One of the Highest Starbucks in The World

Who doesnt know Starbucks? One of the most popular coffee-shop chain in the world. When Seattle is the home base of Starbucks shop, Taipei has one of the highest Starbucks outlet amongst the other 23,768 outlets in the world.

Located at the 35th floor of Taipei 101, this Starbucks really grabs the foreigners and even the local’s attention. I’ve been wanting to go to this outlet since the first month of my student life in Taipei, but only gotten the chance to visit this on the very last month before i left.

Since this Starbucks really catches so many people’s attention.. So you need to book it 1 week prior your visit. When you do your booking, it is best to speak with them in Chinese since they dont really understand English. If you cant speak Chinese, maybe you can ask your hotel concierge or your AirBnb host to help you with the booking.

How to enter Starbucks 101?

It’s quite tricky since it’s not inside the mall. You need to Enter via Xin Yi Road, Sec.5, door 7. which located not far from 101 mall entrance.

There will be security guards in front and asking you where are you going? Just say you are going to starbucks, and they will direct you to the foyer. After you reached the Foyer, just wait there for a while.

As for me and my friends, it is very easy to spot the foyer, since there are already a long Q when we reached there. Starbucks already allocate the time for their customers, so all of us can enter the lift together, since they need cards to enter the office buildings.

After 5-10 minutes of waiting time, their staffs will come down and fetch you up (dont forget to give them the booking code that they have given to you to be exchanged with the table number)

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And here you go, one of the highest starbucks in the world. haha.. It’s just a normal starbucks shop. Just happened that they have a good locations whereby you can see Taipei’s skyline and sceneries from above.

Some people advised that it is better to go here, rather than going to the Taipei 101’s observatory, cause you need to spend about NTD 400-500 (SGD  16-20) to enter the observatory, and get quite the same sceneries that this starbucks offered you. On the other hand, you need to order 1 drink + 1 cakes/sandwich per person, which will cost you about NTD 150-200 (SGD 6-8).

Actually it goes back to each individual, cause some people love to listen to history and want to understand Taipei more. Then, if you are that kind of person, i will still advise you to go up to the observatory and listen to all the ipod tracks that they provide you with.

My piece of advise if you are going to this Starbucks is.. When you gather downstair, Walk slowly to the lift, and let you and your friends be the last person to enter the lift. So, when you go out of the lift, you can quickly grab the best seat! hahaha.. *Kiasu mode on*

Too bad we did not get the best spot.. so, i was quite lazy to take the sceneries as well.. Sorry for no pretty pictures of the sceneries. =(

If you asked me if it’s worth it or not to go to this place.. I’ll say.. Just go if you have time. If you dont.. Hmmpp.. I think it’s still okay to give it a miss.. Unless you are a Starbucks fans or Mug’s collector. haha.

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Starbucks 101.
110, Taiwan, Taipei City
Xinyi District, Section 5, Xinyi Road, 7號之1
Tel: +886 2 8101 0701

Taipei Must Visit : JiuFen and Golden Waterfall

It has been a month since i left Taipei. gosh.. how time flies.. i felt like it was only yesterday that my friends picked me up at my Taipei’s apartment and sent me to the airport. And here i am now, in Singapore, looking for inspiration on what to do next with this game called life. haha. Ohh, btw, ill be going back to Jakarta by mid July. Guess ill try to make a living over there. haha.. Do contact me Jakarta peeps! Would love to talk to you and expand my horizons about life in Jakarta.. =)

and talking about Taipei.. was scrolling my phone earlier today, and just realized that i have not posted about my trip to JiuFen! ~~

JiuFen is a beautiful old town just 1-1.5 hrs away from Taipei City. Previously it was a gold mine that was founded and built by the Japanese back in 1893 during Japanese colonial. Until today, they still preserved some of the architecture from that era.

and if you watched Spirited Away, a Japan anime movie by Hayao Miyazaki, the town and the bath house inside that movie is inspired by the tea-house in this beautiful old town.

When me and my friends drove there, we passed by a quite pretty waterfall named..

Golden Waterfall (黃金瀑布)

They called it Golden Waterfall because of the contrast colour between the gold coloured soil (that makes the waterfall) and the greeneries beside it. Research said that the soil turned gold because of the regular rainfall in this area and the large amount of heavy metal elements that has been deposited in the riverbed. Fascinating, isnt it? and luckily my friend was driving that day. If not, i think we would not know that there’s such a waterfall around that area. haha.

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Yes, it was so cloudy and misty that day. And it was raining quite heavily when we reached JiuFen itself. Actually i was quite confused on when to go out in Taipei, because sometimes the weather there is worse than a woman who’s having a PMS. haha. seriously.. it would just rain and turns hot unpredictably.

