Taipei 101 and Nightmarkets (Taiwan 2013 #2)

Taipei 101 - 509 M

Taipei 101 – 509 M

Coffee is ‘hot business’ in Taiwan. Starbucks and other coffee chains are everywhere to be found. Of course they don’t serve the ‘real deal’, but it’s always nice to sit there and relax for a bit. We decided to follow the same strategy as in Berlin: explore the city by finding the best coffee bars. We think that the best coffee bars are usually located in the nicest neighbourhoods.
Review Coffee bar - George House - Taipei 2013 - Kloppendhard - Nathan Vennekens
Coffee bar review: George House
The first coffee bar we visited was already the best one: George House. It is a quiet place where you can really experience coffee and not only drink it. Not a place ‘to see and be seen’. The neighbourhood is very quiet and green, and packed with small, local stores and restaurants. They speak just enough English to recommend some special coffee. Whether you like it or not, they strongly advise you to try one of the many ‘slow drip’ black coffees. We gave it a try and the waitress let us smell the freshly grinded coffee three times. After she turned and shook the grinded coffee, the smell was also getting better each time. So you know it’s really fresh. The coffee we had was served in a porcelain cup and in a small wine glass. We were advised to drink very slowly, and so we did: we slowly sipped our coffee and we were completely relaxed. The coffee from the porcelain cup and the wine glass tasted surprisingly different. The ambiance of George house is modern and quiet, but I guess that’s the idea of this unique place. I only had a similar experience once before, during a barista workshop in Holland. I rate this place with a 9 out of 10. Free Wifi available.

Address:
No.3, Ln.75, Yongkang St.
台北市大安區永康街75巷3號

Huashin 1914, Creative Park

Huashin 1914, Creative Park

Huashin 1914, Creative Park
We visited Huashin1914 Creative Park and expected to see some creative arts here. We discovered that it is more a location for music/art events, restaurants and small (souvenir) shops. It’s a former wine factory. We liked the industrial architecture, which is great to photograph. But there were no exhibitions at that time and we thought that the rest of the place was somewhat boring.
Review Coffee bar - Rufous - Taipei 2013 - Kloppendhard - Nathan Vennekens
Coffee bar review: Rufous
We were (again) in the mood for some coffee and decided to try another coffee bar. One of our cats is called Rufus. So…we thought a coffee bar named “Rufous” cannot be bad! It started to rain, so we were happy when we entered the small, cozy coffee bar. There were only a few (taken) seats outside, under a small roof. Inside, it was packed with people. The people who were sitting at the bar (mostly students) were glued to their laptops. We saw two people leaving, and we quickly sat down at the small table. Then the waitress told us that two people before us were waiting outside for a table. But they stayed outside and we could remain seated. We ordered a Latte, which tasted fine. This place rock and rolls, in an easy way. It is a great place to hang out and worth an 8 out of 10.
Address:
No. 333 Fùxīng South Road Section 2, Dà’ān District, Taipei
地址:台北市大安區復興南路二段333號
Mrt: Technology Building Station 科技大樓站
Restaurant - DIAMOND TONY’S 101 - Taipei 2013 - Kloppendhard - Nathan Vennekens
Taipei 101 / review Diamond Tony’s 101
After sipping coffee for nearly the whole afternoon, it was time to do some touristic stuff. The second largest building in the world, Taipei 101, is a real eye-catcher and a must-go when you visit Taipei. We decided not to go to the touristic observatorium, but to one of the restaurants on the (almost) top floor: DT 101. Although we arrived in our comfortable holiday outfits (t-shirt, shorts and sneakers) the staff helped us politely. There is one rule: you have to spend at least NT$ 400,- per person, and sit at the bar. It was not busy so we were given better seats with a view. The views were awesome! You can see the whole city and the surrounding mountains. Even the toilet has stunning views. We could walk around from window to window. We only had a white wine and a starter. The total price was around NT$ 1,400,-. My sashimi dish was tasty, but my wife’s dish was boring; nothing more than a small pile of beautifully served ordinary vegetables. While the service at the main entrance was good, the service in the restaurant was arrogant and uninterested. We had to do our best to get the staff’s attention. The prices are also too high. I rate the views with a 9, the service with a 3 and the food with a 5. That makes it an average of 5.6 out of 10.
Address:
85/F, Taipei 101, 7 Xinyi Road, Section 5
臺北市信義區信義路五段7號85樓
Mrt. Taipei City Hall MRT station
Night market: Fu Jen University
MRT Platform on our way to the student night market at the Fu Jen University

MRT Platform on our way to the student night market at the Fu Jen University

Student night market
A populair thing to do in Taiwan is visiting night markets. They are normally open between 17:30-00:00 hours. In our hotel, we received a tip about a student night market. It’s a market at the end of a metro line at: Fu Jen University (MRT). We heard that they sell different (better) food than other night markets. It’s a long travel from the city centre. Once we arrived and asked around for directions, we discovered that this night market was only open on Tuesdays, Fridays and the weekends, bummer!

Night market: Shipai - Taipei - Taiwan

Night market: Shipai – Taipei – Taiwan

Night market: Shipai
As an alternative, we decided to visit the Shipai night market (MRT: Shipai). We had a bubble tea and walked around for a bit, but we quickly decided to move on. This market is really small and offers food only. Although they have a big fruit stall and several small noodle restaurants, we didn’t feel like having dinner here.
night market: Shilin - Taipei - Taiwan

night market: Shilin – Taipei – Taiwan

Last night market: Shilin.
By now, it was almost 22:00 hours and we were craving for real food. Close to the Shipai night market, there is the big, commercial Shilin night market (MRT: Shilin). There is plenty of choice here. Besides food stalls, there are many stalls selling clothing and other cheap non-food stuff. We finally sat down at a local street restaurant decorated with blue Christmas lights. They actually had an English menu, but unfortunately, some translations were terribly bad. We ordered some fish and vegetable dishes, but one dish that we received tasted (and smelled) like old sweaty socks (we discovered that the ‘stinky tofu with dried shrimps’ was wrongly translated into ‘seafood noodles’!). It was quite aweful! The other dishes were okay, but not brilliant either. After this mediocre food experience, we treated ourselves with a delicious papaya smoothie and some other midnight snacks. Around 23:30 hours, we headed back to our hotel.
night market: Shilin - Taipei - Taiwan

night market: Shilin – Taipei – Taiwan

night market: Shilin - Taipei - Taiwan

night market: Shilin – Taipei – Taiwan

Night market: Shipai - Taipei - Taiwan

Night market: Shipai – Taipei – Taiwan

Bubble tea shop close to Night market: Shipai

Bubble tea shop close to Night market: Shipai

Views from Taipei 101

Views from Taipei 101

Views from Taipei 101

Views from Taipei 101

Views from Taipei 101

Views from Taipei 101

City Hall Neighbourhood - Taipei

City Hall Neighbourhood – Taipei

City Hall Neighbourhood Taipei

City Hall Neighbourhood Taipei

City Hall Neighbourhood - Taipei

City Hall Neighbourhood – Taipei

Huashin 1914, Creative Park

Huashin 1914, Creative Park

Huashin 1914, Creative Park

Huashin 1914, Creative Park

Coffee shop George House  - Taipei

Coffee shop George House – Taipei

Coffee shop George House  - Taipei

Coffee shop George House – Taipei

Coffee shop George House  - Taipei

Coffee shop George House – Taipei

Coffee shop George House  - Taipei

Coffee shop George House – Taipei

Coffee shop Rufous - Taipei

Coffee shop Rufous – Taipei

Technology Building Station - Taipei

Technology Building Station – Taipei

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