Thursday, March 16, 2006

Taiwan - Taipei

Jaymes & I spent 3 weeks surfing the net for travel info on Taipei. We had booked airtickets by budget airline, Jetstar to go to Taipei. I had a hard time booking hotels near major shopping malls & MRT, as most of them were fully booked. Finally I booked one near Ximending.

We had lunch at Changi Airport Terminal One's canteen. We took the 1pm flight to Taipei. Gosh, the airplane seats were so cramped & stiff. The flight was more than 4 hours. The kids were so bored as there were no TV or electronic games to play. There was no food provided on board. I brought Roti John, grapes, bananas & cakes for snacks.

We arrived in Taipei at 5.40pm. The weather was cool. We took an express bus (NT125 each) to Taipei Main Station and then changed to MRT to Ximending (NT20 each). It took us quite a while to locate our hotel because I took the wrong turn. It is actually a 3-min walk to the MRT.

The hotel where I would be staying for the next 5 days was cosy & is located in the midst of a shopping district & offers easy access to amenities. They provide 24-hour free internet & hot beverages at the lounge too.

After checking in, the kids were hungry. We walked out the hotel & saw many eateries. It was getting cold, so we decided to eat some hot soupy noodles. We went into this 50-year old beef noodle shop. Each kid ordered a stew beef noodle (NT130 each), I ordered za jiang noodle (NT65), a plate of deep-fried pork chops (NT120) and also a bamboo tray of steamed buns (xiaolong bao, NT 80). Each bowl of noodles is so huge! I couldn't finish my bowl of za jiang noodles. I didn't like the taste too. The stew beef on the other hand just melt in your mouth. The soup is so delicious! The beef has been stewing for hours. It is a wonderful meal for a cold night.

After dinner, we took a stroll along the street & bought some snacks & drinks at a convenience store. We went back to the hotel and after their baths, the kids went to play computer games. I was so tired I just went to sleep. The kids told me they came back to the room past 1am. I'm sure they are going to enjoy their stay here.

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