So, when we reached the Old Street, all that we did was just eating and eating.. and most of the snacks there are so good! I am so sorry there are no decent pictures for the snacks, since it was raining and packed with hundreds of people. =(

After snacking, we directly headed our way to the tea-house named A Mei Tea House. We were seated at the balcony outside and so blessed by the view when the rain started to stop. It was just so breathtakingly beautiful!

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Other than mesmerising view,  actually the tea-house just offered an over-priced tea set. haha.. sorry to say that.. Well, i cant remember how much we had to pay for the below set. But what i remember is, we only ordered some normal tea (around NTD 300/person for either Oolong or Pu-Er), because the other special tea can cost us more than NTD 600 /person. Quite a ripped off for me who dont really understand good teas. haha.

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And above is the night view of the Tea House from the outside. Love the pretty lanterns there.. ❤

Still would love to come back to JiuFen old street, since the last one wasnt so spectacular. Hopefully there’ll be next trip when i can buy JiuFen’s Ocarina (an ancient wind musical instrument) haha.. #sokberjiwamusikal. hahaha.

From MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing, go to Exit 1 and take bus 1062 (Keelung Bus) to Jin gua shi, alight at Jiufen. The ride is about 1 hour and the fare is NT$90.

 

Taipei : Two Best Ramen Places (So Far)

I’ve been avoiding noodles for these past months. If i happened to go to some restaurant that have noodle and rice, i’ll go for the later option. Why so? Because i gain weight easily after i eat noodles. Yes, any type of noodles. I hate it so much when i need to avoid the things that i love. =(

I still remember there were times that i ate noodles (spaghetti, ramen, local singapore noodle and instant noodles) almost everyday in that week, and i gained 3 kgs by the end of the week. Gosh.. ~.~” And then someone told me about ‘Blood Type Diet’ and said that Type A Blood should eat more vegetables, fruits and grains than carbs and meat. Seems like a very tough tasks to do when you love noodle so much and have low blood pressure at the same time (since you need to eat meaty stuffs in order to increase the blood pressure)

After suppressing my hunger for noodles, I finally could not resist it anymore and start to eat noodles again. But this time i limit myself to once a week. So, this past few weeks ive been going to many noodle places, from local noodles, pasta house and japanese ramen. and guess whatt.. The Japanese Ramen won my heart!

– Nagi Ramen

Ximen MRT – Ximending (Located at Cinemark Movie Theater Buidling – 6th Floor, Besides Uniqlo)

They have 4 types of Ramen Based that you can choose from.

The Original , The Spicy ones, The Squid Ink-ed ones, and the Seaweed ones. What i love the most from this place is you can choose your noodles thickness, your broth thickness, your type of meat and vegetables, spiciness etc. I just love ramen places that can be customized.

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*The Original King (Butao) – the safest choice if you cant eat spicy and dont really dare to try the other soup-based. This Butao bowl of goodness is an award winning. The broth is pretty thick and a bit salty as well. So if you like flavourful soup (since most of Taiwanese cuisine are pretty bland) you definitely should try this one out*

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*The Black King (Kuroo) – If you are someone who has a very adventurous taste buds, you can try this squid-ink soup based. I totally could not enjoy this black king, cause they have a fishy smells (for me). Yeah, i got a bit sensitive when it comes to seafood. But my friend love it, so i guess you can try it as well if you want too*

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*Red King (Akao) – This bowl of red noodles really won my heart. Well, maybe because i love spicy food in the first place, and this Akao has satisfied my taste buds. I chose normal for the richnessof taste, normal special sauce, light garlic, shoulder parts for the pork meat, green onion for the vegetables, level 4 of spiciness (you can choose level 1-10), and thick normal noodles for my ramen. And i loveee thiss so soo muchh..

The thickness of the noodles is not that thick as i expected, but it’s chewy enough for me to enjoy. The broth itself is a bit salty and spicy at the same time, since i love both, so the soup are just perfect for me. Love the shoulder pork-meat as well, cause when most other ramen house use very thick cha siew (shoulder pork meat), they use thin sliced that makes it less fats and they are pretty generous in giving the meat. Really love it to the bits.

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Price : 3/5 – NTD 200-240 (SGD 8-10) *wouldnt get any nice Ramen in Singapore with this kind of pricing. haha*

Ambiance : 3/5

Taste : 4/5 – For Spicy Based

-樂麵屋 (Le Mian Wu)

No. 7, Lane 10, Yongkang St, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106

(Dongmen MRT – They have 2 outlets in the same street, one outlets has break time from 2-6pm, and the other one open all the way from 11-10pm)

They have many options to choose from (Original Tonkatsu, Soya sause based and spicy based) and they can customized our bowl of ramen as well.

