Thursday, 12 July 2012

我爱台北


It's been almost 2 weeks since i came back from Taipei and i thought i'd pen down some thoughts and post some photos here to share with family and friends. Have included some info about the places/food i've went/tried from whats left of my failing memory for whoever wants to know!

So my awesome girlfriend, S invited me to join her while she's on business trip to Taipei so i was really fortunate to bunk in with her at W! It's my first time travelling with another girl, so i was really looking forward to the whole "girl on girl" (inside joke) experience. While she's out at work, i'd be on my own, exploring the city.

I was quite apprehensive in the beginning because i've nvr really travelled alone before (on a plane/in a city) so i was really nervous yet excited at the same time BUT i was really really lucky in the end though, cos i made some new friends who brought me around the city to shop, club, sing and chomp on all things Taiwanese. heheh

Took a cab which costs ard 1200TWD/SGD55 and I arrived at the hotel after 45mins. 
Time (in the cab) flies when you're excited to be in a new city!

I checked in to W Taipei first cos S had to head to 
the office straight after she touched down.

The hotel's location is right smack in the central district so its easily accessible to all the big malls, clubs and anywhere yummy.

























The hotel is so iconic, you can't possibly miss it. W really stands out amongst its surrounding buildings esp during the nite! 


 The hotel looks even more beautiful and magnificient in the evening.


Gorgeous infinity pool that i never got to use because it was raining everyday..not that i would've used it anyway but..thats not the pt.. the point is.. i never got to wear some nice swimsuit, twirl arnd in the water, look pretty and do a photoshoot! Wasted the beautiful backdrop..

pfft.. i was mostly busy occupying and making full use of W's signature bed in the hotel rm. In fact, 50% of my 7 days in Taipei have been spent in the room. haha


W Taipei is touted as one of Taiwan's most popular hotel so naturally its Woobar is often frequented by celebrities. On the whole, the hotel's very urban and contemporary and has this dark sensual, edgey feel to it which i like.. v MYSTERIOUS heheh. 



DAY 1



Had quite a scenic view from our room, though i did wish the windows cld be open so i could take in all the fresh air once in a while.




LOVE the amenities! I happen to be the sort of person who wants to know everything about the place i stay in so i would explore and ransack the ENTIRE hotel room the moment i step in. I wanna know what's available, what's not, where the towels, robes and slippers are kept.

How many channels are available cos i watch ALOT of TV! And also where the lights are (cos im afraid of the dark..), what's in the mini fridge (not that i would normally consume the beverages, instead, i like to buy stuff from 7-11 and store my goodies inside), if there's an iron/ironing board, a safe and what kind of beds they use, down to the itty bitty knickknacks like pens, post its, shower caps and bottled water they provide haha. So i know where i can reach for what i need, when i need it! 

And S discovered that i use ALOT of towels.. and asked me why cos they usually prepare 2 hand towels, 2 med size and 2 big bath towels and by the next morning, i'd haf used up ALL the clean towels and she'd be left with the towel she used the night before haha. 

I told her im quite anal when it comes to hygiene.. normally i bring my own towels cos i use a diff towel for my hand, hair and body and im afraid of using the hotel's towels rofl.
So paiseh! XD



wee~ plushy plushy beds..



Had a change of clothes and spent the entire first half of the afternoon hunting down a sim card for my BB. Went to 4 different stores before i finally found 1 that sells a suitable one ONLY to discover that i needed 2 identifications when purchasing a sim card. Which brings me to...

TIP #1: ALWAYS bring 2 types of identification as the store requires both for verification before they can authorise your sim card. (eg. driver's license, NRIC, passport.)

提议 #1:在台湾购买预付卡时,柜台需要您提供两种身份证来确认拥护者,所以一定要带您的准证和身份证噢!

So i returned to the hotel, and took my passport to get the sim card to get my hp working. And they didnt have 3G for my model, so i hope you're using an iPHONE when you're travelling to TW cos its mass iPHONEs over there, so its much easier to get a sim card with 3G for that model. 

