11 July, FridayIt's been slightly more than a year since my last solo trip to Taiwan in June 2013. :)
I got myself a SIM data card from Chunghwa Telecom at NT 300 (SGD 12.70), including 3 days worth of unlimited 3G and NT 100 credit for phone calls. You can get it at Terminal 1 after exiting immigration, turn left, walk straight and turn left again after seeing Subway, you'll see Chunghua Telecom store next to a money changer.
|Ubus 705 from Taoyuan Airport to Taoyuan Highspeed Rail Station - NT 30 (SGD 1.30)|
|Highspeed Rail from Taoyuan to Hsinchu - NT 135 (SGD 5.80)|
|Arrived at Hsinchu HSR Station|
|Hsinchu HSR Carpark|
|Hsinchu Highspeed Rail Station|
鼎王麻辣鍋 (Ding Wang Ma La Guo) Tripod King
Outlet: 竹北光明店 (Zhu Bei Guang Ming Dian)
Address: 新竹縣竹北市光明一路93號 (No. 93, Guangming 1st Rd, Zhubei City Hsinchu County, Taiwan 302)
Contact: 03-657-1879 (+886 3-657-1879)
Operating Hours: 11.00 am - 03.00 am (Daily)
Online Reservation: http://www.eztable.com
Ding Wang's service was really SUPERB. The waitress actually did a 90 degree bow every time she served us!!! My cousin and I were not used to such respectable service at all. We got a little awkward whenever she bowed to us. Our soup level will never go too low as they will constantly come by our table and top it up, as well as adjusting the strength of the fire. Impeccable service indeed. Ding Wang has several many other outlets across Taiwan, do check out their website if you are interested.
We ordered a hotpot with twin flavours, 麻辣锅 (spicy) & 酸菜白肉锅 (sour veg, white meat). The spicy level was initially 'small' and I requested to increase to 'medium' as it wasn't spicy enough. I would advise you to start from medium and increase the level if you can take it. The basic stuffs such as vegetables, corns and duck's blood are refillable without any extra cost. I'm not too sure how much was the total bill as it was footed by my cousin, indirectly by my aunt, who wanted them to bring me to this hotpot restaurant. But I'm sure it was not cheap. Thank you for the yummy treat! :)
|Free flow rice, sauces at the side|
|Very nice apple tea!|
|Duck's blood (yumms) - reminds me of pig's blood which was banned in Singapore|
The meal took about 1h 40min and we couldn't finish all the food we ordered as we were too full. We were sent back to Hsinchu HSR Station and bought our train tickets (NT 305 = SGD 13) to Taipei. It was really a short stop in Hsinchu, the feel in Hsinchu was actually not much different as compared to Taipei.
|Hsinchu HSR Station|
Hotel Puri (Ximen) 璞麗商旅 (西门店)
Address: No.6, Ln. 27, Chengdu Rd, Ximending, Taipei, Taiwan 108 (108台北市成都路27巷6號)
Agoda Site: http://www.agoda.com/en-sg/hotel-puri-ximen/hotel/taipei-tw.html
Contact: 02 2371-8616 (+886 2 2371-8616)
Earliest Check-In: 3.00pm
Hotel Puri is conveniently situated in Ximending area. A short 2-3 min walk from Exit 6 of Ximen MRT Station. Upon exiting Exit 6 (via escalator), walk straight (along Chengdu Road) and turn into the first small alley on the right.
|Hotel Puri Lobby|
|Entering our corner room on 2nd Floor|
|Toilet is very small after closing the glass door|
|Shower is separated from the toilet|
Our plan was to go to Rao He Night Market (Houshanpi MRT) but it was already near 9pm after we settled down in the hotel. So we called it off and decided to walk around Ximending.
Address: No. 8之1號, Emei St (蛾眉街), Taiwan 108
Phone: 02 2388 8808 (+886 2 2388 8808)
The famous Ah Zong Mian Xian at Emei Street, Ximending. 4th time here and the crowd's never get lesser. I wouldn't say that it's very very good but it's yummy enough for me to keep coming back whenever I'm in Taipei. There're no seats for customers, except some stools for those in need. Hence, you can imagine the high turnover rate! $$$
|Large bowl of Ah Zong Mian Xian|
冲绳日式碳烤麻糬, Okinawa Japanese Grilled Mochi
Address: No. 49, Emei Street, Wanhua District (萬華區峨嵋街49號)
The queue never stop for this stall along Emei Street. I tried this with my Mum on my 2nd trip to Taiwan in Feb 2013. We tried 炼奶 (condensed milk) and 花生 (peanut) flavours and they were both good. BF and I chose Black Sesame and Matcha. The black sesame was very nice! Matcha taste was a tad too bland though.
|冲绳日式碳烤麻糬, Okinawa Japanese Grilled Mochi|
|NT 30 (SGD 1.30) each|
|Black Sesame and Matcha Grilled Mochi|
Ximending San Xiong Mei Shaved Ice Shop
Address: 108, Taiwan, 台北市萬華區漢中街23號 (Hanzhong Street No. 23, Wanhua District)
Contact: 02-2381-2650 (+886 2 2381 2650)
Another well-known shop for their shaved ice. Right now it's the mango-season; Taiwan is famous for their delicious and juicy mangoes during such season!! We ordered a bowl of Mango Snow Ice with Mango Ice Cream at NT 120 (SGD 5.10). The ice was extremely smooth! The mangoes, needless to say, it's damn awesome.
|A group of Korean Tourists sitting opposite us|
|Menu on the wall; feel free to draw anything on the wall if you want!|
|芒果雪花冰+冰淇淋 (Mango Snow Ice + Ice Cream, Item No.3 on Menu)|
|Hong Kong IDC Store|
Hoho! Look what I found, Hong Kong IDC Store shifted their store to the happening Ximending! It was originally at Zhongxiao Dunhua Station, where I bought my first hater on my last Solo Trip to Taiwan last year. IDC Store is known for selling Hater Snapbacks. The store in Ximending is in sandwiched between Stayreal and Choir Cafe along Wu Chang Street, Sec. (武昌街二段).
|Drinking my favorite corn soup from Mcdonald's (NT 28, SGD 1.20)|