  Even though i love spicy noodle so much, i decided to skip it this time. Why so? Because they mixed the spicy broth with some seafood based soup. So this time i play it safe and so satisfied with my Original Tonkatsu based soup.

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Chosen a normal broth for its thickness with normal thick noodle. They have less options than Nagi Ramen, which makes it easier for some people. Love the broth so much, cause it’s thick enough but not makes you ‘sick’, the soup is like ‘indomie kuah ayam’ but less salty and just so much nicer. haha. If you like to drink soup, i guess you can finish up this bowl of goodness. I think Nagi Ramen’s noodle is thicker, but this one is good enough for me too! *guess im easy to please as long as it’s not too thin and soft. haha* Also, I recommend you to order the one that has double pork-meat, because the pork meat is soo good, it literally melts in your mouth.. *slurpp*

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Quite a fan of Japanese Gyoza, but i found this one is just normal towards not-so-good-for-my-tastebuds. So, if you are not into Gyoza, you can skip it.

They have the normal spicy based soup and sort of special edition spicy soup with some prawns, and other types of pork-meat. My friend chosen the later one, and it comes like this. Looks so appetising, but she said she prefers the original better. So original wins for this Ramen shop!

Price : 3/5 – TWD 190-260 (SGD 7.8-10.5)

Ambiance : 3/5

Taste : 4/5 for Original Tonkatsu Based

Update Hidup 8

時間真的過很快。我來台北將近六個月了,再過三個星期我就得離開台灣了。我忽然覺得很難過。 我剛適應台北的生活,適應新的環境,建立了新的友誼,但是我卻得回國了。真的很難接受這個事實。我認為我心裡還沒準備好。因為我覺得回印尼是一個很可怕的決定。 經過九年,這次是我第一次回去印尼,而且不是去旅行,是為了追逐我的夢。如果有機會的話,我真的想要留在台北久一點。我希望這個不是錯誤的決定。

And so.. I tried to blog something in Chinese (putting my learning into practice). I hope it is understandable. haha.

Pulang Jakarta 

Jadi ceritanya aku mau pulang indo nih 3 minggu lagi. Gila, ga berasa banget dehh, tau2 udah 2 semester aja (6 bulan). Blog soal Update Hidup yang terakir, gw cerita soal gimana gw melalui 2 minggu pertama gw di taipei. Eh sekarang, udah tinggal 3 minggu lagi aja disini. Ya Tuhan.. tiba2 kok aku ga siap yak?

Gw emang berencana cuman stay 6 bulan aja dsini. Tapi sekarang kok sedikit nyesel yaa. Tiba2 pengen stay lamaan dsini.. Kayaknya gw baru aja bisa adaptasi dengan kehidupan di Taipei, baru aja merasakan serunya persahabatan yang baru.. tau2 gw udah harus pulang aja. Dan parahnya tuhh, setahun ini gw forgood 2 kali. Yang pertama adalah forgood dari Singapore ke Taipei. Terus forgood yang ke2 adalah dari Taipei ke Jakarta.

Feeling forgood tuh ga pernah enak. Rasanya selalu sedih dan aneh. Mixed feeling banget deh.. susah gw jelaskan dengan kata2. haha.

Dan kali ini yang makin buat perasaan makin gundah gulana adalah, karena gw bakalan balik Jakarta! *geezz* Gw udah hampir 9 tahun hidup di luar negri. Emang sih ga selama orang2 yang lain kalo di bandingin. Tapi gw ngerasa rada aneh aja gt buat balik Indo. Gw mikir, apa mungkin karena gw bertumbuh dewasa di luar, tanpa adanya orang tua, bisa bebas ngapain aja, bisa bebas belajar hal yang gw suka. Dan sekarang, gw harus balik lagi ke rumah bonyok gw, under supervisi mereka lagi, dan harus adaptasi lagi dengan hidup di indo.. Sungguh ada perasaan yg aneh. Not saying that i am not grateful for them, just that there’s this weird feeling that bothers me. Yaa, ga hanya ini aja sii. Perasaan lain seperti harus giat cari peluang kerja pun membuat gw takut.. Takut ga bisa bersaing sama orang2 kece dan kreatip di ibukota. haha.. *banyak takutnya yee gw booo*

Jadi pengen lamaan di Taipeii.. ~~

Belajar Sepeda

Gw inget banget salah satu doa dari temen baik gw pas gw mau pergi ke Taipei. Dia bilang, supaya gw bisa belajar hal lain selain belajar chinese. Dan tadaaa.. mungkin ini salah satu jawaban dari doa temen baik gw. hahaha..

