Taiwan Adventure

Here is an index of all the posts.  Click on the links to take you to the post with my full reviews, photos, info and comments.

Also, you might want to take a look at this blog, “5 Days in Taipei” which is about doing 50 cool things in Taipei in 5 days.

Newly added is this great blog — Taiwan Xifu (‘Taiwanese Daughter-In-Law’) — which is an informative and well-organised site by an Aussie woman who married a Taiwanese man, and extensively covers food, travel and culture in Taiwan.  Check it out!

Overview

A little bit about Taipei Adventure and my thoughts can be found in this Overview Post.

More can be found on the Wikipedia Page, the Wikitravel Page and the Lonely Planet Website.

Food

Rated Meals – bear in mind that almost all places visited were recommended or the result of long research, hence the relatively high ratings.

Jing Fung's "Lu Ro Fan"

1. Jing Fung (10/10) – famous for its sensational Lu Ro Fan, in my opinion the best in the world.

2. Flavors (10/10) – remarkable Swedish restaurant serving Swedish food that shouldn’t be this good in Taiwan.  I revisited Flavors again and had more glorious food — check it out here.

3. Din Tai Fung (10/10) – Shanghainese cuisine, widely regarded as Taiwan’s No. 1 restaurant, and rated one of NY Times’ top 10 restaurants in the world.

4. Yuan Shao BBQ Restaurant (9/10) – tasty DIY BBQ with lots of delicious courses, great variety/choice and service.

5. Shin Yeh Japanese Buffet (9/10) – high quality Japanese buffet with amazing food, especially the sushi and desserts.

6. Salon de The de Joel Robuchon (9/10) – really no need to explain…this is Robuchon!

7. Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant (9/10) – a real gem in the middle of nowhere that serves delicate Japanese-style food.

8. Ootoya (8.5/10) – fantastic Japanese restaurant with delicate dishes that taste amazing.

9. Cafe Grazie (8.5/10) – Italian fusion, lots of variety, perfect for group functions.

10. Bull Demon King (8/10) – a set-course place in the Shida Night Markets with great value-for-money steaks, especially the chicken.

11. Toros (8/10) – high quality steak (real steak) joint that serves set courses.

12. The Village of Gruel (8/10) – excellent, flavoursome congee, unique dishes and juicy pork ribs.

13. Pizza Hut (all you can eat) (8/10) – there aren’t many left, but the ones in Taipei are excellent, with unique pizzas and good variety.

14. Ji-Ma Chen (8/10) – flour rice noodles with oysters and marinated intestines (I know), but it’s delicious, especially when you add a Taiwanese sausage in the meal deal.

15. Zhang Wu Ji (8/10) – local, cheap and dirty little joint that serves underrated noodles and soups.

16. Cash Box (KTV) (8/10) – really a karaoke place, but the food you can order there is so good I had to rate it.

17. Cash City (Mini Hot Pot) (7.5/10) – self-serving mini hot pot place where you get your own little pot, unlimited condiments, drinks and desserts.

18. Second Floor Cafe (7.5/10) – good brunch place with large portions and variety.

19. DOZO (7.5/10) – a trendy Japanese fusion izakaya.

20. Le Jardin (7/10) – fine dining place with serves delicate, intricately made food with French influences.

21. Dian Shui Lou (6.5/10) – Taipei’s only 5-star restaurant according to a local good food guide.

22. Plum Blossom Room (5/10) – average yum cha/dim sum place which is probably still better than most overseas places, but low score because everything else I tried is so much better.

Unrated Meals/Snacks

Two Peck's fried chicken is the best snack you'll ever have

1. Two Peck Fried Chicken – possibly the best fried chicken you will ever taste!

2. Bee Cheng Hiang – Singaporean franchise that sells all types of delicious jerky (pork and chicken mainly).

3. KFC Portuguese Egg Tarts – yes, KFC in Taiwan sells the original and the best Portugeuse Egg Tarts!

4. Mos Burger and Mr Donut – both popular Japanese franchises – one sells deluxe burgers (including rice burgers) and fried chicken, and the other sells pretty donuts.

Night Markets

Shilin Night Markets

1. Shilin Night Markets – the biggest and the most popular with tourists.

2. Raohe Night Markets – pretty big, with lots of terrific local food and small things to buy, but not the easiest to get to; must-have is the pepper pastry.

