This was our second trip to 台北 Taipei this year!
There was a SQ promotion going on and we got our tickets at S$518 per pax for this trip. As we were bringing my parents, and it was dad’s first trip to Taiwan, we figured that a slow-paced itinerary in Taipei would be quite ideal.
We decided to stay in 西門町 Ximending area this time, instead of 台北車站Taipei Main Station, because
- We would not be travelling out of 台北 Taipei this time.
- We would be making frequent trips back to hotel to rest, and there were plenty to eat and shop in 西門町 Ximending area till late so there would always be stuff to do near the hotel.
- We also found 丰居旅店 西門館 Via Hotel Ximen, which provided all-day snacks and drinks at level 2, so we could literally just stay in the hotel all day if we were really too tired to go anywhere. We tended to snack a bit in the hotel first before going out. We ended up spending quite a fair bit of time at this common seating area, since we sometimes dabao-ed food back to eat with our parents. (See review at Tripadvisor)
- 西門町 Ximending is quite a convenient and centralised area to stay with Green and Blue MRT lines (Lines 3 and 5 捷運西門站 Ximen Station), making it easy for travelling within Taipei.
- We had never actually explore 西門町 Ximending much in all our previous trips, perhaps except during our very first trip to Taiwan back in 2009. So we would have something new to try out as well.
Our 6 days itinerary were as followed:
Day 1 (29 Oct 2016 Sat):
- Touched down 桃園國際機場 Taoyuan International Airport around 5pm, took bus to 台北車站 Taipei Main Station and then cab to 丰居旅店 西門館 Via Hotel Ximen.
- Dabao-ed 阿宗麵線 Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodle back to hotel while parents rested.
- Late dinner at 鸭肉扁 Ya Rou Bian, followed by drinks at A-One 咖啡美食館 A-One Cafe.
Day 2 (30 Oct 2016 Sun):
- Breakfast at 永和豆漿 Yonghe Breakfast Shop at the 早餐街 Breakfast Street.
- Travelled all the way down to 淡水老街 Danshui (Tamsui) Old Street and skipping lunch due to all the snacking :).
- Back to hotel where parents rested, while we chilled at 南美咖啡 Nanmay Coffee.
- Late lunch at 天天利美食坊 (still as good as before – see previous trip here) and rested more.
- Cabbed to 南機場夜市 Nanjichang Night Market for dinner (See here for earlier trip in Jan 2016, and here for current trip).
- Cabbed back to 西門町 Ximending to roam around.
Day 3 (31 Oct 2016 Mon):
- Morning trip to Mengjia (Monga) 艋舺 area.
- Rested in hotel before visiting 國立國父紀念館 National Dr Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.
- Back to hotel to rest, before more roaming in 西門町 Ximending.
Day 4 (1 Nov 2016 Tue):
- Breakfast at 老圆環食品 Lao Yuan Huan Food (so sad that standards have dropped – see previous trip here),
- Coffee break at 米朗琪咖啡館 Melange Cafe, and dabao-ed 玉林雞腿大王 Yu-lin Chicken Leg King for quick lunch (the chicken was very juicy!!)
- Trip to 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum.
- Parents back to hotel to rest, while we went to 牛店牛肉面 Niou Dien Beef Noodles and 蜂大咖啡 Fong Da Coffee.
- 士林夜市 Shilin Night Market for dinner. (See here for earlier trip in Jan 2016, and here for current trip).
Day 5 (2 Nov 2016 Wed):
- Breakfast at 金峰魯肉飯 Jinfeng Braised Pork Rice (still as good as before – see previous trip here),
- Strolled to 中正紀念堂 Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
- Brought mum to buy her favourite 佳德 Chia Te pastries while hubby accompanied dad back to hotel to rest first.
- Dabao-ed 爭鮮 Sushi Express for lunch (food was terrible, and they missed out our orders and I had to make an extra trip back).
- Strolled around the area, including visiting the underground shopping mall, and more snacking.
- Parents back to hotel to rest, while we snacked on some cold noodles at 28古早味凉面＆脆皮臭豆腐 28 Cold Noodles & Crispy Stinky Toufu, and coffee break at 我親愛的,咖啡廳 OA, My Dear Café.
- Dinner at 饒河夜市 Raohe Night Market.
Day 6 (3 Nov 2016 Thu):
- Breakfast near 早餐街 Breakfast Street
- Checked out of hotel, and took airport transfer to 桃園國際機場 Taoyuan International Airport.
- Lunch at Airport.
Some notes on 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum:
- 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum is very far from 西門町 Ximending, and the hotel staff advised that it was better to take a cab from 捷運士林站Shilin MRT Station.
- Nowadays, the tour guides used mic with dedicated channels for their tour groups, so there were no longer “free” explanations. We recommend getting the audio guide if you want a better understanding of the exhibits. However, while the website stated that the audio guide was NT$150 each, the counter said it was NT$200!
- The 2 most famous exhibits are probably the 翠玉白菜 Jadeite Cabbage with Insects, and the 肉形石 Meat-shaped Stone. However, do note that since they have opened another branch in 嘉義縣太保市 Chiayi, these 2 exhibits are now displayed in the 2 different locations. We only saw the cabbage during our trip 😦
- The hotel staff also highly recommended dining at 故宮晶華 Silks Palace within the National Palace Museum, because there was a buffet promotion while we were there. Apparently the food quality was very good, and the usual ala-carte menu could be a bit pricey. However, we did not manage to try it, as we were quite tired after viewing of the exhibitions and headed back to the hotel instead.