Its back to taipei after spending like two days in 高雄 and its time to do some serious shopping. But before that, we had to retrieve our luggage from the Deposit center opposite the Taipei main station and check-in to the third and last hotel.

The hotel was 懷寧旅店 or Keyman’s hotel. On the map, it looked like a 5 min walk is about all you need but something i have come to learn from taiwan maps is that they tend to shrink the scale until one get very disillusioned with the distance. The hotel website even stated that it was 3 min walk from the station.

It was a good 5 min walk from the station exit 6, but the station exit 6 is like 10min walk from the moment you exit the gantry. Carrying all that luggage, it started to make me regret about choosing this hotel.

After throwing down the luggage, we went to 五分埔 which is known as the place to get trendy, cheap clothes. Take the 捷運 to 後山埤 should you want to get there.

Basically, its rows of small shops like these intersecting rows of similar shops. Plan your route if you want to visit all the shops and not get lost.

Its winter in Taipei during december and the clothes on the racks are mostly winter wear, jackets, long sleeve etc. Not really applicable for singapore weather and definitely not for a sweatbag like me. Didn’t manage to get anything.

After shopping, we went to the nearby 饒河夜市 for dinner. To get there from 五分埔, we need to go across the train station. The overhead bridge was sealed up and we had to skirt around.

The entrance to the nite market. There is a temple near the entrance and also the famous pepper biscuit (胡椒餅).

We visited this nite market before so we had some idea of what to eat and what not to. We avoided the 臭豆腐 stalls and whatever beside them. The smell would ruin the appetite.

Sausage. Classic case of 10 points for looks, zero for taste.

Taiyaki. One of my fav snacks but so hard to find in singapore. Only NT$20.

We had ice jelly and grilled squid at these two stalls.

Ice jelly. NT$35.

Grilled squid. NT$40. Nice but still prefer the one i had at 旗津.

The sign on this stall says literally “salt water chicken". I guessed the chicken was steamed with salt water.

Cannot see clearly from here. I picked the drumstick and the uncle chopped it up, add some sauce and shallots. Its not easy to eat while walking as the skin has turned tough and we found it hard to chew. This is the first time we tried this 鹽水雞 and probably the last, haha. Somemore very expensive, one drumstick cost NT$50.

水煎包 or water fried bun. NT$10.

When one comes to this 饒河夜市, there is something which is a must try.

This is the famous 胡椒餅 that you can find at the entrance of the nite market. Just take a look at the queue and you should have some idea on its popularity.

I still remembered last year when i brought 66.6% of my readers here to try but they saw the queue and gave up. How dumb.

We bought two because its just too good a thing to share. NT$45 each.

We tried this pepper bun before when we first came to this nite market at 2006. That time, my gf’s best friend recommended this to us and we were hooked on the spicy meat fillings inside.

This time though, we felt that things have changed. Firstly, the stall now has four stoves to cook the buns in, instead of just one we saw. The buns now got bigger and the meat fillings were not as spicy as before. Somewhat a little letdown.

We left the nite market and headed towards the river nearby. There is this rainbow bridge which we saw online and felt it should be a good place to sit down and relax.

It looked smoky because some kids were playing with firecrackers.

We left the place, feeling full and satisfied from the day’s shopping and feasting. There is more to come the next day.

The next morning, we were kinda lazy and decide to have breakfast just across the street at this shop 郭蒸餃 (located at 懷寧街, within walking distance from Taipei main station).

Fried carrot cake.

Pan fried dumplings.

With a cup of warm soya bean drink. All these for NT$110. I like the fact that the dumplings are very tasty and not that oily.

While writing at this point, i realised that i did not take many photos on that day. Reason being that we went to mostly shopping centers like 誠品, 光華商場. I liked going to the 24hr 誠品 bookshop located 忠孝敦化站, i can laze around the 5 storeys bookstore all day and won’t feel sick.

I bought a book there and parked myself at the cafe in the store to relax. Its so relaxing to just sit, sip my hot tea and immerse myself in the book.

After like an hour or so, i reluctantly left the cafe since my gf was bored. We went to 光華商場 known for its shops selling IT stuffs, anime and comics. Do check out this link to know when they close for business, you won’t want to waste a trip down although there are quite a few buildings around it that also sell IT stuffs. Just come out from exit 1 of 忠孝新生站, but do take note that most shops there open at 10 and close pretty late at 9pm.

While walking there, we went past this shop selling DVDs, VCDs of anime, drama (japanese, korean, hong kong, taiwan etc). This shop has become our favourite haunt because the prices are lower than what we can find inside 光華商場.

After like shopping for a three hours, we left the place satisfied but deep down, we knew we will come back to this place again before we leave taiwan.

On the way back, we took a small detour to get this rice dumpling.

Its from this shop as shown, 王記府城 located at 漢口街一段8號. Although it was stated inside my guide book that they open at 10 every morning, we got disappointed that morning when the auntie told us they were not ready yet. So in the afternoon, we went back. This is a must eat for me.

The dumpling was big and here, one eat dumpling covered with some sweet sauce. Something different from how we eat in singapore but the sauce was good. The dumpling was also full of fillings like meat and egg yolk. NT$55 each.

Also got one 水煎包 from another shop on the way back. NT$12 only.

We went back to our hotel room. Our yields were too heavy to lug around so we came back to freshen up.

In the evening, we decided to visit another nite market.

This is the 臨江街夜市. To get there, take the 捷運 (mrt) till 六張犁站, then come out and walk along 基隆路二段 for 5 min till you see the sign above. Sounds easy but we got quite lost and had to stumble around before we can find the nite market. Somemore it was drizzling.

It was actually quite empty. Good thing since its easier to walk around and get things to eat.

Saw some people queueing up at this shop selling fried stuffs. Decide to try the fried chicken pieces.

Can see that the chicken pieces were seasoned before fried. Its very tasty at first but as you get to the bottom of the pack, you start to feel greasy and i guess this means its not really good.

Empty streets.

Eat some fruits.

We went into this little stall.

On the left is fried squid soup, 花枝羹. The smaller bowl is 嚕肉飯. We simply loved the 嚕肉飯 because its such a simple dish yet got us very addicted.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel as we were pretty worn out from the shopping. Still, we were in the mood to eat so we grabbed a couple of instant noodles.