West Town The Glorious Traditional Route
Bib Gourmand Selection – Fu Hang Soy Milk
If you want a more traditional route for your perambulations, what better way to start a day than with Fu Hang Soy Milk (阜杭豆漿)? Their authentic shaobing (燒餅; sesame flatbread) with youtiao (油條; deep-fried dough) tastes better and better the more you chew it. If that’s not enough to satisfy you, take some snacks to go and stroll about the old town area.
MRT Shandao Temple Station
National Taiwan Museum, Land Bank of Taiwan, Futai Street Mansion, the North Gate
Among the five Taipei Qing Dynasty town gates, Beimen (北門), or North Gate, is the only one retaining its original South Fujian style architecture. Walking through the arch, you’ll feel the passing of time and space. Several tourist attractions and historical sites surround North Gate Square, including Taipei Post Office (台北北門郵局), Futai Street Mansion (撫臺街洋樓), Mitsui Warehouse (三井倉庫), National Taiwan Museum (國立台灣博物館), and Taiwan Land Bank Exhibition Hall (土地銀行展覽館). Each one helps connect urban history for the Westgate Project.
MRT Taipei Main Station
Bib Gourmand Selection – Beef Noodles
As you ramble around the old town area, stop to recharge your batteries with a bowl of beef noodles! There are three beef noodles places In the MRT Ximen Station (捷運西門站) neighborhood that are recommended by Bib Gourmand: Jian Hong Beef Noodles (建宏牛肉麵), which is open 24-7 to welcome visitors, Lao Shandong Homemade Noodles (老山東牛肉家常麵店), where the specialty is handmade noodles prepared “al dente,” and Niu Dian Beef Noodles (牛店精燉牛肉麵), a favorite of trendy fashion lovers, and an eatery that will never disappoint.
MRT Ximen Station
Ximending Commercial District
The square near Exit 6 of MRT Ximen Station is the young people’s hangout spot in Taipei, with large crowds often gathering to watch street performances. Once you’re here, the plethora of shops – colorful, glittering and trendy, will definitely keep your eyes busy! There are other places for you to explore too, including the famous tattoo street, the movie street, the American Street (美國街), the Wannien Commercial Building (萬年商業大樓) and the Red House (西門紅樓).
MRT Ximen Station
Bangka Lungshan Temple, Xinfu Market U-mkt
The devotees at Bangka Lungshan Temple (艋舺龍山寺) worship Guanyin. This holy place is a belief center for local people, a gathering place, and also a tourist attraction where international visitors can discover the aesthetics of temple architecture while experiencing local folk culture. The nearby East Sanshui Street Market (東三水街市場) sells fresh-produced groceries and everyday supplies; this place serves people who prefer traditional markets over supermarkets. The U-shaped building, U-mkt (新富町文化市場), used to be a traditional emporium in the Japanese era, but more recently, has been revitalized and transformed into a space for food education. Its rich history attracts many “old souls” who want to experience the glory of its rebirth.
MRT Longshan Temple Station
Bib Gourmand Selection – Nanjichang Night Market
Many people go to Nanjichang Night Market for the noodles, and the hidden gem is surely the red vinegar dried noodles at Stinky Tofu Boss (臭老闆現蒸臭豆腐). The stinky tofu here is solid and chewy; it’s salty but not overwhelmingly so. Add a little spicy sauce, and your stinky tofu will taste even better! After this, you can head to nearby A Nan Sesame Chicken (阿男麻油雞) for a bowl of good-for-all-seasons chicken soup.
Walk out Exit 3 at MRT Longshan Temple Station, take Bus BL 29; or go to MRT Ximen Station and take Bus 12, 205, 212, 223, 249, or 253 to Nanjichang Apartments Stop (南機場公寓站)
TAIPEI SPRING 2018 Vol.11
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