Taiwan Trip Itinerary Day 6 is the only day when our trip did went as planned in Taipei. Looking back, I wish I had plan a day specially for some relaxing and resting. In fact, I had underestimated how boisterous Taipei can be, and overestimated my stamina. And when they meant long queue for infamous food, they’re not joking.
Taipei Itinerary: Fu Hang Dou Jiang 阜杭豆漿
We knew the odds when we were going to try Fu Hang Dou Jiang or Soy Milk on a Sunday. Coming from Jingan Metro Station (Orange line) we thought the most logical place to stop is Zhongxiao Xinsheng station. It was only 800 meters walk, but it felt like forever to reach Fu Hang Dou Jiang. We had to pass through junctions after junctions, waited impatiently for the little green man to signal for us to cross the road.
We were walking along one of the busiest road in Taipei, albeit on properly paved corridors, and the air was full of car fumes. If the fumes didn’t make our face darker, the queue that greeted us at Hua San Market building (where Fu Hang Dou Jiang resides) certainly did.
Imagine this; Fu Hang Dou Jiang is on Level 2, and people were queued all the way from roadside, circling the building, all the way up. We couldn’t even see the end of line. CS turned to me and asked, “Are you sure this is really worth it?” I said no, so he suggested we backtrack to Yong He Soy Milk we passed earlier.
Lesson learnt: Get off at Shandao MRT station which is the ‘true’ nearest station to Fu Hang, even if it means changing the line.
Taipei Itinerary: Yong He Soy Milk 永和豆漿
We dragged our feet back to Yong He Soy Milk and it looked promising. There’s no queue but customers just kept coming. Some items were sold out, including Onion Pancake but at least we got to taste Taiwanese specialty Salted Soy Milk. Yes. Hot unsweetened soy milk, with saltiness from dash of preserved radish.
On first few sip, CS took a dislike to it, but I thought it’s ok. Taste a little bit like porridge, without the grains. As the soy milk started to cool down and the saltiness overwhelms it, I could not bear to finish it. Needless to say, CS was like, “Hah! I told you so!”
Turning to the other normal soy milk, it was okay to flush off the saltiness, but I seriously think Jenny Hong makes much better soy milk than this. The fried dough stick (you tiao) was crunchy, but that’s about it. I was very surprised. The breads and pastries in Taiwan were so good, but the Chinese buns and dough sticks have almost no punch. Nonetheless, our curiosity on Taiwanese favorite breakfast was fulfilled, and ruined.
Taipei Itinerary: The Hunt for Lunch
Apparently, our soy milk adventure had taken more time than what we would like, so we skipped to lunch. After all, we needed something to flush off the bad after-taste of salty soy milk.
“Kura sushi! Kura Sushi!” CS was ecstatic. But surprised. Kura Sushi is so packed to the brim, that we had to queue for the lift first and once the lift opened at the sushi store, we hardly had place to stand for queue. To CS’s dismay, I did not want to wait and we headed to Taipei Main Station.
Taipei Main Station Food Court
This time, luck was on our side. We found the food court which we failed to on our first day. Taipei Main Station Food Court has almost every Taiwanese specials under one roof, from beef noodles, pork chop rice, braised pork and all the way to Milkfish Porridge. I basically yay at the last one, since I haven’t had one.
Milkfish porridge was priced the same as what I had seen in Ningxia Nightmarket and came with generous piece of the fish. While I don’t like garlic in my porridge, the overall taste was passable.
CS stroke lottery with his Pork Chop with Braised Pork Rice Set. That’s a long name to type. 😊 The focus was on the pork chop – nicely marinated ribs deep fried with perfect dose of crispy batter.
That’s not all the food court has to offer. Explored a few more corners and meters away, there’s a section dedicated to Japanese food, and another for Western Food. I was so going to try everything here until CS snagged me back to our itinerary.
Taipei Itinerary: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Finally something non-food for the day – Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.
By this time, I remembered I missed my dose of caffeine. CS didn’t help when he overloaded on watching movie box the previous night and made me woke up at 3am. Who the heck will binge watching movie while on vacation?!
I demanded that I return to our Airbnb and to nap, before I turned into a Hulk. You won’t like me when I am tired. Sulky, grumpy and snappy. Hence, I returned to Jingan and snuggled back to my beauty sleep.
On the other hand, CS continued on his journey to Xiangshan.
Taipei Itinerary: Hiking to Xiangshan
Here’s the narration from CS on Xiangshan:
Out from Xiangshan Metro Station, there was a big board (you won’t miss it) which directed him to 3 entrances to the trail that leads to Xiangshan summit. He took the nearest trail and ended with an arduous long staircases (in his own words), which took him 20 minutes to reach the top.
As it’s almost dusk, the summit was so full of people trying to catch a sunset over Taipei IOI. Xiangshan summit is known to give the best sunset view over Taipei IOI.
As soon as the light fades, CS freaked out about descending the uneven staircase after dark. Although the path is well-lighted CS knows very well he will probably roll down the hill, thanks to his untimely clumsiness. 😊
A Mix of Takeaway Dinners:
I gave CS his duty before he headed for Xiangshan, that is to pack all the delicious things that he comes across on his way back for dinner. While he’s not good at hiking, he’s practically a veteran when it comes to food.
Packed sushi from Sushi Express, a grab and go smallish sushi bar, just outside of Jingan Metro Station. We thought they were fresh and very cheap at TWD10 each. We kept going there for more sushi until the day we left Taiwan.
Railway Bento from Taipei Main Station is one of the thing you can’t miss when you’re in Taipei. Even if you’re not in Taipei, there are other towns that offer the same attractive fare. I know Ruifang has one very famous old-fashioned bento set. CS loves it and I would have like it 100% if not for the gravy-drenched rice. I like my rice dry.
Rumored to be the first teahouse who invented the first bubble tea, I probably had set the standard way too high for it. Bubble tea is cold milk tea with pebble size taro balls to bite. Han Lim Tea House disappointed me in many way. The tea was lacking the aroma, the milk wasn’t milky enough and the taro bubbles are chewy at best. It’s not helping when it’s much more expensive than any other milk tea brand we tried.
CS and I both agreed that Hong Kong still has the best milk tea. If you’re in Taiwan and thirst for a bubble tea, better save your money and go for the cheaper brands like Coco or Lan 50.