We started the day early, only to realize that most shops are open from 10 and it was quite hard to find shops selling breakfast in 西門盯. Found the 峰大咖啡 as recommended in our guidebook.

The set breakfast, as shown here, consist of two pieces of toast, scrambled egg and choice of coffee or tea. I chose tea (since i don’t drink coffee) but was disappointed when they gave me ordinary Lipton tea. The coffee my gf had was not fantastic either. Apparently, its not the special brewed coffee that this eatery is famous for.

We felt this eatery was kinda over-rated in the guidebook. The service standard was poor for taiwanese standards. The auntie behind the counter had this face that will make any breakfast taste bland.

Although we didn’t manage to try the special coffee its famous for, the not-so-spectacular breakfast and the poor service means we didn’t visit this eatery again for the rest of our stay.

峰大咖啡 – 台北市, 城都路42號

If you do physically drop by, pls do so later in the day to try the coffee.

Btw, its Christmas and its not a public holiday in taiwan. The streets looked real quiet and deserted.

After breakfast is to go to hotspring. We took the 捷運 to Taipei main station where we were supposed to take the 皇家客運 to 陽明山. While staring at the map in the station and trying to figure out where the bus stop is, a man who was standing beside me asked where i planned to go. I knew taiwanese are a friendly bunch of people, especially to tourists. He told me how to go to 陽明山 by taking a local bus from 劍潭 station.

At this point, i was stuck between heeding his advice or continuing to try to find the bus stop near taipei main station. In the end, i thought we should try something different since I had taken the 皇家客運 before and the ride was kinda tiring (took 1hr plus).

So we went to 劍潭 station and took a local bus 紅5. Bad mistake. The bus took us to 陽明山 but the wrong side. We ended up at the 陽明山 main bus station and it looked really ulu.

In the end, we got directions from some locals and still had to take the 皇家客運 outside the 7-11.

We missed the bus (the frequency is hourly) so we sat outside the 7-11 and grabbed something to eat.

You can get this 關東煮 from 7-11 all over taiwan.

Didn’t look very appetizing because they aren’t. Don’t taste fantastic even though i was quite hungry.

The bus eventually came and we finally managed to get to the hotspring we want. Could have reached by 12 and because of the mis-adventure with the local bus, we were delayed by almost 2 hours.

No pictures from the hotpring because i can’t take photos there. The crowd this time was better as they are some young ladies that day with us. Much much better than the obasaans i saw last year.

The hotspring is 天籟溫泉會館. You can find out more by clicking here. We had this for free, thanks to the free 溫泉 vouchers we got from the taiwan tour agency back in singapore.

After the hotspring, we felt re-charged even though we haven’t done anything at all. Went back to taipei station and started looking for something to eat for dinner.

Yoshinoya! Chicken bowl on the left, pork bowl on the right.

The hotspring made us very hungry so just a bowl from Yoshinoya won’t be enough. Just a couple of shops down was the 八方雲集, a chain of shops selling steamed and fried dumplings and gyozas.

The top 2 is normal fried dumplings, the bottom 2, more yellowish in color were the curry flavours.

Steamed dumplings.

Its actually very affordable. Four fried and four steamed dumplings cost us only NT$40 which is less than S$2.

After dinner, we were kinda lethargic to do any serious shopping. We can’t anyway, don’t want to buy so much before we come back from 高雄. We walked around 西門盯 and got some magazines and gifts for 66.6%.

We can’t buy, but we can still eat!

These were what we had for supper.

Pressed rice 飯糰 with Hokkaido salmon. First of many to come for this taiwan trip.

Instant miso soup. Didn’t taste nice but came with some small pieces of scallop meat.

I really liked instant bowl noodles in taiwan. Not only are there more choices, some of them comes with a packet of 燜肉 which one don’t see in singapore.

Don’t remember how this one tasted like. Must have been not nice.

The next day was the trip to 高雄 so we slept early.

To get to 高雄, we need to take the 快鐵 Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR). But we don’t intend to bring along all our luggage since we only planned to stay at 高雄 for 3 days.

My gf had found out beforehand that we could deposit our excess luggage at the Taipei Railway Station Carry-on Baggage Center (台北站行李托運中心) which you can find by exiting from East3 exit and crossing the road. Fees are very cheap, NT$17 per day.

After depositing the luggage, we went to collect our tickets which we had booked online earlier.

And this is the train.

Its much like taking budget airline except that one get much more legroom and its more comfortable. If you got more moolah, you can get the business class which has even more legroom and better seats.

As you can see, the seats are reversible so if you are travelling in a big group, you can turn one row of seats around. Saw something similar in japan trains.

The post next will be on 高雄.