Taipei itu kota yang friendly banget buat bersepeda, sampe2 beberapa jalanan tuh di rombak buat kenyamanan bersepeda. Kalau ga punya sepeda pun, disini banyak tempat buat Rent sepeda U-bike  *U-bike itu adalah sepeda sewaan yang sudah di siapkan pemerintah Taiwan*

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Cara rent.nya pun sangatlah mudah, penduduk taiwan atau turis hanya perlu membeli kartu MRT, lalu mendaftarkan kartu MRT mereka di mesin2 U-bike yang sudah di sediakan. Cara daftarnya pun sangatlah gampang. Tinggal isi nomor hp local aja, sama isi beberapa particulars yang lainnya.

Setelah daftar, kita tinggal tap kartu MRT.nya ke mesin yang nempel sama sepeda yang mau kita ambil, ambil sepedanya, terus tinggal jalan2 dehh.. hehe.

Pulanginnya juga gampang, kamu tinggal pulangin aja sepeda itu ke U-bike station lagi. Ga perlu pusing juga kalo kamu pergi dari point A, dan balikin di point B. Ya intinya kamu bisa balikin ke U-bike station mana aja. Nanti dia bakal deduct harganya dari berapa lama kamu rent si U-bike itu. U-bike masih gratis kalo kamu cuman pake di bawah 30 menit, setelah itu mereka akan charge NTD 5 (SGD 0.10) buat setengah jam berikutnya. Murah meriah dehh. haha.

Jadi 3 minggu yg lalu, gw memutuskan untuk belajar sepeda. Jangan tanya kenapa gw udah gede gini ga bisa sepeda okeii? hahaha. Karena gw pun ga tau kenapa bonyok gw atau lingkungan gw ga pernah ngajakin gw main sepeda pas gw kecil. haha.

Pertamanya gw cuman minta tolong temen gw yg couple, namanya Aria sama Jessica. Gw pikir, 2 orang cukuplah buat ajarin gw sepeda. haha. Pas hari H.nya, tiba2 nambah 2 orang lagi. haha. Namanya Eko sama Ko Halim (Abeng).

Jadi kita rent sepeda U-bike itu, dan memulai tutorial sepeda. Seperti yang mana rem depan, rem belakang, gigi sepeda, lalu gimana cara goes sepeda tanpa henti (karena ternyata gw punya tendensi ngegoes sekali dua kali, udah gt ga gue goes lagi. hahaha)

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Setelah briefing selesai, gw pun belajar naik sepeda. Setelah 2 jam di pegangin depan blakang dengan berbagai macam teknik, gw masih belom bisa naik sepeda.

Entah kenapa, kayaknya gw takut aja gt naik si ubike ini. Mungkin karena sepeda ini cukup tinggi, dan gw cukup pendek. Jadi kalo sepedanya oleng, gw ga bisa memijakan kaki gw ke tanah. haha. Dan reason yang kedua adalah, sepeda ini stang.nya cukup berat menurut gw, jadi cukup susah buat gw untuk menyeimbangkan diri. (mungkin karena perintilan besi2 buat mesin di depan sepedanya).

Sebenernya gw ga tau sih apa 2 alasan ini adalah alasan yang valid, atau gw aja yg super ketakutan buat belajar. Ya pokoknya gw masih gagal deh di minggu pertama ini.

Di minggu ke2, si Jessica nawarin buat belajar sepeda pake sepeda lipet dia. Sepeda Lipet ini jauh lebih kecil daripada si U-bike, dan lebih enteng juga tentunya. Akhirnya gw pun belajar dehh pake sepeda lipetnya doi.

45 menit pertama, gw masih struggle banget, mau di pegangin sampe gimana pun, gw tetep ga bisa sepedaan. =(

Sampe si Jessica pun pergi beli minum, dan Aria pun duduk sebentar karena lelah. Gw pun akhirnya iseng untuk coba2 sendiri. Pas coba sendiri pun, masih tetep ga bisa dongg.. =( Dan ketika gw mulai putus harapan dan complain ke Aria kenapa gw ga bisa2. Tiba2 aja gw bisa goess sepedanyaaa mannnn.. hahaha.

Langsung amazed dan senyum2 sendiriii saat itu.. senengnyaa tuhh seneng bangettt.. kyk akhirnya achievement unlocked! hahaha. Walopun masih agak oleng2, tapi gw udah bisa menyeimbangkan diri gw.. haha.

