Friday, 26 June 2009

Taipei Day 1

If it wasn’t for Tammy, I would never have experienced Taipei. It most definitely wasn’t on my list of places to visit. Friends tell me that Taipei is not a very nice city - the streets are filthy, its population rowdy. Even my mom (who went to Taipei about 20 years ago) warned me that drivers pay no heed to pedestrian crossings. So no, Taipei wasn’t exactly my dream city. Little did I know, I would change my mind and I was to fall desperately in love with the country, and its people. 

When Tammy was able to redeem 4 nights of free accommodation in Taipei she very generously invited me to share the room with her. I mean, she could have invited any of her sisters or her mom or one of her BFFs but she chose me. Lucky me!

I'm glad I made the trip.

DAY 1 (WED) Jun 17, 2009

Arrived in Taipei to be greeted by extremely warm weather.

When I boarded the 飞狗 (Free Go airport express bus NT$140), I was amazed that everyone wore masks. Being a true Singaporean, I was not to be outdone and wore mine too. Hahaha!

It took a little more than an hour to arrive at the Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. Somehow I was expecting the bus to stop opposite Sogo Fuxing but it didn’t! For a minute there I lost my bearings. I stopped a masked individual to ask for directions. She turned out to be a friendly Taiwanese who had just arrived home from a holiday in Tokyo. Not only did she point me the right way to the hotel, she also had very wonderful things to share about Tokyo!  


Checked into Déjà vu Hotel and immediately made a beeline for the popular Dosan Kanroku Sanuki Udon, a tiny Japanese shop “serving Taiwan’s best and cheapest udon”. The menu is simple – with a choice of about 20 variety of udon in broth.

Just what is the origin of Sanuki udon?  The story goes that Kūkai, a Buddhist monk from the province of Sanuki (now known as Kagawa Prefecture) on the Japanese island of Shikoku, traveled to China in the 9th century to study religious texts. When he returned, he didn’t just bring back religious manuscripts but also a recipe: thick noodles made of wheat flour. Today the ubiquitous local dish is called Sanuki udon.

The moment I entered the shop, a friendly waiter started chattering to me in Japanese. Even though I answered in Mandarin, he persisted and went on to take my order in Japanese. (Duh!)  Still, I was very satisfied with the first bowl of udon I had in Taipei. The vicinity is home to not one, but two Sogo department stores, alleys filled with trendy shops, and interesting eating places.

Bought dorayaki (Doraemon’s favourite snack!) from a Japanese confectionery.

乔合大饭店 | Déjà vu Hotel
台北市 大安区 复兴南路一段136号
No. 136 Fuxing South Road Sec. 1. Da-an District
捷运忠孝复兴站1号出口 | MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station Exit 1

土三寒六赞歧烏龙面 | Dosan Kanroku Sanuki Udon
台北市 大安区 复兴南路一段126巷6号
No. 6, Lane 126, Fuxing South Road Sec 1, Da-an District
Mon - Fri 1130 – 1430; 1700 - 2100 No credit cards.
捷运忠孝复兴站1号出口 | MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station Exit 1

星野铜锣烧 | Sing-ya Dorayaki
台北市 大安区 忠孝东路三段265号
No. 265 Zhongxiao South Road Sec. 3  +886 2 87723691
捷运忠孝复兴站1号出口 | MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station Exit 1


kelly said...

Lovely review! Am heading all over Taiwan myself in Dec!

Sigh...SG are really behind mannerism when compared to Taiwanese and Japanese! The kiasu syndrome!

Will visit your wonderful blog again! :)

Fun said...

Thanks for checking in. Your Taichung photos look amazing, Kelly! I hope to go there some time. Have a blast on your December trip!