Unforgettable 72 Hours In Taipei
Second part of my Taipei trip and where I meet Mikey Bustos can be found here. :)
Oh Manila, you are a wild one and I will continue to say it, you keep giving me these insane opportunities and all I can do is accept them with open and grateful arms. This time, I found myself on a whirl wind of a trip to Taipei Taiwan!
From Manila to Taipei with these girls
A quick story about how this all went down. Jeron Travel is a Manila based award winning travel company that has a well established presence in Manila that continues to grow and be successful because of the youthful ambitious leader, Chal Chang Del Rosario. Using her Taiwanese heritage and love for travel, Chal has continued to be a driving force bridging the Philippines and Taiwanese tourism together. Jeron Travel has INSANE travel deals and travel expos multiple times a year, I am talking a few hundred bucks to Europe people. Anyway, follow them on FB to get in the know. Jeron Travel partnered up with the Taipei City Government and as a blogger I got invited to attend! Whoot whoot!
The BEST crew!
The trip was unforgettable. If you’re on the fence about visiting Taipei keep me reading and let me convince you.
How To Spend 72 Hours In Taipei
I pushed myself to pack light in only a backpack for this trip. Packing light has become a personal competition for me. I try and see how minimalist I can pack without wearing dirty clothes and smelling horribly. I nailed it this trip! You can watch a video of what I packed here.
A word on flying. We flew on EVA Air and I cannot recommend them enough. Jeron Travel and EVA had a travel envelope waiting for me upon arrival with all my information and for the first time in my life I got to see what all these swanky lounge areas were about. It’s amazing the places you can get into without having kids. Joke lang! Did you know EVA has a Hello Kitty terminal in the Taipei Airport? It’s true! They even have a Hello Kitty plane!
One of the best ways to see a city is by visiting a wet market and eating how the locals eat. Taipei Eats has a perfect curated street food tour to get you into the food scene like a local. It is NOT to be missed.
If you are a Din Tai Fung lover like me then stopping by the original location could be a fun and delicious activity. Don't expect the new fancy ones like we have in Manila but the old school original touches.
ORIGINAL DIN TAI FUNG
Mala Hot Pot is not just a meal but an adventure! There is something unique to cooking your own food at the table before you. Mala Hot Pot uses high quality meat but don’t think for a second that the servings are small. Make you sure you complete your meal properly by creating your own sauce, drinking tea and finishing it off with ice cream, the real Taiwanese way.
MALA HOT POT
One of the best things about Taipei is the street food! It is clean and you don’t have to worry, so eat up!. Chal played the fantastic tour guide and introduced us to ripe guava and plum powder. It was insanely delicious and refreshing.
SAFE STREET FOOD
If you are a milk tea connoisseur then Taipei is where it’s at. Milk Tea is plentiful and abundant. For unique flavors check out the Modern milk tea in the Dà Dao Chen neighborhood. The interiors were as beautiful as the drink was delicious.
Modern milk tea in Dà Dao Chen
Taipei has it all, even speak easies. In the basement of Amba Hotel Zhongshan you will find a basement bar that might as well be a speak easy. The mixologist at MUD uses inspired local ingredients to give you unique cocktails that include tea leaves, sugar cane and flames! The experience is sultry and unique - something surely to liven up your night.
SPEAK EASY BAR
It was stinky but I tried it. It certainly didn’t taste as bad as it smelt and by the end I actually ended up eating quite a bit. It is definitely an experience, albeit a very very stinky one. The reason why? It is fermented for long periods of time to really get that pungent smell and flavor. *This was part of the food tour with Taipei Eats.
I have always wanted to ride a red double decker sightseeing bus and this trip my dreams came true. Taipei Sightseeing is a perfect way to ride around the city and hit a lot of sights in one go. I highly recommend this if you’re limited on time or have difficulty getting around (i.e. moms with small children!).
TAIPEI SIGHTSEEING BUS
Are you seeking a soulmate but can’t find love? Perhaps you have a loved one who you think needs help finding their one and only? Well Taipei has got a temple for you! The Xia Hai Temple is the designated temple where you can go pray for a little help to find the love of your life.
North Gate is a great example of continued effort of Taipei and Taiwan to preserve its history and to improve its overall aesthetics. The North Gate is one of 5 gates built in Qing Dinasty, but the only remaining original gate.
If there is a basket stall in a city I will find it. It is apparently my life calling, so I am going to own it. Located in the Dà Dao Chen neighborhood you will find a number of basket stalls. I won’t tell you how many I brought home. Ok, it was 8. I came home with 8 baskets!
Ximending is definitely a place where shoppers flock and has a superb day and night life. It was influenced by Japans own Shibuya Crossing and while it's not quite as impressive it is still a sight to behold.
We also ventured out one night to visit the Rohoe Night Market for high quality Nike shoes (I suspect knock offs?), more eats and anything else your shopper’s heart desires.
At Sunmerry Bakery you can arrange for a cooking class in the upstairs of their store located on Xinyi Road. Learn the Taiwanese art of a the country’s beloved pineapple cake. Don’t ask how much butter is in the recipe or you may never eat one again!
Back to you tea lovers, there is a simple yet informative tea museum, Sin Hong Chun located at Dà Dao Chen neighborhood. Learn the history and art of tea making.
SIN HONG CHUN
If you are a maker of any kind you absolutely must visit Songshan Cultural Park. I had a number of people recommend this place to me saying how much I would love it, and they were right! It is akin to a real life ETSY where you get to find a workshop that fits your personal interests.
Amber loves Amba!
And that my friends is one way you can spend 72 hours in Taipei.
I want to extend another huge maraming salamat to the Taipei City government for playing such wonderful hosts. They were delightful and really gave us a taste of Taiwan. Salamat to Jeron Travel, EVA Air and Amba Hotels. Truly wonderful and marvelous establishments that I recommend with highest esteem.