It’s been quite a long time since I published my last blog post, 318 days to be exact.
2019 has been a busy and wonderful year to me where I have the chance to explore and learn so many things that I have never dreamt before. I am so lucky to have fully recovered, much stronger than before my cardiac operation. In addition, I also have the luxury to setup and run my own small cafe.
Running a small cafe is really a tough job to me and that’s why I have remained silent in my blog. I will share with you those bits and pieces later on.
Just took a few days leave by myself and arrived in Taipei on Sunday evening, day after the 2020 Taiwan President Election.
It took me about an hour to leave the immigration and arrived at the hotel by 8 pm. Have a quick dinner in a nearby food shop as most of the restaurants were closing at that time.
This shop mainly served Italian Pasta and hey looked at my Taiwan style “Italian Bacon Pesto Spaghetti".
What do you think?
At NTD 120, I could’nt ask for more.
Day One 第一天
Early this morning, I visited my friend’s cafe in Da’an district. As it is close to my hotel and I just went there by YouBike.
Starting from Dec 2019, one must provide the local Identity Card number (Taiwan residents) or the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC for foreign residents) when registering the service with EasyCard. Visitors have to use their credit card for one-time rental. I was so lucky that I had previously registered for the service in late 2018 and I can still use the service with my EasyCard right now.
My friend’s cafe is located near the Da’an Park. Excellent coffee and foods served in a cosy environment.
Take a look at the wall decoration and you will know how the name of the cafe come from.
Other than typical Italian Coffee like Expresso and Cappuccino, Specialty Coffee is also served here.
Here, my friend is making a hand drip Ethiopia Yirgacheffe for me.
A heart warming set of Bagel and coffee to start my day!
If you have time, my friend will definitely share with you all the interesting information on coffee.
By the way, there is an eye-catching marketing motto at the entrance of the cafe, saying that “Getting a quality coffee is as difficult as finding a good man“. I highly believed that the motto is not for the customers but actually targeted to my friend’s wife.
Before having dinner with my old classmate, I went to Longquan Street and visit the famous coffee wholesale shop “好地方 咖啡". Although the shop is extremely small, it is packed with a large amount of coffee related equipment like kettles, filters and scales imported from Japan. Price is not really cheap but somehow you can get most of the things you need there. As photo taking is not allowed, I can only show you the storefront.
Longquan Street is a lively space populated with all kind of restaurants and food stalls. Definitely a great place for food lovers.
My dinner is at L’appétit la Cuisine Francaise, a small french restaurant also located in the Da’an District. My classmate took me there more than five years ago and basically nothing has been changed. Still with the quality dishes and services they served, and few tables of customers as before. L’appétit la Cuisine Francaise remained a nice place for friends gathering.
Day 2 第二天
I have an early appointment today also in the Da’an District. As usual, I planned to get there on YouBike but unfortunately, finding an idle YouBike in the morning of a workday is terribly difficult. I searched through a number of YouBike Kiosks without any luck. Finally, I managed to find the last available YouBike in another Kiosk far from the MRT Station.
By the way, today is the farewell ceremony for the eight generals and officers of the Taiwan Air Force, died in the military Black Hawk helicopter accident occurred on 2 January 2020. Soldiers and citizens lined up along the pavement to pay their last respect.
I have my lunch in a Japanese Ramen restaurant. This is a small shop located in the busy commercial area. My veggie tempura Ramen costed NTD 200, not cheap but quite big in size.
Having no coffee in the morning, I visited Dancing Goats again in the afternoon.
My friend offered me his secret off-the-menu coffee selection. A mysterious beans combination that came with great aroma as well as a balanced taste of acidity and sweetness.
Have my dinner in local Taiwanese chained store “Formosa Chang" near the hotel.
Their most famous dish is Taiwanese-style soy stewed meats served on rice. Mine is a mini version, tasty but definitely can’t fill my belly. For the soft boiled egg in the upper left corner of the following photo, I suspected that it was over-cooked.
Day 3 第三天
This is my last day of stay in Taipei. Instead of visiting those tourist spots or landmarks, I planned to visit the Banqiao District in the nearby New Taipei City. My friend suggested Jiangzicui to me where I can get a feeling of what a typical residential area in Taipei looks like.
I checked out the hotel in the morning. This is the Hua Shan Din by Cosmos Creation that I have stayed for the past few days.
Housed in a 68-year old historical building that originally used as warehouse of the First Commercial Bank, Hua Shan Din is built on a localised design concept that is adopted for the other modern “Cosmos Creation" sub-brand hotels. Despite most of the rooms don’t come with any windows, but with the high ceiling and modern design, the rooms look quite spacious. At slightly over NTD 400 including tax, possibly you can’t find any hotel better than this.
While walking to the nearby MRT station, I found an old food store serving traditional Taiwanese breakfast. The delicious Taiwanese Omelette (or Egg pancake) that I had last eaten 7 or 8 years ago immediately come to my mind.
I ordered one with bacon and egg as fillings for NTD 40.
Wow, it is hot and the sauce is really tasty.
Jiangzicui is located in the northern part of the New Taipei City where the Tamsui River and Xindan River meet. It took about 20 minutes to reach the Jiangzicui Station from my hotel via the Bannan Line.
Just got out from the Jiangzicui MRT Station along the Wenhua Road, you will find quite a number of newly built high rise residential buildings erected among those 4 to 5 stories old buildings. Similar situation can be found in other Taiwan locations as part of city revitalisation.
Before continuing my journey, a cup of coffee will definitely brighten up my day.
Just opposite to the MRT station exit, there is a Louisa Coffee store.
To my understanding, Louisa Coffee is now the largest Coffee chain in Taiwan in terms of store locations, surpassing Starbuck Taiwan recently.
I have not tried their Italian coffee so I can’t say how it compares with Starbuck. Instead, I have ordered their Yirgacheffe G1 Natural hand drip coffee (Oops, forgot to take a photograph!) for just NTD 95.
How did it taste? Well … , I think you should try it yourself.
味道如何？ 我覺得 ⋯ 你應該自行一試。
Jiangzicui seems to be quite a good place for living. Well established transportation networks like the MRT Bannan Line & Provincial Highways, wide varieties of stores, & supermarkets fulfilling all kinds of day to day needs.
My initial plan is to visit the Jiangzicui Scenic Riverside Park along the Tamsui River. However, as I have to arrive at the Taoyuan International Airport by 4 pm, I inevitably changed my plan and decided to ride back to the Hotel on YouBike instead.
I picked up the YouBike next to the Xinpu MRT Station and rode along the Jiangcuilijian Riverside Park, up on to the Huajiang Bridge and back to Taipei City.
Before going back to the hotel to pick up my luggage, I made a brief stop at Dancing Goats Coffee to say goodbye to my friend.
Unlike all my previous trips in Taipei, my major means of transportation for this trip is on YouBike except for the MRT Airport Express to and from the Taoyuan International Airport. It only costed me NTD 5 for each of the short trips that took less than 30 minutes of ride. Despite the trip from Jiangzicui back to Hua Shan Din costed NTD 40 which nearly double the MRT fare, I have the luxury to enjoy the wonderful scenery along the riverside parks as well as to say goodbye to my friend.
Finally arrived in Taoyuan International Airport on time. Have my last cup of Panama Geisha at the Wing Coffee to mark a graceful ending to my Taipei trip.
Written on 15 January 2020.
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