Ini Video yang mereka ambil pas gw lagi latihan di minggu pertama (saat2 masih di pegangin, lalu jangan tanya kenapa badan gw miring banget ke kanan.. haha.. Feeling disaat itu adalah kyknya gw mau jatuh ke kiri, tapi bukannya gw seimbangin stang-nya ke kanan, tapi malah bahu gw yg ke kanan. hahaha. ) dan minggu kedua (akhirnya udah bisa seimbang! hehehe).

*ehh.. btw kok ga bisa embeed video lagi ya? ada yg tau kenapa?*

Dan minggu ketiga, gw melancarkan diri buat bersepeda dan belok2. masih belum lancar bngt sii. kadang pas goes-an pertama masih suka ga berhasil juga.. hoho.. dan gw takut banget kalo tiba2 banyak orang di depan gw.. gw takut nabrak mereka cuyy.. haha..

Well, at least i feel hopeful untuk bisa lancar bersepeda, dan at least gw bisa bilang kalo gw bisa naik sepeda.. *walopun belom jago* hahaha.

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Eko – Saya – Aria – Jessica

Thank you sedalam-dalamnya buat Jessica untuk waktu nemenin latihan dan sepeda lipetnya. Terlebih buat Aria yang udah 2 minggu berturut2 megangin sepeda dan lari2 di sebelah gww.. haha.. Makasih juga buat Eko yang megangin dan lari2 juga di minggu pertama.. Makasih juga buat Ko abeng buat petuah2 belajar sepedanya.. haha..

Thank God for these kind souls. Sungguh gw ga akan lupa sama jasa2 kaliann.. hahaha.. Laph you guys deepp deepp.. ❤ ❤

Taipei Must Visit : Wulai Aboriginal Village and Hot Spring

Me and my classmates went to Wulai two weeks ago, a nice mountain village located just outside Taipei. Wulai was an impromptu trip, we planned to go to Tainan city at first, but since we planned it too late, all the bus and train tickets were sold out. Eventhough we know that we can buy the standing train ticket to Tainan, we finally decided to drop this plan and decided to explore somewhere near Taipei instead.

Like many countries, Taiwan has many aboriginal tribes too. and Wulai is a home for for one aboriginal tribes name Atayal. Wulai is the closest aboriginal tribes village from Taipei, and if you are wondering what Wulai means, it means Hot Spring in Atayal’s term.

So basically what you can do at Wulai is to soak yourself in a natural Hot Spring. But other than that, you can eat a lot of Wulai’s aboriginal snacks at the Wulai Old Street, dip your feet in the cold river, see a nice waterfall, hiking around Wulai’s mountain, and take a lot of pretty ‘classic’ pictures. haha.. Let’s go through it one by one, shall we? *grin*

– Wulai’s Entrance 

If you go by bus 849 (TWD 15) from Xin Dian MRT station (end of green line), you will stop at this small bus station after about 45-50 minutes. This bus stop is located at the very end of the bus station, so do not worry of getting lost.

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– Wulai’s Old Street

After walking about 5-7 mins, you will find this bridge to enter the Old Street of Wulai. The Old street of Wulai is pretty long and narrow, with many mouthwatering snack stalls on their left and right. So basically what you can do is, buy the snacks one at a time and share it among your friends, so that you can eat more snacks. haha. Wulai is famous for their boar sausage, which is not bad.. but I personally like their suckling roast pork roll, somehow the pork is so nice, love how they do the egg roll as well (eventhough they have quite disturbing whole pig in front of their stall) haha.. And ohh.. I like their grilled mochi topped with condensed milk.. ❤

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-Wulai’s Hot Spring 

After non-stop binge eating on the old street, we went straight ahead to the Wulai’s Hot Spring. But since the weather was pretty hot that day, we went to dip our feet in the cold river water instead. and it feels so refreshinggg.. wish indonesia or singapore have this kind of river.. The current was pretty fast though, so i dont think you can swim in this river.

as for the Hot Spring, you can go there for free, eventho mostly are elderly. If you want more private place for soaking yourself, they have a few bathing house as well. Just stroll the street and asked around to get the best deal.

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-Wulai’s Waterfall

From the Hot-Spring place, you can walk through Lover’s Path (the walking trail) about 2 km to see this pretty waterfall, eventho not as spectacular as i expected, but it’s quite nice to see. and the walk trail to waterfall is quite pretty too.. =)

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-Wulai’s Gondola

Wulai has some hiking trails and large nature park. But because of last year Typhoon, Wulai’s nature park is quite severely damaged. So after we went up by the Gondola (NTD 150), we just hiked to the aboriginal ‘village’ and just explore what they have over there. we ended up playing archery up there, and i suck a lot. haha.

Heard that the gondola fee will help the villagers to re-build their town. Hopefully they can restore the place soon. Never thought that Typhoon can really bring such a great impact to a pretty place.

