Before moving on to the things I did for the first two days in Taipei, I would like to share top three handy tips for anyone who wishes to visit this beautiful city.
- Rent a pocket wifi/SIM Card The joy of having unlimited internet data will save you a lot of hassle from being lost and also for those who wanted to update their social apps constantly. I rented a pocket wifi from klook for only RM 11/day which can be connected up to 5 devices!
- Be sure to have enough Taiwan Dollar (TWD) Most of the vendors there do not accept credit cards except shopping malls and on the last day of our trip, we ran out of TWD and it was not easy to find a place to exchange currencies. In Taiwan, the government only allow banks and authorized malls to perform currency exchange unlike the one we had in Malaysia, whereby there were many independent, private money changer. In addition, not all the banks carry the currency you want to exchange. So a gentle reminder to exchange sufficient TWD before flying in or at least exchange in Taipei Taoyuan Airport before moving on to your journey.
- Dress in waterproof apparels Taipei is horrendous for its rainy weather and while we were there, it rained for two days consecutively. It helps to have waterproof windbreaker (to protect against strong wind) and boots (to keep your feet warm and toasty) plus an umbrella.
Part 1: Rainy days
Due to the rain, we were stuck with indoor activities and what better ways to spend the day avoiding the rain than to visit Taipei 101. We took a taxi from Xi Men Ding (we stayed in a cosy airbnb studio which was wheelchair accessible except for the toilet) to Taipei 101. The taxi driver was kind enough to give us an umbrella which was so handy throughout our journey! Most shops in Taipei open from 11 am onwards and we find ourselves feeling bored so we decided to have our very own portrait photo taken XD.
When the clock strikes 11 am, we make our way to the famous Ding Tai Fung at the basement of Taipei 101 (no photos taken as we were too famished) where the queue starts to build up even way before it opens. As it was still raining heavily, we decided not to visit the observatory as we wouldn’t be able to see anything up there. Luckily there were covered bridges connecting all the malls within the vicinity of Taipei 101 (ATT4 fun & 4 malls of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi). Do drop by LINE Cafe & Store in Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xin Yi to enjoy a dose of cute LINE characters and merchandise!
The rain subsided after a while and we decided to make our way back to Taipei 101 in an attempt to visit the observatory. Sadly, it was still cloudy but it didn’t dampen our spirit to continue documenting our journey!
Since we were staying at Xi Men Ding, we took the night exploring the place under the rain. We had their famous Xi Men Ding shaved mango ice eaten in an 11 degree celcius weather. Xi Men Ding is similar to Seoul’s Myeong Dong street with many shops selling trendy clothes, taiwan souvenirs and street foods. Definitely a place to stay if you are in Taipei.
The rain continued to pour into our second day in Taipei and we couldn’t do much except to once again visit the shopping mall, this time to Eslite Xin Yi. For book lovers, your trip will never be complete without visiting Taiwan’s largest retail bookstore with its headquarter based in Xin Yi district. We spent most of our time here, poring over books and in my case stationeries! There was a floor dedicated especially for stationery lovers. If you can read Chinese it would be a plus point since 90% of the books sold there are in Chinese language.
The places I have mentioned are very wheelchair accessible with occasional minor uphill in some parts of Xi Men Ding. Toilets for handicapped are easily available everywhere too.
As the weather begun to clear for sunny days, we find ourselves enjoying more of outdoor activities. Next up, our trip to Tamsui, a place I thoroughly enjoy and love!
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself”