Funny Taipei student

十一月 19, 2010

It is always good to see people channeling their attention towards something they like to do.  Others may find this weird, but at least she made me laugh for two seconds.

During the first two weeks of my visit in Taiwan, there were three suisides at two different Taipei MRT stations.  I really wish those would be more considerate – by experimenting human v.s MRT train, they essentially scared the crap out of the drivers and at the same time trapping thousands of passengers at various stations.

Chinese style bread at door

Chinese style bread at door

I had the great pleasure to visit a few breakfast places during my short stay in Taiwan.  Here is the second place I would recommend if anyone is going to Taipei for a few days.  (These places are worth visiting even if you are stopping by for a connection flight.)

The weirdest thing is that they are all in close proximity.  Naturally for those who know about the Competitive Advantage (by Michael Porter) would know that location is one key factor in the restaurant business.

The place I am reviewing now is at a stone’s throw from my previous review.  Here is the Google map for those who know how to read maps:

What is good here?  Their soy-milk is pretty good, and everything you see outside is good, too.  However, if I come here again, I would once again order their Xiao Long Bao.  To my surprise (not so surprising though) they actually have really good Xiao Long Bao’s here.  Forget about going to Din Tai Fung – the line up is long although the food is very good there.  If you come here, you will get your Xiao Long Bao within 10 minutes after ordering.

Xiao Long Bao!

Xiao Long Bao!

I am a big fan of eating huge portion breakfast.  However, I found that to be very inefficient if my goal is to maximize the chance to taste different food in town.  Because of that, I did not order a huge selection, instead, I ordered the salty cake only.

Crunchy outside, hot and salty inside, tasty!

Crunchy outside, hot and salty inside, tasty!

What?  You want a comparison between this and the previous post (here)?  I am telling you:  these two breakfast places do not compare.  We are talking about apples and oranges here (although personally I love oranges more.)

Here are some more pictures of this little treasure I found on a Sunday morning.




Price list


From my first visit


Xiao Long Bao closed up

Traditionally the Taiwanese people start their days early.  After reviewing online reviews, I decided to make the extra effort and wake up really early (for someone my age, waking up at 6:00 is probably considered early…) to visit these legendary breakfast places.

Source that prompted my visit to this place:


Our first review

I remember walking pass by this street in 2009, and my first thought was “I am sure there are places selling good food here."  What did I know?  My instinct about food is actually pretty accurate.  There are actually several good breakfast places like this one on the east side of 杭州南路 intersecting 愛國東路.  Here is a Google Map for the exact location:


He is the guardian of Chinese donuts...

You will most likely see this old man sitting there if you decided to swing by.  I walked pass him at least four different mornings, and he was always there.  I call him the guardian of Chinese donuts, although he did fall asleep from time to time…

Their Chinese donut is pretty good.  Freshly fried, crunchy (a bit must for me), and not too salty yet tasty.

You also want to try out their soy-milk.  It is by far the most colorful soy-milk I have drank in my entire life.  If I am to describe it – I would call their soy-milk the “deep fried version of all soy-milks."  Why?  Their soy-milk has this burnt taste in there, very much like adding a kick to a otherwise very smooth and tasty breakfast milk substitute.

Price-wise, it is very cheap and reasonable.  Personally I would still visit this place even if the price doubles.

What can you do after breakfast?  This place is right across Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall.  A walk through the memorial hall can take up to 20 minutes, or you can simply cross the street and visit another breakfast place… (to be continued.)


Crunchy breakfast...


Reasonably priced


Busy place in the morning


From across the street

During my previous visits, I have always noted this as a point of interest.  Houtong, like most other small towns in Taiwan, is a place full of history. For those railway fan like me, this town offers a few good spots to watch trains going to or coming from the eastern part of Taiwan.  For those traveling with cameras, you will find cats to shoot at in this town.

I will demonstrate how to get to Houtong from Taipei main station.

First you need to purchase train tickets to Houtong.  There are two ways you can buy tickets – from the automated machine, or from the teller.  Buying from the machine is easy as long as you have enough change, and here is a video demonstrating how that is done.

The only thing worth noticing is the machine takes the money first.  I find it counter intuitive as most machines we encounter would specify the amount first.  (This includes the ticket vending machines for the High Speed Rail.)  If you look up, usually there is a list of price for the 10 or so stations from where you are.  Note:  if you find the machine not selling tickets to Houtong, most likely it is because the machine sells tickets for southbound trains.

Once putting the right amount, you can specify the number of tickets, the type of tickets (you can only buy one type at a time.  If you are buying tickets for two adults and two children, you can only do so in two transactions), the type of train (express trains do not stop at small stations such as Houtong), and eventually the destination.

Anyhow, here are some of the pictures I took during my two visits.

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