Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Taipei in a whirlwind

Flight is approximately 4.5hours with a 40mins drive to the city centre. Stayed at the Sheraton Taipei on Zhong Xiao East Rd 忠孝東路. Nicely refurbished hotel and close to all major areas in Taipei.

Wu Fen Pu 五分埔 is your go to place for all your cheap and fashionable threads. Japanese-fashion inspired, this market is the size of 2 football fields at least. One tends to get lost in this maze of shops but do note, you have to exercise your bargaining skills here. Things aren’t exactly very cheap (approx S$20-70) but a lot of Japanese styles can be found here at wholesale prices (remember to bargain!! since everyone will tell you they are giving you the lowest price already). Shops here are a neverending maze so if you want to get something, do get it when you see it. Else, it’d be difficult to find the same shop again.

I had the hardest time locating the Chrome Hearts store in Taipei but turns out it was at the Hotel Royal Taipei! My obsession with Chrome Hearts stems from its exclusiveness and the difficulty in locating the stores.

Taipei is a foodie's paradise and Shilin Night Market 士林夜市 around Wen Lin Road 文林路 is where you can find the infamous deep fried chicken cutlets 鸡排, bubble tea 泡泡茶, tea-braised eggs 卤蛋 and oyster mee sua. Do caution though, it is VERY crowded at Shilin and the tendency to be pick-pocketed is high.

Taipei Club hop
  • Brown Sugar - is a jazz/live band bar near the Taipei 101. Typical expat joint with chi chi setting and drinks with finger food. Their PR girl 公关小节 was very pretty though. Drinks and food are not cheap so give it a miss unless you’re a jazz fan or looking for chill-out music.
  • EZ-5 - Well known Chinese singers perform here from 830 – 1130pm. Performers include Tiger Huang (Huang Xiao Hu), Lin Zhi Xuan, Xin Long and Peng Jia Hui
  • Sex & the City - piano bar that had few patrons and looked more like a dodgy joint
  • Carnegies - now Carnegies is an irish pub with a HOT door bitch and this is like a haven for the mature (*cough* old) expats. Getting laid here is pretty easy

Not to be missed
Taipei 101 is the tallest building in the world. It costs close to S$20 to head up to the viewing gallery but the view was panoramic and the elevator gets you to the 89th storey in less than 1 min. Below, the building is very much like your typical mall. Brands like Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton etc can be found here.

As this was a work trip, I did not have the luxury of really exploring Taipei. Language-wise, knowing how to speak Mandarin is an advantage but increasingly, the locals can understand English.

View from the 89th floor of Taipei 101

Amethyst rock cave in Taipei 101
Posted by fongie on 12/02/2008 04:07:00 PM in , , ,