The final leg of our trip was spending 2011’s Christmas in Taipei. It’s my first visit to Taiwan’s capital and I only get 1.5 days here…did not even get to visit the famous night market scenes (my subsequent trips made up for this, yeah!). But at least the quality time spent with our relatives there was priceless. We were reminded of the holiday period by the super heavy traffic leading to Taipei and it took us a while before reaching our hotel. Thereafter, first stop being the largest garment wholesale area of Wu Fen Pu (五分埔).
Wu Fen Pu in Taipei
This place is so big that it has a thousand over shops lining along its alleys inside the shopping district. Here’s where you will find good quality trendy local brand clothing at a very reasonable price. Since this is, after all, a wholesale market, do not expect the same kind of cosy layout or service standards found in shopping malls.
Single purchases of items are welcome though not necessary wholeheartedly by shopkeepers. Just apply the mantra of “fast, cheap and good: pick two” when shopping here. We were told that some shops in Ximending (西门町) procured their stocks from Wu Fen Pu too. Hence, better check out this place before anywhere else when shopping for clothing in Taipei.
And perhaps not coming here during the holiday period too, else it will be packed like what we experienced. The alleys and shops were so crowded that we can barely move sometimes.
I gave up after a while, moving among the crowd is just so tiring and left the shopping tasks to wifey. Found a park with playground inside the district and waited there.
And saw some folks feeding the squirrels hanging on the trees in an interesting way.
Perhaps the visit to Taiwan’s ultimate landmark – Taipei 101 kinda made up for not visiting the night markets – not agreeable by my tummy, of course, LOL. The iconic skyscraper does have a unique design – almost looks like an eight-segment Chinese Pagoda to me.
But I think what’s more impressive is having such a tall structure in a land where there are occurrences of typhoon and earthquake. Indeed an engineering marvel to ensure its safety against the force of nature.
The Christmas decorations around Taipei 101 heightened our festive mood.
The crowd that day ensured a long wait before it’s our turn to board the lift to the observation deck. Also kinda disappointed that the outdoor deck was closed to the public that day in preparation for New Year’s Day fireworks.
Here’s the 730-ton damper which counteracts against swaying, there’s information on how the damper actually works too. I walked out the building totally impressed.
We did a quick visit to Liberty Square next morning before heading to the airport in the afternoon. Yup, not enough time again but I am so coming back to Taiwan soon! I totally enjoyed my time in Taiwan and will not hesitate to recommend anyone to visit or revisit again.
STAY: Yo Xing Hotel review
The one night stay at Yo Xing Hotel (友星大飯店) was not bad. Its location is definitely the major highlight as it’s close to Guting MRT Station and walking distance to Liberty Square. I can’t say the same thing about its dated room and furniture, though. But since we’re only here for one night, I supposed it’s passable.