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Wulai is a pretty place, would love to comeback sometime for the street food and dipping my feet in the cold river, enjoying the blue sky, the warm sun rays and brezzy wind, and pondering about life. haha.

10 Must Visit Cafe/Restaurant in Taipei

Besides all the local delights, Taipei has a lot of cafes as well. From small to big, cheap to expensive, chain-cafe to hipster. Name it, they have it. I have stayed for 4 months now in Taipei and tried many cafes/restaurants. And i am gonna share with you my top 10 Must Visit in Taipei.

1.The Good Design Institute

1F No. 22 Lane 48 Wenzhou St.

The interior of this cafe is so gorgeous. It makes you wants to take pictures in all its corners. Somehow it has a little bit of the rustic feeling yet modern.  Aside from the interior, they also acts as a pop-up store for some local designers. My friend said that their coffee is good (i dont drink coffee), and i love their chocolate drink which they put in a glass beaker. They do sell simple food like quiche and desserts too.

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2. A Mini Bistro

No. 2, Lane 101, Section 4, Xinhai Rd, Wenshan District, Taipei City, 116

A small pizza restaurant located in one secluded corner of Xinhai Road. This is truly hidden gem for me. Love the warmth feeling that they offer, and I love their buffalo wings and their pizzas. Normally we need to call and book the place first due to the small place.

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3.Coffee Alley

http://www.coffee-alley.com/

This chain cafe/restaurant is so famous amongst taiwanese and foreigners. This cafe is always full be it on weekdays or on weekend. Love the chicken toasted pizza and the Strawberry Mile-Feuille. They are famous with their waffles too. Did a longer review on this place before. Do check it out here. 

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4. Dazzling Cafe

No. 11, Alley 7, Lane 205, Section 4, Zhongxiao E Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106

This is one of my favorite dessert place. Their dessert reminds me a lot of the honey toast back in En Dining, Jakarta, Indonesia. and guest what, i love their honey toast too! They have top 1-10 desserts that the people normally order, it should make you easier on what to choose from, but apparently it doesnt help me, cause all of their desserts looks so tempting. This place is good for afternoon tea, and they do have good spaghetti and truffle fries too. Heard that they gonna open in Singapore as well. Lets see..

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5.Drip Cafe

No. 10, Alley 6, Lane 170, Section 4, Zhongxiao E Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106

Another popular chain-cafe in Taiwan. Rain or shine, this cafe will always be full. Booking is encouraged, but you can always come and try to Q up. Best if you come around 11.30am just when they open. Cronut is their best selling dessert here. Normally its already finished by 3/4pm. =(. So you can try to ask them first if they still have their cronut, rather being disappointed. Their Kimchi spaghetti and the cheese steak sandwich is not bad too.

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6. Melange Cafe

104, Taipei City, Zhongshan District, Lane 16, Section 2, Zhongshan N Rd, 23號號

This place is nice for their waffles too. Actually it looks like Coffee Alley’s sister cafe, they have similar menu and ambiance. But nevertheless, it is still a good place to just chill and chat with your loved ones.

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7. The Sandrich House

No. 366, Section 2, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106

Actually this is a sandwich place, not really a cafe nor restaurant. But the offer a very good crunch pork belly sandwich served with ciabatta. They have coffee and tea to go along with too. But if you just want to have a coffee/tea, guess it should not be a problem.

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8. Second Floor Cafe

http://www.secondfloorcafe.com/store_a.jsp

Tried this chain-cafe in Gongguan area. Another American style cafe/restaurant. They served a lot of things here, from all day brunch, burger, and pasta. Tried their spicy thai chicken rice, it’s not that bad. But what my friend was having is quite good, and i guess you can try their pasta, cause a lot of people were ordering it when i was there. Ohh, you can bring your pets in too! Recommending this cause they have all range of food that you can choose from.

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9. Picnic Cafe

No. 75, Wenzhou St, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106.

Nice quite place nearby Gongguan area as well. They served nice scones for afternoon tea. They have nice ambiance for you to study/work. Many foreigners go here too for their coffee. This place is rather small too, so i guess it’s best not to have the whole group to visit this place.

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10. Mia Cucina 

No. 11, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106

This is a food haven if you are vegetarian. Why? Even me who is not a vegetarian loves all the food that they serve. The portion here is rather big, so make sure you bring along your friend/partner to share with. Love their thin mushroom pizzas and mushroom carbonara pasta.

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This is the best 10 that i have gone so far, the list may changed later in the future. haha. Do prepare NTD200-400/person for each cafe above, because some of the cafe requires you to order at least one drink for each.

