between choosing between staying on in taiwan with sam or going to korea with the girls. hearing them rave about korea so much totally made me want to fly there as well!!! And yet i was absolutely relishing our couple time in taiwan as well :’) (so much better than exchange hahahahaha). if only i could split myself in half eh? hehe. but the one week with them was really a precious memory that i’ll keep forever :’) BESTEST bunch of travel buddies <3 we really had the perfect combi of personalities  (hehe like the parents & the kids ;)) and just the right number of people so that we could share food and eat to our hearts' delight. SUPER DUPER LOVE THE VIDEO THAT SK DID TOO :') hahaha so many memories!! totally looking forward to our next trip together again <3 
lots more on my taiwan itinerary coming up!! stay tuned ~ :)