Friday, January 18, 2013

First trip of 2013 - to Taipei!

It has been 2 weeks since my trip to Taipei. It marked my first air travel of 2013 and lasted just 4 days and 3 nights.  Not a trip of my choice admittedly, but I made do and made sure I enjoyed my time with the Man.  So, what do I remember of it?

1. Scoot Airlines - my first time on this airline and I would say it is more comfortable than budget aircraft, but just as no-frills. We paid extra to get more leg room and ended up in a front row situation where we cannot prop our legs in any way to make ourselves comfortable enough to catch some sleep. So in fact, I was one unhappy, sleepy and tired woman when I arrived.  If I had a choice, budget airlines is fine. Red eye flight is not.

2. Cold and rainy - weather in early January was wet, wet, wet. It was pouring when we arrived and the following days too.  Not only that, it was windy too.  No umbrella would have withstood those strong winds. It would be a good idea to have a full length raincoat and water-resistant boots, so you could do without the umbrella.

3. amba hotel, Ximending - the hotel was selected by the organiser and I was pleasantly surprised with its quality and style.  Not a luxury hotel at all, but for what it costed, it was stylish, sufficient, offers good quality sleep on decent beds and pillows, good location and value for money.

4. Beef noodles - for some odd reason I was craving braised beef tendon noodles and we went to look for Yong Kang Beef Noodle that was appearing quite popular online. It was rainy and cold, and we were past lunch time.  All that made the trip even more highly anticipated. I wouldn't say it was the best but I thoroughly enjoyed the flavors and the texture of the tendon. But no more for now.  My odd craving had been satisfied.

5. Ah Zong Mee Sua - also another much publicised mee sua place that was just nearby our hotel that we had to try it. I didn't like it. It was porky! Granted, I had assumed all Taiwan mee sua to be some variety of oyster mee sua but NO OYSTERS here!

6. Rao He Night Market - was my favourite night market from the last trip but this time, the rain really dampened the atmosphere (pun intended). There were not as many stalls open and not much crowd at all.  Still, you have to get the famous pepper buns from here.

7. Stinky Tofu - the top must-eat for me and I was waiting for the right opportunity to arise that I could eat them. Finally! At Shihlin Night Market, there were stinky tofu stalls aplenty and at a random stall I sat down and devoured all of a portion. The Man could not stand this thing so it was all mine! :)

8. Retractable umbrella - remember it was raining and windy? My umbrella fell to Taipei's strong winds and I had to buy another one. The sales aunty was quite enthusiastic to show us umbrellas of different price points and functions. The whole experience was rather entertaining actually, and we ended up with two retractable ones.

9. Tea Leaf Eggs - they are easily one of the better tasting tea leaf eggs I have every eaten and best of all, in Taipei, they are available from any convenience stores for a mere 8NT or 3 for 20NT.  I had to make sure I tapao'd a couple for the flight home.

10. Taiwan sausages - not that I ate them but the Man ate so many of these in the 4 days I had to remember something of them. There was regular sized ones, mini ones, gigantic ones, ones that you could eat with raw garlic cloves, etc.  The Man tried them all.

11. Guang Hua Digital Plaza - the Man was just asking the taxi driver where we could visit for electronics and we were led here. Much much like our Sim Lim, IT geeks everywhere (no offense!). Prices are very much on par with SG so no need to rush here.

 12. Tea Culture - there are tea stands everywhere, every 10 meters, and they are all pretty good. We particularly like the seasonal ginger milk teas that warmed our tummies up each time.  One of them that was particularly outstanding was from Ten Ren Tea, a ginger almond milk tea. The use of almond added a subtle richness and body.

Hope you enjoy reading my account of the short trip!


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