Ningxia Night Market Eat Out

On my last couple of days in Taipei on my last trip there. I hanged out with a local friend checking out the area I was staying at all the way to the underground Taipei City Mall. To my surprise he actually planned to bring me to one of the best food night markets there is in Taipei, the Ningxia Night Market.

Ningxia Night Market sits a few city blocks away north of the Taipei Main Station. It was very walkable, at least for us, but the metro can also be taken to get you there faster.

Taipei Main Station

Posing like a true tourist in front of the Taipei Main Station signage in written in Hanzi

Food Coma At Ningxia

I was feeling touristy that night so I surrendered being the explorer that I am and just allowed my self be surprised by my friend. The Ningxia Night Market is a short stretch of road closed at night that is filled with food stalls offering wide food selections. There are food that can also be found in other night markets so I chose the ones that I haven’t tried or haven’t seen in other night markets.

One challenge though in the Ningxia Night Market because it is not a major tourist night market is that most stalls do not have English signages. I was very lucky though because I am with my good friend York! Yep tourist mode on!

First dish that I tried was a baked sea food clam. It was just not a simple clam baked with cheese though. The dish is actually a medley of sea foods like squid or octopus. Imagine a good medley of those all baked into cheesy goodness! A bit on a pricey side though I think it was worth the price.

Next stop was our drinks. I think the drink I got is actually a Filipino obsession, Yakult. You know that if we could get bigger servings of this rich drink we would. Dream fulfilled! Towards the end of the street we found a stall that sells Yakult slush!

York has a place in mind though. He took me at the cross road at the end of the street where a permanent food shop was. It was a pretty sure shot that it’s gonna be awesome, the line was long! We fell in line to be served then I asked what were lining up for? I learned that the huge line of people was one of the iconic Taiwanese dish, the Oyster Omelet!

The Oyster Omelet is served with condiments on the side to compliment the dish. The omelet it self has a sticky consistency possibly because of the casava flour used to make it stick together. It could be a bit weird when you take your first bite being the oyster having  gooey texture. It may take a few bites to get used to it and the sauce will surely help you like it.

With the main dish done, I guess dessert is just appropriate. I’ve tasted the Taiwanese mochi before so I was quite unsure of how this one would turn out.

I took my first bite and I was just so surprised on how good it was! The ice wasn’t that sweet or milky at all but the peanut and red bean mochi did deliver! It was a delight how a desert so simple like this can surprise you with such experience.

Price Range

Price range for food selection in the Ningxia Night Market still is affordable. Nothing crazy! Dishes can be as low as NT$50. It is best to come to the night market with friends. This way you can sample more food while splitting the cost among your friends.

How to get to Ningxia Night Market

The Ningxia Night Market is very accessible. Coming from Ximen you can take the MRT Red Line and get off at the Shunglian Station. Take exit #1 or 2 and walk 500 meters west of the Minsheng West Road. You can also walk just 1KM north of Taipei Main Station!

So if you are seeking for some food solitude in your trip, when you just want to see food and no shopping distractions, come to Ningxia Night Market. It will not disappoint you.

I would like to give special thanks to my awesome friend York for letting me use his photos for this blog post.

Featured image courtesy of llee_wu

8 Temples In Bangkok You Must Visit

It’s your first time in Bangkok and you want to explore every bit of the city. You are so excited. But, you don’t know where to start! So where should you start then, you may ask. Let’s go back to the basics first by knowing the city. Bangkok’s full name is Thai is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. Nope I am not kidding. There’s even a song made using the name as its lyrics to help people memorize it. There’s a shorter version though, Krung Thep. Guess what that means, City of Angels! So this is Los Angeles’ sister city then? Hahahaha! As the name suggest this is a city of angels where the gods have converged and where you see and feel the god’s blessings. So where else best to start but with the city’s majestic Bangkok Temples! Continue reading

10 Things You Need To Do In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Most people struggle on coming up on what other things to do when planning for trips to Ho Chi Minh. Some get stuck to just doing a city tour and eating on the side streets. But there’s more to Saigon than these. Check out these 10 things you need to do in Ho Chi Minh City when you visit for more ideas! Continue reading

Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Probably one of the best cities in Southeast Asia if you are a fan of walking tours. Doing a Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour is relatively easy even for beginners. Most of the attractions are at walking distance from each other. They can also be reached with leisurely walks along the tree lined streets of Saigon. Continue reading

10 Things To Do In Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the city adjacent to the ancient city of Angkor that hosts travelers from around the world who’s main objective is explore the temple of the ancient city of Angkor. However, there are other things to do in siem reap beyond the temple hopping experience in Angkor Wat Complex. Here’s a quick list of Other Things To Do In Siem Reap Continue reading

A Night Of Good Food With The Saigon Free Walking Tours

Whenever someone asks me “what is it there to see in Viet Nam” I always reply with “You are asking the wrong question, you should be asking what is there to taste in Viet Nam”. So it was a delight to learn that there’s a group in Ho Chi Minh that provides free tours for tourists thanks to the Saigon Free Walking Tours. Continue reading

Must See Tourist Spots In Bangkok

A lot of people try to go off the beaten path avoiding places crowded with tourists. But then again most of these bangkok thailand tourist spots are so iconic that you’d just somewhat “need” to cross it out of your list. So we’ve come up with a list of tourists spots that first timers can definitely enjoy!

  1. The Grand Palace

    Visit the former residence of the King of Thailand that exudes elegance and royalty all throughout the complex.  [Read More Here]

    bangkok thailand tourist spots

  2. Wat Pho

    Gaze at the massive reclining buddah and experience Thai massage right at its birth place at the Wat Pho. [Read More Here]

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  3. City Pilar

    Considered as the center of the City of Bangkok, the City Pilar Shrine houses of course, a Pilar which  [Read More Here]
    bangkok thailand tourist spotssource

  4. Wat Arun

    Known to be the Temple of Dawn Wat Arun was originally built as a Hindu temple across the Chao Phraya river from the Wat Pho [Read More Here]bangkok thailand tourist spotssource

  5. Chao Phraya River Express

    When all traffic is jammed in the old city center of Bangkok, residents luckily has the Chao Phraya express to navigate from one end of the city to another [Read More Here] bangkok thailand tourist spots

  6. Asiatique

    Fast becoming as the go to chill out place of youngsters in the city, Asiatique is an old industrial riverfront property turned into a hip place for food and entertainment. [Read More Here]bangkok thailand tourist spotssource

  7. Shopping Malls

    MBK
    Platinum Fashion Mall
    Pantip Plaza
    bangkok thailand tourist spots

  8. Floating Market

    Probably one of the destination that would come up on a Thailand first timer’s list. Its most famous floating market the Damnoen Saduak floating market located about two hours from Bangkok. bangkok thailand tourist spots

  9. Giant Swing

    It is said that during the early kingdoms of Thailand, the king would install one giant swing in each important city. these swings are used as a ceremonial accessories in royal rituals. [Read More Here]bangkok thailand tourist spots

  10. Khaosan Road

    Considered to be the center of the backpacking universe, Khaosan road hosts to hundreds of guesthouses for backpackers starting or ending their journeys [Read More Here]
    bangkok thailand tourist spots

  11. Yaowarat

    Chinatown’s main road, Yaowarat is Bangkok’s main foodie destination. The main street would come alive at night with different stalls offering a wide variety of food selection. [Read More] source

  12. Jim Thompson House

    The house of the american businessman who helped revive the Thai Silk trade across the globe houses artifacts of the businessman himself [Read More Here]bangkok thailand tourist spots

  13. Lumpini Park

    bangkok thailand tourist spots

  14. Erawan Shrine

    Originally constructed in the 1950’s to grace the opening of the old Erawan Hotel, hence the reference of Erawan Shrine. [Read More Here]bangkok thailand tourist spots

    bangkok thailand tourist spots

  15. Victory Monument

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  16. Democracy Monument

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  17. loha prasat

    bangkok thailand tourist spots

Must Try Food In Taipei

They say Taiwan is how China could have been if it wasn’t for the cultural revolution. They shunned many of their traditions and beliefs and turned themselves to the communist ideology. None the less, there is one thing that China and Taiwan shares best; Food Culture. Not known to many Taiwan is one of the best places in Asia to discover flavors that you did not know existed. Taiwanese Food combinations that can be quite odd but taste so good.

On my recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan’s beautiful capital I’ve indulged my self into an eating free in one of their famous night markets and some other random street foods. Here are a few of the Taiwanese food that you should try when in Taipei!

Huajiao Bing

Pepper seasoned pork filled bun baked inside a tandori looking kind of oven. Unlike other pork filled buns, The Huajiao Bing’s bread is hard outside and crumbling inside.

Taiwanese Food

Carbon Barbecue

Bacon or Chicken fillet wrapped spring onions wrapped barbecues grilled over charcoal. They are cooked in batches and are sold separately. Each one are individually skewered with a toothpick to keep them together. Each one cost about NT24 a piece.

Taiwanese Food

Taiwanese Pancake

Also known as a  Scallion cake, this pancake is cooked on a flat pan like a roti. Scallions or onion springs are added to the batter mixture giving it its name scallion cake. It is a cheap yet filling food that you can bite on if you need something to eat yet don’t have the time to eat a proper meal.

Taiwanese Food

Stinky Tofu

Probably the most famous dish that comes as a dare to a lot of western tourists. Before being grilled or fried and topped with vegetables.

Taiwanese FoodSource

Cranberry Juice

Made from fresh Cranberries you can find several of these stalls around Shilin Night Market. This is a perfect first stop before starting your food trip around the market so you’d have something to drink along with your food.

Taiwanese Food

Taiwanese Food

Gong Rou Fan

Rice in a bowl topped with tender pork chop that just melts in your mouth. The dish also has pickled cucumbers to cleanse your palette. The best Gong Rou Fan can be found in Ximen area  and costs about NT65

Taiwanese Food

Hot Star Whole Chicken Breast

Though Hot Star has branches here in Manila, I’d say that it is still worth trying out this food on where it started. You find this stall with a line of customers most of time waiting for another batch of fried chicken breast goodness to be served.

Taiwanese Food

 

Bubble Tea 

It wouldn’t be right not to try out Bubble Tea from its place of birth. Yes, the bubble tea that wee know was born in Taipei! It’s amazing how many flavors one can try with each Bubble Tea shop that one can find in every corner of the city.

Taiwanese Food

Ice Cream Burrito

I am not sure if this is a Jiufen specialty but I didn’t notice this sold anywhere else. The Ice Cream Burrito (just made that name up -can’t remember sorry bad memory) is basically a scoop or two of ice cream wapped together with peanut shavings and cilantro in a spring roll wrapper.

Taiwanese Foodsource

Taro Balls

Also found this one in Jiufen, where they serve it either hot or cold with milk. Its basically just taros shaped in spheres served with milk. I specially liked this one hot when I tried it in Jiufen when it was freezing cold that day. Oh yeah, this reminds me of our Filipino Ginataang Halo-Halo

Taiwanese FoodSource

Oyster Omelet

Odd as it may seem but this omelet is quite good. I got a chance to try it out

photo courtesy of york hsieh

 

Cheesy Sea Food Clam

Should I say more of this? I mean cheese and sea food baked in goodness together? This was a bit pricey for the size. It was about NTD80 i think but it was so worth it. Every bite was soooo creamy as the cheese and the sea food just compliments each other. I do say sea food because it’s not just clams stuffed back on the shell but other sea food as well like crabs and squid. Truly worth the experience.

taiwanese foodphoto courtesy of york hsieh

 

Iced Taiwanese Mochi

Probably the one that surprised me most was this Iced Taiwanese Mochi. I’ve tried Taiwanese mochies before at the Shilin Night Market but it wasn’t as exciting as this. Having the mochi ball on top of the milked crushed ice gave it a different dimension. The different textures playing inside your mouth was so crazy i didn’t knew how to react but just closed my eyes and moan. Hahahaha! My Taiwanese friend laughed so hard of my yummy face!

photo courtesy of york hsieh

Got a Taipei Food Must Try that you’d like to share? Put it down on the comment section so we can add them up on the list!

Hover Over Trees At The Maokong Gondola

Blessed with a mountainous topography, Taiwan is rich with mountains and hiking trails that you can leisurely trek in one of your visits. Together with a good climate, it could actually be a good place to grow herbs such as tea. Maokong is a little village at the top of the hills of Taipei.

Maokong is specially known for its awesome teas and plantation. However, recently this small village is starting to be known more for something else. Last 2010, the Taipei MRT (operator of the Maokong Gondolas) launched a new type of cabin called crystal cabins. These cabins features a clear glass that allows passengers to see the ground where their gondolas are hovering over. maokong

After taking a leisurely ride on the Maokong Gondola, you will arrive at the terminal station of Maokong. As soon as you alight the station walk uphill until you see various tea shops offering different kinds of teas, food and the beautiful view of Taipei from a distance.

How To Get To Maokong

The most convenient way to get to Maokong is via the Taipei MRT. Just get your self on any line (they are all interconnected) and get off at the Taipei Zoo MRT. From the MRT station walk about 400 meters south of the station then take the Maokong Gondola.

maokong Photo from wikipedia

Gondola Fares

maokongtaipei gondola website screenshot

What To Do In Maokong

Riding the gondola alone is an experience in Maokong. However, I think that one must also experience dinning and sipping that cup of tea at this hill top village. The calming effect of the tea is complimented by the breath taking view of Taipei. There are also shops that havegood selection of food choices that will just tickle your taste buds.

maokong

Do you have something to share about Maokong or the Maokong Gondola? Share it with fellow travelers on the comment section.