After which i returned to the hotel again to wait for S to return from work so we can head for dinner but just so happened a friend from TW texted me and told me he's back in Taiepi and can bring us out for dinner and then to a new bar that just opened in town!

Sadly, S had to accompany her collegues for dinner so we went separate ways but arranged to meet for eca (extra curricular activities) after dinner. 

Didn't take any photos at the SHABU SHABU Restaurant (市民大道的刷刷锅) my friend W brought me to but it was like a personal mini steamboat. LOVE IT! He also ordered the sea urchin, bacon asparagus, grilled salmon and way too much sashimi thinking i could finish em' all up by myself becos he was a very generous host.. haha. That move totally backfired on him cos he had to call on his brothers for assistance haha. We were all trying to stuff ourselves at the end hahaha, i had to finish the eeky expensive sea urchin!! 

But the steamboat was really gratifying, satisfied my steamboat craving heheh. 

W also introduced some of his TW/SG friends to me during dinner, who are all uber nice and friendly!

We were deciding where to go next cos the bar we wanted to go was too crowded. I wanted waffles, he wanted to play dota but in the end we decided on KTV! Cos we love singing! haha

Went to the Cashbox Studio (钱柜) opposite SOGO, i heard ktv in Taiwan is relatively cheap and they serve really good food/buffet there also, so customers can have their meals before their ktv session. I liked that they had a restroom in the ktv room but i was really paranoid that ppl might hear me pee when i use the restroom hahah. In the end, i couldn't care already cos i had to pee so bad from all the soup and thankfully, the music was quite loud haha.. actually i waited for other ppl to go in first before i took my turn heheh.

The only downside was that their system had very very limited english songs, so there werent alot of rock/hiphop music we could get high and dance to. boo

S joined us briefly but left around 2, the rest of us left at 3am and by then, my tummy was already grumbling. So some of us girls decided we needed supper! 

Previously, my friend J met up with me and spent 4 hours concocting an entire list of places to go and food to eat when he visited Singapore. He told me i should try NY Bagels cos they serve pretty decent all-day breakfasts 24hrs. So W brought us to the nearest one which is conveniently near my hotel and we spent another 3 hrs talking about all sorts of cock (literally.. XD~ hahaha) before we finally headed back.


DAY 2

Only headed out in the evening when it was around 5pm! I was nua-ing in bed, watching movies, taking a longggg bath before i decided i was starving and decided to meet one of W's friends from last night. He was also visiting TW and arrived on the same day as me! 

He was at Xi Men Ding so i took a cab over, he was having dinner with a friend so i decided to explore the place until i find a restaurant i wanted to dine in. Settled for this in the end! 

YAKINIKU JAPANESE BBQ BUFFET (日本烧烤自助餐)!! Yay! It was 699TWD/SGD31, which was about 30SGD. The menu was quite extensive, they had a good variety of seafood, red meat and white meat. their beef/steak selection was really good, the wings were yummy, and my absolute favourite was the bacon-golden mushroom skewers! Tender and juicy with the right amount of saltiness.


After a fulfilling dinner, he brought me to Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), where all street food stalls are, didnt take alot of photos but there wasnt really much shopping or eating i could do cos i was already so full! 

TIP #2: Never go shopping on an empty stomach, you might end up spending more than you had planned on things you might not even want. So save on those impulse buys for other rainy days. 



TIP #3: NEVER buy fruits from Shilin Night Market. Total rip off.
提议#3: 我想最好不要在士林夜市购买水果,太贵了!
几粒莲雾和黑樱桃花了我五百台币!太夸张了。。

I asked for some water apples and black cherries causally and the lady took a handful of em', packed it, told me she gave me some free melons and charged me 500TWD/SGD22. WDF. SCAMMED. 

Only the cherries were good... threw the melons and water apples on the 3rd day cos i couldn't bring myself to eat em' tasteless apples.

The famed Taiwanese dessert/cake (大雕烧) that's baked in the shape of a d**k. haha, looked huge and i was way to full to go down on that. 


Finally met up with S for late night massage! One of the best massages i've had so far, even better than the ones i had in BKK but the price also premium la.. The foot massage + shoulder/neck massage costs 1200TWD/ SGD55. Equally expensive as Singapore's!




