On our trip to Taiwan, we went to Ximending, the popular shopping district, not once, but twice.
The first time was to have dinner there after we had wished on floating lanterns in Shifen. We were awed by what greeted us when we stepped off the train. It was familiar, like something I had seen on TV before. Probably from the Taiwanese Meteor Garden TV series? Not sure.
We were so hungry that we ate at the first open restaurant we found, which was a small cafe that served pasta and colorful fizzy drinks with cute straws. I was so amused when I found my name (in the wrong spelling, though) written on one of the walls.
After we had calmed our growling tummies, we walked around and enjoyed the sights.
Then we saw a long queue at one of the iced milk tea shops and joined in because in our minds, long queues = worthwhile products (you know, like Apple?). Sure enough, we were right!
There was a funny moment when Ngangi was about to buy something from some vendors who sold stuff on carts when all of a sudden, they spotted a policeman on a motorcycle and they scattered, running off with their wares on wheels, leaving us staring at them in open-mouthed astonishment and confusion.
What had just happened?? We had no idea that they were not allowed there! Then we laughed because apparently, illegal vendors are everywhere! 😂
We went back the next night after seeing Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Park, Nanya rock formations, and Jiufen Old Street. Ngangi and Chi and their partners had to catch flights back to the Philippines, so we Singapore-based folks decided to go shopping in Ximending before turning in for the night.
Gelle and I bought some Canmake makeup from one of the makeup shops and some tops and tights from Uniqlo, which happened to having a sale.
Then we walked around and looked for the famous Ay-Chung flour rice noodles that Chi said was being raved about online. It was quite easy to find, all we had to do was ask people about it and even though they didn’t speak English, they knew it and pointed us in the right direction. We reached the place just as they were about to close. Whew!
We were not that hungry so we ordered just one bowl of noodles for sharing. And you know what? It was well worth the hype! It’s really flavorful and sumptuous and looking at that picture is making my mouth water! Help. 😳
It turns out the place is not really a proper restaurant, and if you want to dine in, there are no tables, just stools that you can sit on right on the street in front of the store. We also used a stool to serve as our “table” as you can see in the picture.
Naturally we had to buy some iced milk tea with pearls to accompany it, too. We tried out the tapioca milk tea being advertised on a poster (I am so easily influenced like that) and it was really yummy! In fact after this trip, I’ve learned to love iced milk tea and crave it regularly, even though I used to hate it before I went to Taiwan! 😳
When I got back to my hotel room, I couldn’t sleep, probably from all the iced tea I had drank during the day. Oops. 😳
This is the last of my Taiwan entries! To read all my Taiwan posts, start with Taipei 101 + Shihlin Night Market.