Taipei Night Markets

When I first found out I would be visiting Taipei for business, I didn’t have any idea what the place was all about. I always thought of Taipei as just another asian city.

As a Filipino, I needed a tourist visa to enter Taiwan, and I’m happy to tell you guys it was pretty easy getting one. No fuss really, it took less than an hour and I just had to pay a visa fee, no interview necessary. It cost $60 (around Php 2,000) which isn’t bad.

Which means people can acquire one without much effort. And that’s a great thing, because although I didn’t expect much from Taipei, the city completely surprised me, and is now among the top three asian cities on my personal list.

There are various night markets in and around the city, and they are all massive. Rows upon rows of different stalls of street food, boutiques and small pop-up stores that sell everything from trinkets to magnets, sit-down restaurants that serve authentic Taiwanese fare.

There’s just so much to see, do and eat at Taipei’s night markets, you better make sure you eat very little during the day to make room for all the food available at night.

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Taipei’s night markets are absolutely massive and there’s just a ton of people there nightly. It’s a great place to waste the night away and try a lot of different things.


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This is what they call the Taipei burrito. Obviously inspired by the classic California-Mexican creation, it has reached Taipei but they’ve made it their own, of course. It has thinly sliced grilled beef and crispy vegetables. The wrap is made of a light, crispy flatbread much like an Indian roti prata.


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This is what it looks like ready and it’s totally delicious. The outside is crispy and the beef is tender and juicy. It’s a little on the heavy side so it’s great for sharing.

The best night market in Taipei in my opinion is the Shilin (Xilin) Night Market, because it’s so vast and has everything you would need or want to see, but they are all very good nonetheless.

And it’s not just food either, there are a lot of different stores that sell pretty much everything — Nike basketball shoes, tourist-y souvenirs, among others.

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This particular store sells a bunch of hats. Most are locally sourced and made. Taiwan is one of the major manufacturers of apparel, and you can find them all here for cheap at the night markets.


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This store sells original Nikes! I got a pair of Jordans for less than a hundred bucks here, and they are awesome. Check the label on your Nike shoes, they’re probably made in Taiwan. And if you get them here, the price will be a lot lower.


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They even have these little games stalls like the ‘perya’. Pop a ballon and win prizes!

But back to the food.

The food is the highlight of this place. The famous stinky tofu. The crispy chicken. Ice cold pearl milk teas. Fried milk (yes, that’s right. Fried milk). They can all be found here.

There’s just so much to eat. If you love street food, Taipei is the place to be.

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Fried milk balls. Chewy, mily, crispy on the outside little balls of goodness. Eat on the go with a poky stick


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Various grilled meat made right on the street. Much like our ihaw-ihaw, these stalls sell pig and chicken innards but with a distinct Chinese flavor that’s also very delicious. Best enjoyed with an ice-cold beer.


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This is a lady selling fried potstickers on a portable stove with wheels. Streetfood is actually not allowed, but it’s become part of the city that the authorities just let the vendors do their thing. Sometimes though, when the police clamp down, vendors make a break for it. That’s what the wheels are for.

Make no mistake about it, Taipei is one of the best places to spend a weekend because of these night markets.

It’s just an amazing place to roam around and get lost in. And I leave you with more photos of glorious street fare.

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Candied strawberries on a stick. Again, built for eating on-the-go.


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Various dried fruit for sale like sour plums and pickled mangoes, all made specifically for snacking and nibbling on while enjoying the sites and sounds of your surroundings.


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A Chinese lady selling steamed dimsum. Authentic, flavorful and satisfying. That about sums it up.


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Don’t miss the Taipei Night Markets, especially the Shilin Market! It’s totally worth it and you won’t forget the experience.

 

 

Stamed by,

C 😎 

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Tung Po Dim Siu Yi Restaurant

My friend who works in Hong Kong took us to this “restaurant” near her place. While walking, she told us not to expect too much about the ambiance and cleanliness but she promised us that the food there was excellent. We’re not really picky when it comes to choosing where to eat, so long as the food is great!

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Good thing we agreed to eat there because Anthony Bourdain (you know, the guy who has the best job in the world: travels all over and eats all the best food you can possibly imagine) happened to visit that same resto and featured this on his show.

So we arrived at the place and yes, those are actual photos of the same exact place where the No Reservations host dined in. If cleanliness is your number one priority when choosing a restaurant, I’m not sure you’ll be too thrilled to eat here.

Tung Po is located above a wet market in Java Road. There are a lot of restaurants on this floor — it’s very well lit, with lots of tables and chairs, a lot of hungry people (both locals and tourists), busy staff, and steam from freshly cooked dishes! It’s quite chaotic and noisy but that’s the beauty of this place, it’s a go-to place for those who want to drink and eat authentic, delicious Hong Kong food!

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Tung Po Dim Siu Yi’s menu

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We wanted to try a lot of dishes but we only chose 3.

There was a lot of interesting food on the menu but we only ended up ordering three dishes:

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One of the dishes Anthony Bourdain also tried, Squid Ink Pasta

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Spare Ribs

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Buttered Garlic Shrimp

 

You can watch the No Reservations episode about Tung Po here.

The squid ink pasta was palatable, with the noodles al-dente and the sauce nice and flavorful, but squid ink isn’t really my thing. It’s a great discussion piece however, and I’m sure people will appreciate its adventurous quality.

The pork spare ribs however was my favorite dish among the three. The authentic preparation and burst of flavor did well to satisfy our late-night craving after a day on the road.

And of course, who could dislike buttered garlic shrimp? The prawns were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. And the garlic — oooh the garlic — absolutely yummy. Nothing can go wrong with these three ingredients.

