It was my first time traveling to Taiwan. I learned that the country is commonly known by the name “Taiwan” but officially it is actually called the Republic of China. This should not be confused with the People’s Republic of China. The Taiwanese are friendly and they have a beautiful island with majestic mountains and ancient forests. There are also tons of recreational farms that locals and tourists visit to escape the city.
When in Taiwan, there are two things you must take advantage of: shopping and eating. With a unique collection of products to find and a wide selection of yummy and fresh food. INDUUULLGEEE!
S H O P :
Visting the Shilin Night Market is a must. The streets are lined with food stalls, street vendors, places to buy phone cases, cheap but super kawaii clothes and legit Nike and Adidas stores (which you should totally check out because shoes are anywhere from 20-50% off compared to most places)
Found these cute sweaters that cost only PHP 200 each! They came in gray, pink, white, and black with cute, stitched designs of Totoro, Stich, watermelons, and other kawaii prints. And at PHP 200 each, I bought 2 ahhh what a steal!
The Shilin Night Market is also a place to find really cool and unique accessories, phone cases, and trinkets that you can’t find anywhere else! Spot those tdf unicorn and anime eyes earrings ughhh.
Here is an obligatory mirror selfie with these cute DIY kitty ears (that I ended up buying because why not?)
Also check out the neighborhood-shopping district of Ximending. This is definitely a must-see if you’re looking for unique beauty finds, clothes, accessories, anime-related plushies, books, Japanese paraphernalia, gatchas, shoes, shoes, and more shoes! It is not a surprise since Ximending is known for being the “Shibuya of Taipei” and “Harajuku of Taipei”.
Fujin Street is like New York’s own Brooklyn with a Salcedo Village vibe. It’s total hipsterville with the street lined with quirky cafes and cool stores that sell limited edition sneaks that you probably can’t find anywhere else. You can find local Taiwanese designers in some stores so you can be assured that every store has something different and unique to offer! My suggestion? Go coffee bar hopping and take a photo by the facade of each cafe.
Cop it all!!
If you’re all about ~ a e s t h e t i c s ~, snap a photo at fun fun town with their succulent-lined window display and cute chalkboard sign. IG-worthy, promise!
E A T :
Bubble tea originated from Taiwan and it’s only mandatory that I tried boba from it’s place of birth. I ordered a classic pearl milk tea and mmmm it was so good.
The milk in Taiwan tastes extra fresh and it’s probably because the cows are treated like a part of the family… meaning they’re fed super well haha!
At Shilin Night Market, head down to the basement for the food court which offers such a wide variety of popular Taiwanese street food. You can be assured that everything here is super authentic and delish. It’s one of the few places where you can sit down to eat if you don’t want to stand around in a crowded place.
Taiwan is known for their stinky tofu, torched wagyu, oyster miso, beer, sweet nougat, milk tea, and candied strawberries. Get your Taipei takaw (voracity) challenge on!!
Head over to the countryside at Yilan County and chow on a Taiwanese Organic Mushroom Hotpot and indulge in only organic ingredients straight from the farm. Ain’t nothing fresher than this yasss.
And if you’re all about sushi, sashimi and seafood, Addiction Aquatic is the place to go.
Let’s just say I ate the majority of this… Salmon sashimi is my absolute fave and it was TDF. I can be quite talkative but this salmon kept my mouth occupied. Honestly, this should be called Shut Me Up Salmon cause dajlkfjs *weird gurgling noises* And what requires an honorable mention is these tiny shirmps because they were totally poppin’, buttery and creamy.
Solar Kitchen, Fujin St: Whatever that pasta is in the bottom left corner is something I will never forget. It was a pasta mixed with veggies draped in a creamy cheese sauce reminiscent of a carbonara topped with more torched cheese. Delish!
Fun fact: you can hold your breath from one convenience store to the next (no joke) because Taiwan is known to have the highest density of convenience stores in Asia Pacific. You can find the coolest drinks: anywhere from milk tea to strawberry milk to boxed Ovaltine to craft beer to kumquat juice. Oh, the things you’ll be surprised to find.
Xiao long bao down to Din Tai Fung. You can’t come to Taiwan and not eat this. This legendary restaurant will satisfy your hungry tummy after a (xiao) long (bao) day of shopping.
And you can always count on me to be on the lookout for more ice cream places for my #AryannasTravelingIceCream hashtag on Instagram! Head into any Family Mart or 7Eleven and be treated to some good ol’ fashioned soft serve in either milk, vanilla or matcha flavor. I’m not a big green tea fan, but I must say that it now holds a special place in my heart. After traveling to Taiwan, I can confidently say that I am now a matcha convert #proud.
I almost passed out when I saw this ice cream vendor at Ximending whipping up this mile-high tower soft serve ice cream. I’ve always seen photos of this on Twitter and Tumblr but to see it in person, AHHHH foodgasm much?? This has got to be the Taipei 101 of ice creams.
And I must say, everything was absolutely Tai-Wonderful (hehe).
Read the part 2 of my Taiwan blog series here!
Big shoutout to Jeron Travel and Tours and to the Taiwan Tourism Board for organizing this #FunTaiwan trip. Book your travels with them for a smooth and stress-free journey www.jerontravel.com! Special thanks to my guuurl Chal Lontoc-Del Rosario yasss #notbasic