Taipei Must Visit : Hiking Xiang Shan

Who’s up for Hiking? Say Meeee! *Meeee..!*

Well.. Actually hiking is not my thing, really. haha. I prefer zumba or yoga for my workout regime, hunt for some food, catch movies, or just sit for hours and chit-chatting with friends for leisure. But in order to get greater things, sometimes you need to things that you dont really like. Hiking for examples.

Many people said that i need to hike Xiang Shan (Elephant Mountain) when im in Taipei. A place whereby you can do some exercise to burn those night-market snacks’s calories, breath some fresh air that the nature offers and see the beauty of Taipei’s from above.  Since the sun was shining so brightly and the weather was not that cold anymore now. I quickly asked some friends to accompany me to go up there.

Xiang Shan has one of the easiest hiking trail in Taipei compared to other mountains.  They built stairs for us to climb up. Which makes it more tiring in my opinion. haha. But rest assured, cause they have some pit stop for us to rest.

Me and my friends went up by 11am, and stopped 4-5 times to catch our breath. Well, my breath to be exact. My two friends apparently are so fit, they did not seem they need some rest. haha..

After about 45 minutes of hiking (including rest time),  finally we got to the top!

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In order to take pictures in this spot, you have to Q up. and apparently it’s not that easy to take this pictures. Cause firstly, we need to climb up one huge stone, and one of my friend need to climb up the other stone to take this pictures. haha.

All in all, it was a great experience, and i lovee the sceneries up there, especially when i was standing on the stone (eventho it’s a bit scary up there, and was so afraid that i might fall down. haha). It is indeed a must visit place if you have more time in Taipei. I would love to come back here during night time, the city lights surely will it picturesque.

Actually This Elephant Mountain trail doesnt stop here, you can continue all the way to Nangang, the eastern part of Taipei for 3 more hours.

How to reach Xiang Shan Hiking Trail :

Take MRT to Xiang Shan Station (Red Line), take EXIT 2, follow the road – walk alongside till the end of the park, take left, and follow the road until you saw the entrance of the Xiang Shang Hiking Trail.

Taipei Must Visit : Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

In memorial of one of the greatest leader in Taiwan,  one vast memorial hall has been built in the heart of Taipei. Chiang Kai Shek played a significant role which makes Taiwan as it is now, even though he is not the founding father.

Chiang Kai Shek is the successor of Sun Yat Sen from the Kuo Min Tang Party. He was the president of Republic of China in 1928. History said that he was one of the best to replace Sun Yat Sen. But few years later, Japan entered China in 1931 and took over the capital city, Nanjing/Nanking. Chiang could not do much that time. After Japan knocked out by US, civil war occurred in China, and it drove Chiang Kai Shek away to Taiwan because he could not battle the communism, and let Mao Ze Dong lead ROC right after that in 1946.

Chiang then lived in Taiwan since then, and died in 1975 because of kidney failure.

 

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To visit Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, you can take the MRT directly to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall station.

This memorial hall was open in 1980. All the colours in this memorial hall is using red and blue and white accents, represent the Taiwan flag itself.

The middle octagon building represents the 8 sides of chinese culture that associate with fortune and health, whereby they had two sets of 89 steps which represents Chiang’s age when he died.

When you entered the main hall, you can see the bronze statue of Chiang Kai Shek, and they embossed three characteristics on the wall that represent Ethics, Democracy and Science. You can also see the changing of the guards every hour from 9-5pm, and of course you can take a look at their museum too that exhibits a lot of things from Chiang’s history until painting and other exhibitions from 9-6.30pm. Enjoy the rest of the pictures. ❤

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*All pictures taken by SONY NEX C-3

Taipei Must Drink

Taiwan is so famous with its Zhen Zhu Nai Cha (Bubble Milk Tea), people said that you have not visited Taiwan if you have not drink any of it. I like Bubble Milk Tea too, but too bad i cant drink it so often cause i have Low Caffeine Tolerance. Which means, i cannot drink too much of caffeinated drink such as Tea and Coffee, especially MilkTea.

I discovered my Caffeine Intolerance when i first came to Singapore. Sat down in one of chain breakfast shop on one afternoon , ordered one small cup of hot MilkTea and found myself sleeping at 4am with a very fast heart-beat like i’m on a roller coaster that is going down the trail.

Since i dont know how to deal with it, so the best thing is to avoid it as much as possible and find good substitute drink for my sweet-drink cravings.

So below is my best substitute drink in Taipei (as for now):

1. LATTEA 

One of popular hang out chain-cafe in Taiwan (i heard) not just in Taipei. and I love their Lu Gai Cha (Green Tea topped with a nice sea-salty cream) that taste like cheese cream for me. The Green tea is not so sweet as well, so the ‘cream-cheese’ really complements the taste. They have two types of tea, Green tea and Red Tea – which is much sweeter. and for you who is ‘cream-cheese’ lover, you can order for extra cream too!