Make sure you drop by Tung Po Seafood Restaurant when you’re in the North Point area. They’re open until late at night and you won’t regret the decision to eat there.

Tung Po Seafood Restaurant 東寶小館

2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building
99 Java Road, North Point
北角渣華道99號渣華道市政大廈2樓
Tel:+852 2880 5224
MTR: North Point Station – Exit A
Tram/Bus: King’s Road, North Point Station stops

 

Stamped by,

D ❤

My first time in Paris

Paris is THE dream destination of every girl in this world.

The majestic Eiffel Tower

The majestic Eiffel Tower

For the obvious reason that it is the city of love. A city to celebrate love for your partner, love for the city’s rich history and culture, love for its breathtaking sights (including the hot French guys), love for the French language, love for French food, love for fashion and of course, love for the iconic Eiffel Tower!

Loved every bit of Paris. <3

Loved every bit of Paris. ❤

Ever since I was a little girl, Paris was definitely on top of my dream destination list. I promised myself that when I grow up, I will do whatever it takes for me to travel the world and hopefully get the chance to wander around the city of love.

Fast forward to my 20s, I couldn’t believe I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. Alone. I’ve always thought that when I visit this place, I will be with someone—perhaps with my new husband as we celebrate our honeymoon? I don’t know. I just never thought I’d go to Paris alone.

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As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea.” However, the thought of traveling alone, for the first time – I don’t think that’s always a welcoming idea! Of course, only a loser would pass up this opportunity.

My Paris trip was work-related and everything happened so fast. I was only given a little less than 2 months to process my visa, wait for the result and shop for Autumn/Winter clothes! (I promise to write more about the visa processing and preparations on a separate entry.)

Insight Guides’ Paris Step by Step

I did not have enough time to do some in-depth research about the city to be honest. But since I already had an idea of the famous places I’ve always wanted to go, I listed it down and started from there. (Yes, this would definitely be something I will write about.)

I bought a travel book about Paris to help me with my planning. It was very helpful because not only does it have a lot of photos, addresses and phone numbers of the places (restaurants, museums, tour busses, hotels, etc.), it also has a comprehensive city and metro map.

Here are some tips that may help you plan your Paris trip:

  • Prepare a list of places you want to visit, refer to the city map and decide your itinerary per day and how you’ll be able to reach the place.
  • Wander around. Don’t be afraid to walk alone even if deep down inside, you’re a bit paranoid. Haha.
  • It’s okay not to follow your itinerary. Get lost and you’ll end up having the best stories!
  • When you get lost, I am sure you will discover something amazing! Of course, be extra careful.
  • You will fall madly in love with the Eiffel Tower. You’ll find yourself coming back to see it at least twice before you leave. (I cried a bit when I saw it up close. And when it started to light up at night. Hahaha)
  • Try to devour a lot of French food, as much as you can. Even if some of their food may taste odd, try it for the sake of experience.
  • France offers a wide range of desserts! Make sure to try it out- from the expensive ones to the cheaper ones from local pâtisserie.

Disclaimer: I wrote this on 30 March 2013, a few months after my first Europe trip, with an attempt to publish my first blog entry. I didn’t have the courage to post it obviously. 😦 More than 2 years passed and it found its way on this blog. Hahaha. Being new to this blogging, I know I should always remind myself why we started this blog–to share the things we’ve learned from our amazing trips and hopefully help other travellers–so I shouldn’t be scared to do that, right?! 😛

xo,

D ❤

Hello There! :)

Beautiful cities we've visited: Hong Kong, Paris, Maldives, Milan, Rome and Geneva

Beautiful cities we’ve visited: Hong Kong, Paris, Maldives, Milan, Rome and Geneva

Hey there! To start off, I have a confession to make: I had this blog for over 2 years now but obviously, I only had the time courage to start writing my very own first blog post.

You might be wondering why I’m saying “first” blog post when in fact there’s already an old entry here. He was actually the one who wrote to encourage me to start writing a post. Yes, unfortunately, it did not really work. Haha.

Well, the idea was for my boyfriend and I to work as a team to keep this blog running. My tasks involve photography, design and content conceptualization since those are my forte; while he, on the other hand, is the most amazing writer in the world and he’s an awesome (self-taught) graphics designer, so that’s his share!

Of course, since I’ve never had a blog before (not counting Multiply) and I feel kind of weird writing and addressing a post to random people (whom I know will not be reading this anyway haha), I just did not have the courage to do a follow-up post even when “C” (aka the boyfriend) had posted the first blog entry. I just couldn’t do it even if we had a lot of content and ideas for the blog – it scared me! Until another year passed, I asked him to revamp the blog design and make it “prettier”—I was not impressed with the first design template so I asked him to show me more photos. I was sort of procrastinating to the nth level. Haha. I then again asked him to write something to get the “energy” going. Another year had passed… still, na-dah!

We have traveled to a lot of beautiful countries and have seen breathtaking places; it’s a shame not to share our stories (through photos and write-ups), perhaps we can help others prepare their itineraries and give tips to other travelers like us.

C keeps on telling me not to be afraid and just write from my heart. I will try my best to do that. This will be a blog about our adventures and misadventures. Before 2015 ends, I hope I can publish this (done yay!) and post an entry about one of the best cities I’ve been to.

I hope we can keep it as active as possible and post as many helpful tips as we can. 🙂

Here it goes…

XO,

PS: If you’ve accidentally been redirected to this site, please bear with us. This is a blog where (hopefully) you can find some useful tips from our adventures. Of course, you are welcome to give suggestions or if you have questions, ask away!