Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fun Taiwan Chapter 3 - Ximending 西門町

Generally, Ximending (西門町) is a very happening business district like 'Bukit Bintang'/ Star Hill in Malaysia or Mongkok in Hong Kong. Ximending business district is located in between four main streets; they are 東起中華路、西至康定路、南至成都路、北至漢口街.

Ximending is definitely a heaven for entertainment and more. It is a place where you can get the most trendy and fashionable clothing & cosmeticssss, loads of nice foods - from street food to some fine dining restaurants and most novelty toys etc. There are loads of cinemas (they have a street called the cinema street there) and KTVs!

As my back was injured during my visit to Taipei, I did not manage to shop a lot there, so it did not cause too much damage to our wallet, not sure if it is good... or NOT! Nevertheless I can assure you that Ximending is definitely a good place to shop - if you are a fashionable person like me, Oops... The prices for clothing and food are very reasonable.

Food wise, we had not tried enough to comment/ recommend. Of those we have tasted, I would recommend the following:
  1. 50 Feng Bubble Milk Tea - Updated 01-Oct-10 It should be 50 Lan ( 岚 is pronounced as Lan)
  2. Tian Ren Ming Cha (Tian Ren Milk Tea)
  3. Papaya Milk
  4. 阿宗面线 (Ah Jong Mian Xian)
  5. Taiwan KFC/ McD (They server grilled chicken and grilled chicken burger there and they are so so so so much better than our GCB!!)
  6. Taiwanese sausages
  7. Stinky Tofu (We don't like but we think those who like stinky tofu will like it)
  8. Stew Pork Rice (We don't quite like it too cos' it's too fattening; I think they should name it 'stew fat' rice instead of stew pork rice -.-)
  9. Snacks and drinks from 7-11; there are loads of them!!

During our stay in Taipei, we stayed in a hotel located at Chengdu Road called Royal Castle (成都饭店) which is very near to Ximending business district - 5 mins walk/ 450m from the MRT station of Ximen. Please see the map below for location of Royal Castle Hotel:

View Larger Map

If you are visiting Ximending, below are the business district and MRT maps for your reference:
Map 1:
Click on the map to view the full size image.

Map 2:
Click on the map to view the full size image.

Map 3: MRT Map

Click on the map to view the full size image.

If you can read Chinese, here is the official website of Ximending for your reference -

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun Taiwan Chapter 2 : Danshui 淡水

Generally the public transportation system in Taiwan (esp. Taipei) is pretty efficient. The commonly used public transports are no other but MRT (捷运) and buses (客运).

Today we're gonna blog about our (my to be exact, as MM was ill) visit to a place called Danshui (淡水). Danshui is accessible by MRT - the last stop of Red Line in the MRT map attached.

Generally 淡水 is one of the must-go places when visiting Taipei. It's located at northern Taipei and it is near to the sea. It is well-known for it's Danshui old street (淡水老街) which is located at Zhongzheng Street. It's also a place where you can get load of souvenirs (famous Taiwanese cookies and snacks) from.

Besides well-known old street, Danshui is also an historical place like Malacca. There are Hong Mao Cheng (红毛城),Tamkong High school & University (淡江中学&大学),Xiao Bai Gong (小白宫), 渡船头 (a jetty at Danshui) etc. They are all within walking distance from the MRT station of Danshui.

If you have heard about Fishermen Wharf (渔人码头), it's also located at Danshui. However, in order to get there, first you need to head to 渡船头 (located at the end of Zhongzheng Street) then you get to the fishermen wharf via ferries from the jetty.

Some of the must-eats are Danshui Ah Gei - the brown thingy below (淡水阿给), Ah Po Tie Dan - I bought some for MM's cousin (阿婆铁蛋),Hong Ma Sour Plum Soup (洪妈酸酶汤),etc.

However, without MM doing all these with me, I just tried the Danshui Ah Gei (淡水阿给) and Sour Plum Soup only.

Updated by YS: '淡水:一个集合了东方与西方古老怀旧气息的地方。。。也是台湾偶像剧拍摄的热门地点。电影<<不能说的秘密>>就是在这里的淡江大学拍摄的。由于没有MM陪伴我同行, 这些照片只是风景照。'

If you are planning your trip to Taiwan, the following are MRT and Danshui maps might help you in your planning, cheers.

1) Map on google

View Larger Map

2) A very useful and informative MRT Map.

Click on the MRT map to view the full size image.

3) Map of Danshui Old Street (中正路 on the map) and it's points of interest (esp. for food)
Click on the map to view the full size image.

4) Map of Danshui - You can see where Danshui University, Hong Mao Cheng and other places are located at on it.

Click on the map to view the full size image.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun Taiwan Chapter 1 - What a sneeze

It was supposed to be a fun-filled & romantic honeymoon trip. However, it turned out to be a disaster... Guess what? I was admitted to the hospital on the 2nd day we visited Taipei.

We were supposed to begin our day tour of day one, and I had a big sneeze when we were about to leave the hotel. Then I felt sharp pain at my back. It was connected to both of my legs too. No kidding, the pain was very serious and I could not react to it. I could not do anything but shout for pain and cry. I could not stand, I could not sit, and I could not lay down on the bed too! Darling was in shock when he saw this. Damn! He rushed to the hotel lobby and got the receptionist to call us an ambulance. Then, with great pain and lotsa tears, I was sent to a nearby hospital - Taipei City Hospital at Ximending (西门町的和平医院 ). The 1st aiders took 30 minutes to move me from the hotel room to the ambulance, what an effort! It was the 1st time darling and I ride on an ambulance in our lives too! It was so fun! NOT!

When I was in the hospital, I still couldn't move my body(except for my hands) at all. There was a time I really thought I was paralyzed! so the doctor and nurses could not do anything like x-ray scan or some kind of examinations on me . So they gave a a jap to ease the pain on my back for a while to allow them to do some scanning on my back. They did x-ray scan (to see if there's any fracture on my spine), urine test & ultrasound (they also suspect the pain could be caused by kidney stones) on me but the results were all good! WTF! After some inspections, the doctor told us that it was a severe contusion on my back! You can't imagine how great was the pain, trust me. I even needed a wheel chair and darling's help when I wanted to go to the loo. And you can't never imagine how miserable we were at that moment! We couldn't understand how a sneeze can ruin our holiday! We weren't sure how long it will take for me to recover. Darling was not sure if we can change our return date earlier as my back was injured. Argh! We were both lost!

As it was a back contusion, there was nothing much we can do but to wait till it cures. Waiting is killing, seriously. The doctor gave me some medicines for a few days and I was advised to rest. The next day I was discharged from the hospital and rested in the hotel for a couple of days. There goes my long-waited honeymoon. Fun? Seriously NOT!

After reading my post till now you may already start wondering what happened to our honeymoon then... At this point in time, my back still hurts. But with a back support which darling got for me from the hospital and an umbrella (used as a 'Tongkat'), we still managed to spend our last 2 days walking around for a while in Taipei City.

My back still hurts now. I went to see my GP after we touched down today. It will take me 2 to 3 weeks to recover and I was advised to get physiotherapy too. Look at the incident from the bright side, at least I know my darling loves and cares for me when I was so ill, and at least I got a chance to visit one of the hospitals in Taiwan during my visit, and I believe many of you who visited Taiwan did not have the same experience as I do. Lessons learned - Sneeze can kill, so sneeze gently or do not sneeze at all. cheers...

Here is how to get to the hospital from Ximending MRT station:

View Larger Map


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