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2. Cheng Dou Yang Tao Bing

No. 3, Chengdu Rd., Wanhua District, Ximending, Taipei city.

(From Ximen MRT station exit 6, make direct U-turn and see the below signboard slowly)

If you like to eat Feng Li Su (Pineapple Tart), then you have to try how Taiwanese Pineapple Drink like. My friend said this shop always have a long Queue in summer, and here i am drinking it in winter time with No Queue at all. haha.. Have to admit that the Pineapple Drink is very refreshing, cause it’s cold, very sweet with a little bit of sourness. They sell other drinks too like orange and starfruits, and those sour drinks that can really refresh you in summer time.

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**above picture taken from here**

3. Ba Fang Yun Ji 

It’s a Taiwanese Dumpling chain restaurant that sells many kinds of nice dumpling, from fried ones to steamed ones. and they serve a very nice Dou Jiang (SoyMilk). I am a ‘milk-person’, i literally drink milk everyday for my breakfast and i will feel something is lacking if i skip a day without it. haha. Since i love sweet stuffs, i always have chocolate milk every morning. And too find out that there’s very nice soymilk that taste sweet and light, indeed it is the best feeling ever. I literally crave their Dou Jiang everyday, and i can drink 2 cups of it. Too bad that people said it is not good to consume SoyMilk everyday. =(

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4. Chen San Ding 

This is a really must drink when you are in Taipei, cause i guess it is only available in Taipei. It’s a Bubble Fresh Milk! or Zhen Zhu Xian Cha. They dont sell Bubble tea here. So what makes it so special? They make their pearl (made from tapioca) with brown sugar and use Fresh Milk as their drink. And whereby other Bubble tea shop ask you level of sweetness, Chen San Ding  get natural sweets from the ‘brown-sugar-pearl’ itself. And it taste like Heaven! i really dont exaggerate on this one! Probably the best ‘bubbletea’that i have ever drink. The pearl taste so chewy and not as sweet as i thought. Even though some people may find it too sweet for them.

Located at : Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 100, Lane 316, Sec 8 Nongkou Roosevelt.

Nearest MRT is Gong Guan Station. They always have a long queue and a big signage. Guess it will be easy for you to find it.

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Happy Trying people! ❤ ❤

TAIPEI : Best Beef Noodle – Lin Dong Fang (VLOG)

Taipei is so famous with Stinky Tofu (Chou Dou Fu), Xiao Long Bao and Beef Noodle (Niu Rou Mian). and Talking about Beef Noodle, im gonna take you to Taipei’s Best Beef Noodle!

Lin Dong Fang is located near Zhong Xiao FuXing MRT station. I guess some of you already know or even tried it out already. But there are still some people (even the taiwanese) who doesn’t know that this small great stall is exist.

I have been here 4 years ago, but that time i wasn’t passionate enough about travel writing. so here i am now, writing my heart out about best noodle in Taipei city. *psstt..* even CNN said that this is a must try when you are in Taipei !

Well, i guess enough of introduction. It’s picture time now! haha.

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I ordered a small bowl of ‘Ban Jin Ban Rou’, which means Half Tendon and Half Beef. I really love everything inside that bowl, the soup are just nice, the Noodle is chewy or CNN said it is Al dente. haha. The Beef is so soft that it melts in your mouth, and the Tendon is just so delicate, not hard at all, and doesnt have any funny smells.

This portion of goodness cost me (TWD 190 // SGD 8), and as for normal Beef Noodle cost (TWD 140 // SGD 6). If you want small bites like Tofu Skin Pig’s ear or others, you can grab it for (TWD 30 // SGD 1.2) for one small bowl. Actually It is considered not cheap, cause normally most meals in Taipei is around TWD 40-120 max (not restaurant). But when you convert it to SGD, it is just soooo worth it!

Ohh, actually i made my first VLOG on this ! hehehe. It wasnt on purpose. Suddenly i just have this though when we were on our way to Lin Dong Fang. It is NOT as good as the other travel blogger, i cant do video editing, guess this one is my best already. haha.. but hopefully i can make the next one better and i hope you can enjoy this one! =)

P.S : All pictures and Video is taken by IPhone 6, with no edit. Thinking to buy new mirrorless camera with tilt-able or articulating monitor, so i can do self-recording. hahaha.  Any recommendation? =)

Lin Dong Fang

274 Bade Road, Section 2, Zhongshan District, Taipei City.

+886 2 2752 2556