Nǐ hǎo! Did you know that Taipei is only 2 hours away from Manila? Sorry to sound so ignorant but when I think of the closest, most convenient and my ultimate favorite Southeast Asia country, Hong Kong is my automatic default since I’ve been going there ever since I was young.
Last weekend, my husband and I took a short 2 day trip to Taipei to meet up with a few new Taiwanese friends. I still can’t believe that we’ve never explored Taiwan before considering the fact that it’s so near, the food is good and the shopping is pretty amazing too – the malls are less congested. Plus, it’s a very SAFE city!!! Here’s a short overview of what we did in 48 hours:
DAY 1 : Taipei 101 & Din Tai Fung
Before I visit a new country, I always research on what to wear: It was 22° with light rain showers when I checked so I just packed clothes that were comfortable. And yes, I brought sneakers… or better yet, skater shoes!
Taipei 101 is a MUST SEE landmark and is ranked as one of the tallest buildings in the world.
Ready, set, let’s GO!
Ok, so I got a little distracted before heading up. Look at the shopping mall min the Taipei 101 building? How could you not!
The wait wasn’t too long and they were on time with the schedule of letting people line up. Lucky me, priority seats to mommies expecting. Yay!
Not only is Taipei 101 one of the tallest buildings in the world -but- it also has the Guinness World Record of the World’s fastest passenger elevator.
Upper left… that mango Bigtom hit the spot!
View from the 89th floor. The open deck on the 91st floor was closed to the public because of bad weather. Boo!
Highly recommended by our Taiwanese friends because this is the original and FIRST Din Tai Fung every opened.
And yes, this place has 1 Michelin Star.
The menu is pretty much the same compared to all the other Din Tai Fung locations.
It says 40-45 minutes waiting time but it actually took over an hour. OMG! I’m sure you could imagine what a pregnant hungry woman looked like.. patience is a virtue.
The money shot! I was so hungry, bored that I ambushed their kitchen. haha! Thank God everyone was so nice.
Din Tai Fung spread for two.
This is my husband Carlo’s favorite!
Were suppose to be on a low carb diet but what the heck. YUM!
And of course, their specialty: Xiaolongbao. I absolutely love the crab and truffle xiaolongbao!
Eslite Bookstore was a treat. And guess what? It’s NOT just a bookstore… it’s also a mecca of a lot of Taiwan’s local brands.
Here’s a peep into their book area..
Local designers galore. Told you it’s not just books!
Back to basics in this store. We got a lot of really cute items here!
Every boutique had a specialty and look of their own. This one housed a good mix of international and local items.
I even spotted a couple of home pieces that I absolutely adore.
Candy colors. Have you ever seen these many shades of nail polish for a single brand?
Look at these cute pantone mugs!
The 5th floor is definitely a child’s haven.
These mini little backpacks were just too cute. One for Baby A and one for her little cousin too!
DAY 2: Night Market
We stayed in the whole morning because we wanted to explore and stay out to hit at least one night market. Afternoon rain showers didn’t stop us from walking around the city though…
BELLAVIATA. Isn’t it beautiful? We just so happened to be here because this is the location of our lunch date. haha!
L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon was good break from all the Asian food. Don’t you just love how the interiors look the same in every country?
We had the lunch tasting menu which the chef tweaked a bit because of my growing pregnant belly. haha!
LES CHAMPIGNONS a.k.a. Mushroom Soup for me and L’OEUF De POULE for Carlo.
LE CANARD a.k.a. Duck Fillet – in my dreams!
This one was mine. Can you guess what it is?
What’s a Joël Robuchon meal without their Le Burger??? Uggggh! I just had a tiny bite of the foie gras. Divine!
Carlo devoured his dessert even before I was able to taste it. Don’t you like the gold leaf touch?
Chocolate overload specially prepared by the chef for ME!
Shilin Night Market is one of Taipei’s main attractions.
We originally just intended to drop by just to see what all the fuss was about -BUT- we ended up staying longer because we found a lot of cool stuff. TIP: Bring cash! Safety is not an issue either. Everyone is so nice!
Here are just a few of the stalls that caught my eye. It really depends on what you’re looking for because they pretty much have a little of everything..
Everyone poses the same in Taiwan. I’m totally feeling the whole peace lovin’ sign!
Taiwanese street wear that is so down my alley!
Check out this 500 TWD (Php 700) suede dress. Cute right?
Even Carlo found a couple of t-shirts..
Eyelashes!!! I finally found the perfect set, Made in Taiwan #216. Short, thin and the most natural looking of all.
I even bought a wig. hahaha!
I’m not big on dressing up my pets -BUT- halloween is coming up. Costumes anyone?
48 hours in Taipei was definitely NOT enough. I can’t wait to come back with more time and with all my kids. But for now, PEACE OUT TAIWAN – we had a blast!!! :)
- Cat Arambulo-Antonio