DAY 3

Met up with another new friend T, who offered to bring me around the city to eat and shop! SOOO nice!! I wanted to try another item on the list J made me so i decided to have the famous beef noodles! T told me 林东芳牛肉面 is the most famous stall in Taipei and many of her friends have given praise to this delightful local dish but T personally thought it was just ok. I personally felt the same. i thought the soup was really good, but only after we added their home-made spicy paste. I liked the texture of the noodle, it was cooked al dente and overall, it wasnt like anything that i have had before but still im not a big fan of that particular part of the beef so i thought it was all right. But i'd still recommend friends to try it when they are there :)


There was another beef noodles that J recommended, it's called Chef Hung's beef noodles, i heard its famous too and you should try it if you happen to be in TW.
T then brought me to the boutique where she works for as a bloshop model at Dong Qu district ( a.fad at 东区).









Then we walked around the district where i did too much shopping. Their style here is very very korean, and most of the stores import korean products so they are pretty pricey. They mark up alot for the same kind of designs which you may find in Korea.




W highly recommended this desserts place, Dazzling Cafe so i requested T to bring me there to try their famous desserts! It's also located in Dong Qu district but they have other outlets in the city as well. 




I LOVE their CAFE LATTE ( in Vanilla but also available in 2 other flavours), i can't appreciate coffee or latte until recently cos i really dislike anything bitter so this is actually pretty mild for me heh. Of cos i had to add sugar..
Strawberry crepe

Caramel Honey Toast..this is what they are famous for. And its pretty unique! Definitely wouldnt find this in Singapore so had to eat more!

Beaver :)

Next up! Ding Tai Fung @ Taipei 101

The place is huge! i don't normally patronise DTF in Singapore cos im not a huge fan of their food, its more on the oily side and there's too much meat in all the baos.. which im not a big fan of.. but the food there was pretty ok. XLB was good.




Their beef/chicken and shrimp soup were good too. 





After DTF, we went to another restaurant for drinks, can't rmb the name of it. Wanted to do massage while we wanted for the rest of W's friends to finish dinner but the parlours we visited didnt offer foot massage. Caught The Dictator in the end before we headed back to the hotel in the morning.



DAY 4
Brought T to the Kitchen Table at our hotel. One of W's friend heard about the awesome reviews from critics on some forums and recommended me to try on more than 1 occasion. Well, he had been misled. The food was absolutely disappointing! And as yumy as they look, I paid 2000TWD/ SGD100 for 2 lousy pastas, 2 so-so sides and an eeky latte..



Lobster spaghetti
Linguine alla Vongole

Joined S for some drinks at Woobar which was on the same lvl as The Kitchen Table. 






A very different take on New York Cheesecake. The coating tasted really sweet and milky.. not my favourite.

 Woobar's interpretation of Shirley Temple that i requested for. Tangerine base. VERY SOUR, but i liked it anyway.
S's fish&chips for lunch.

Brought S to Dong Qu district this time cos she missed out on some major K-Shopping yesterday. 

Later, T urged us to try this Japanese bbq called Wine Kampai so.. we did! The french interior was elegant and cosy, and had a rustic charm about it. 





Sad thing was we switched table (dunno who's clever idea), and we were seated right next to a few inconsiderate loud-mouth Nihonjins who held their intense conversations in uber high volume and on several occasions almost sent me into a cardiac arrest when they burst out in laughter out of nowhere.

We were interrupted halfway into the meal, when the waiter approached us with free mushrooms and free desserts, compliments of the manager of the restaurant who happened to be sitted next to me. -_- Apparently his companion had taken a liking on our dear friend and wanted to give her his card hahaha. So sua lor, who'd turn down free food right? The mushrooms alr in our tummies..




NOM NOM NOM!

Beef Tenderloin Cubes
Japanese curry with Naan

Pork Belly

Sweet Potato!

That wraps up the end of day 4 in Taipei. 
Will be doing blogging part 2 of 我爱台北 soon! :D

拜拜!

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