3. Tong Hua Night Markets – more localised, harder to get to, not as big, but with some good food stalls such as the sausage and salad crepe.

4. Keelung Miaokou Markets – very famous but outside of the Taipei city area; well-structured for tourists with some decent local dishes to sample.

5. Shida Night Markets – for the nearby university students, not as structured but with lots of food stalls and restaurants.

6. Yong Kang Street – not really a night market but a street where you can get lots of night market-style food.

Shopping

Xin Yi New Life Square

1. Department Stores/Malls – lots and lots of places to go, from SOGO to Shinkong Mitsukoshi to Bella Vita.

2. Bargain Storesin this post I discuss the many wonderful places in Taipei were you can get yourself a great bargain.

3. Books -when it comes to shopping for books and semi-related goods (magazines, stationery, etc), you can go past Eslite, which has a 24-hour store.

4. Electronics/Toys – there are plenty of great places to purchase cheap electronics and cool toys in Taipei – you just need to know where to look.

Other

The entrance to the Ximending pedestrian area on a very quiet weekday morning

I totally should have done a post on Ximending, probably just the hippest place for young people to hang out in Taipei.  With the development of the Xinyi district, Ximending is not as crowded as it once was (that is a good thing, because it can still get very very very crowded).  There’s plenty of shops, little stores, restaurants, food stalls, gaming places, cinemas, karaoke, tattoo parlors and massage places.  Definitely worth a visit.

Easy to get to: just catch the blue line MRT to Ximen station and take Exit 6 (or just follow the crowds).

International Flora Expo

If you’re in Taipei between 6 November 2010 and 25 April 2011, you might want to check out the International Flora Expo.  Whether you like flowers or not, there are plenty of things to see and do there.  It’s a good experience if you have the time, but be warned — it can get very crowded, so plan your day in advance.

Check out my tourist guide here.

Taipei MRT Map

Very useful.  The MRT is easy to use, cheap, clean and tourist-friendly.  I would advise, to the extent possible, to catch this everywhere you go.

9 thoughts on “Taiwan Adventure

  1. Wow, awesome! I’m in Taiwan now and I’ve been to most of these places, but not all of them. Will check some of the food you recommend :)

  2. bluedew says:

    thanks for your entries! I am going taipei soon and it served as a wonderful guide :)

  3. Claudia says:

    Enjoyed your site: perhaps you’d like to check out mine:
    http://www.claudiacarroll.biz/teaching_esl_taiwan/
    My book, 1000 Steps, an ESL Teaching Adventure in Taiwan is at
    http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/1000-steps-an-esl-teaching-adventure-in-taiwan/4319793

    Claudia
    Let me know if you’d like to exchange links?

  4. Ricky says:

    I have been reading travel blogs on taiwan for a while now because im heading there later in the year. I must say this travel blog and My Kafkaeque Life has been one of the most best blogs i have read. cant wait to try shin yeh buffet and shop for some electronics at Nova.

    keep up the good work

    • pacejmiller says:

      Thanks! Hopefully I’ll have more to add soon because I’m going back there in a couple of months!

      • Ricky says:

        i just realised i made a typo lol, i meant most helpful blog.

        did you ever have trouble getting around? I heard not many people over there speak fluent english.

        Another question is how did you get money out? exchange at post office/banks or ATM’s? I have heard its not easy to trade $AUS over there unless you do it at the airport?

    • pacejmiller says:

      It’s not that hard. All the MTR stations have English, and even though not a lot of people speak decent English you’ll be sure to find some that can, especially in the metropolitan areas.
      I usually go to forex places in Sydney with TWD to exchange before I go. You can do it at the airport but the rates are not great. Alternatively you can do it at a bank in Taiwan but it’s more of a hassle.

      Pretty sure you can get it from ATMs too.

  5. taiwanxifu says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. It provides a useful summary and reference for people visiting Taipei. I like the way it is organised and writtne. I have already forwarded it to my parents, who plan to visit over Christmas. Living here in Taipei, I sometimes take many of the shopping areas and nightmarkets for granted. find it refreshing to see it described through the eyes of a visitor. Maybe I should change my perspective and treat every day in Taipei a holiday!

    Taiwan Xifu

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