Day 6 of my Taipei’s 8 Days Tour brought me to Xinyi District, where I would cover Songshan Cultural & Creative Park (松山文創園區), Xiangshan (象山), Tonghua Night Market (通化夜市) and Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市).
The good thing about staying in a proper accommodation as compared to a cubicle (Neosoho) was 自然醒 or waking up naturally. For the first time in this trip, I’ve had 8 hours of undisturbed sleep. The bad thing as mentioned earlier, was how late I woke up and how little time I’ve had left for the day.
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After waking up at 9.30am, I idled for a long time watching TV show before setting off at 12pm. Yes, half a day gone by then. LOL.
Songshan Cultural & Creative Park (松山文創園區)
I was famished when I reached Songshan Cultural & Creative Park and was disappointed when I found only a few quiet cafes around. I recall that the prices in these cafes weren’t cheap, and food option was limited.
Thank god, I decided to walk into a modern-looking building called The Eslite Spectrum. It is a shopping mall located within the park and you would find a small food court at B2.
Look at my orders – Set Meal comprising 蚵仔麵線 (Oyster Vermicelli), 甜不辣 (Fish Paste) and Fried Tofu (NT150).
If it wasn’t obvious, I was starving badly! This was my first meal of the day at 2pm.
Photo Opportunities at Songshan Cultural Park
If you are into arts and culture, Songshan Cultural & Creative Park may interest you, though it didn’t fascinate me, since I wasn’t an art & culture buff.
Still, if you have some time to kill and happened to be around the vicinity, you could pop by to visit various galleries and exhibitions (not all are free entry though), stroll around the small Baroque Garden or relax by a large eco-pond.
To those who love selfies, you can capture nice photos of yourself at the outdoor area, with the historical tobacco factory serving as a cool backdrop.
Getting to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
Alight at Taipei City Hall. The park is within easy walking distance – follow google map.
TIP: If you like to get lunch, walk to Hankyu Department Store, which is linked to City Hall Station (Basement 2). There were plenty of food options, including restaurants and a food court at B2.
Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain) (象山)
My love for walking or hiking meant I would definitely squeeze in some trails or mountains. As a solo-traveller, Xiangshan was the only mountain I found safe to climb, because it was located within Taipei City and was very popular.
It’s far from being challenging, but beggars can’t be choosers. The climb took only 15 to 20 minutes. But the view was highly rewarding. Definitely out of my expectation! Highly-recommended!
TIP: Mid-way through the climb, a local advised me to take the right fork which was a steeper climb recommended for young folks like me who craved for a good workout. Elderly like him would take the left fork.
The end point was a platform which offered fantastic and panoramic 360 degree view of Taipei City. So many photographers had their professional camera stand set up, probably waiting to capture the sun setting.
TIP: If you prefer a sweat-free way of getting a bird’s eye view of Taipei City, you can join most tourists by visiting the Taipei 101 Observatory. The admission ticket is quite pricey though. You can enjoy significant discount by getting Taipei 101 Observatory Ticket online.
Beware of mosquitoes – the only irritant on Xiangshan. Bring insect repellent!
Getting to Xiangshan
I actually walked from City Hall, then to Taipei 101, and then further towards Xiangshan MRT.
This is only recommended for those who have a love for walking. Those who don’t, please just take a train to Xiangshan Station, follow exit 2, pass by a park (with a basketball court). The entrance to the climb is near a temple. It wasn’t difficult for me to locate, with the help of google map. Click here for map direction.
Tonghua Night Market (通化夜市)
I have only one thing to say about Tonghua Night Market (通化夜市). It was a waste of my time travelling here!
I finished combing Tonghua Night Market within 10 minutes. And I did two rounds. The street was short and uncrowded. There weren’t much varieties of food to choose from and the few stalls in operation were without queues. Without queue as a gauge, how would I know which food/stall was good?
I’d even asked a stall owner if that was all that was to Tong Hua night market, like did I miss a turn? “That’s all!” He said with a big smile.
After ordering a Lily Bubble tea (NT35), I decided to take a train back to Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市) for a more fulfilling dinner.
Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市)
Back to the ever happening Raohe Night Market, I got myself a bowl of Pork Rib Soup (NT70).
It wasn’t that great. First of all, there weren’t much meat as compared to Singapore-style Bak Kut Teh. Secondly, whatever little meat that was attached to the ribs were TOUGH! Thirdly, the soup wasn’t unforgettable. Definitely can’t beat Singapore’s Bak Kut Teh! I also suspected their use of MSG as my lips felt really sensitive and uncomfortable after the meal.
The next item was a pack of six mini pancakes (NT50). These pancakes tasted great even overnight and came in handy as next-day’s in-room breakfast.
The Japan Omelette stall was the second outlet, other than Black Pepper Bun, in which red queue poles were used. Yes, people actually queued patiently to get a taste of these mouth-watering omelette. With prawn, egg, bacon and cabbage fillings topped with Japan teriyaki sauce and bonito flake, it was yummy (NT60). You’ve gotta try it!
Last but not least, I decided to try bite-sized abalone. It was quite pricey by night market’s pricing standard – NT100 for three tiny pieces.
I remember feeling a little short-changed when I saw how tiny the abalone was without its shell (served without shell). It’s really bite-sized, maybe half a bite…LOL. Three bites, and NT100 was gone.
It wasn’t remarkable, but I’m glad I’d tried such unique street snacks. Oh, this stall also sold Escargot (see photo above). “I would try it tomorrow”, I’d thought.
There were lots of other great food options such as grilled Angus Beef, cakes and BBQ assorted mushrooms. How I wish I could restart with an empty stomach…..
29k steps conquered today! A good rest was needed badly! Look out for my next post – Day 7 of Taiwan Travel.
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- Day 1 (pt 1): Taoyuan Airport, Taipei Main Station, 228 Peace Memorial Park
- Day 1 (pt 2): Get EasyCard, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Q Square Mall
- Day 2 (pt 1): Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
- Day 2 (pt 2): Golden Water Fall, Jiufen, Ximending
- Day 3 (pt 1): Maokong
- Day 3 (pt 2): Taipei Zoo and Shenkeng Old Street
- Day 4 (pt 1): North Coast Tour (Shimen Wedding Plaza, Shimen Arch, Jinshan Old Street)
- Day 4 (pt 2): North Coast Tour (Yehliu Geopark, Keelung & Miaokou Night Market)
- Day 5: Wufenpu, Raohe Night Market
- Day 6: Songshan Cultural Park, Xiangshan, Tonghua, Raohe Night Market
- Day 7: Taipei City Hall Shopping District, Wufen Pu, Raohe Night Market
- Day 8: Easiest way to get from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Airport