The next time I am going to do this, I will make damn sure to check also on opening times.
It was a day of missed timings. We woke up bright and early, had a hearty breakfast at the hotel and chirpily planned our day ahead. Oh yes, did we plan for it. Only when we were about to board the taxi that we realised, hey, that Su Ho Paper Museum is not opened on Sunday!
A quick redecision later, we found ourselves at the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan.
They say good things come from small packages, and that came to live at this museum. We must have looked at hundreds of miniatures depicting everything from Lord of the Rings to Alice in Wonderland to Snow White, and the stories told were astounding. Miniatures are used to record history. Likewise, it can bring one’s dream to reality.
It was a day of big wonders found in a small, small world. Being in love is like someone who finds happiness in collecting miniature. Two hours later I found myself in the museum shop splurging on a my first miniature kit, dreaming of a future full of little houses with intricate furniture.
Either that, or I have just spent a fortune on a project doomed to fail from the start. My attention span is shorter than of a gnat’s.
And then it was off to a bookshop is the suburb of Taipei on the request of the better half, only to discover (again!) it was closed until a later time. So we took a long walk to find us some lunch.
King Join is an extravaganza of vegetarian cuisine in Taipei. I took particular delight in their Chinese herbal soup, the deep fried gingko nuts and milk pudding. The pudding was, hands down, the best milk pudding I ever had. Ceremoniously served in a Chinese pot complete with dry ice effect, the pudding was silky smooth, rich in taste and yet feathery light. It was truly the signature of King Join, one that the waitress insisted I must order.
The afternoon then took us to Simple Market, mere minutes from Taipei 101 (we saw that evil-looking tower from afar and vowed not to go near). The market was small in size but packed with beautiful goods and inspiration crafts. The dedication that went into setting up this delightful market in such a beautiful setting (think The Shire, Chinese style) was something truly exceptional. Of special mention is Good Cho, a cafe cum organic good shop, where I had an incredibly fluffy scone.
It was an afternoon to find pleasure in simple things.
A short visit to the bookshop we (failed to) visited early, it’s time to visit Raohe Street Night Market, apparently one of the oldest in Taipei. The market is just one long street, guarded with ornate archways on both ends, and with everything you can imagine being sold in between. I started my first (and probably only) night market stroll with a foot massage. After the major disappointment that was last night, I am happy to report that all is well again in the world of Taiwanese pleasures.
This entry would not be complete without a mention on the food I found in Raohe. Readers, I had to restrain myself from trying everything, and the better half was barely able to keep hold onto the leash. We discovered the fragrant Sichuan-style smelly tofu, the stir fried crabs, the herbal pork-rib soup, the wasabi-laced sausage, and many, many other Japanese-styled food. Taiwan is certainly very well influenced by the land of the rising sun, and I meant that in a good way.
For you can certainly find good Japanese food at great prices in Taiwan, compared to Hong Kong. For an authentic experience of eating by the roadside, where you share seats at the stall with strangers facing the kitchen as Japanese do, we headed to Tien Chuan(佃權) for dinner. Or was it supper? With that much sake being served, who’s counting? The Oden platter was certainly commendable. It was a long night of eating, drinking and talking (though the better half had to take a 10-minutes time out right in the middle of dinner to sleep of the sake), and it was close to midnight before we bid the good folks of Tian-Quan Oden a fond, sake-fueled farewell.
See more of my Taipei 2013 posts:
- The One With Tales of Taipei, Part 1
- The One With Tales of Taipei, Part 2
- The One With Tales of Taipei, Part 4
- The One With Tales of Taipei, Part 5
- The One With Da Shan Wu Jia – An Extraordinary Yilan Food Adventure Into The Mountainside of Taipei
Eating Out & Restaurants
King Join (京兆尹) Restaurant
No. 18號, Sìwéi Road, Daan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Tel: +886 2 2701 3225
10am to 9pm daily
NT$600 to NT$1,000 per person
Tien Chuan (佃權)
136 Yanji St, Taipei (台北市延吉街136號)
Tel: +886 2 8771-8272
Daily from 7pm to 2am.
Average meal NT$600
Exploring Around & Attractions
Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
No. 96, Section 1, Jiànguó North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Shinyi Public Assembly Hall
54 Songqin Street, Taipei City (Xinyi district)
Raohe Street Night Market
Raohe Street, near Songshan Station (台北市松山區饒河街)