As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei city is a metropolis with busy commercial areas and shopping streets. Well known for its shopping, night markets, and local snacks, Taipei city is a popular tourist destination across all ages. Unlike the conventional night markets in Taipei, which can be overcrowded, one of the vibrant places to visit is Ximending. The energy of the crowd and the street will definitely make you feel rejuvenated and young once again!
A street full of vibrancy and energy
You can get to Ximending very easily via the convenient Metro, where you take the blue Bannan line to Ximen station. This is a popular meeting point, especially for youngsters, so you would not miss it. Once you are out from the metro, follow the crowd and you will be welcome by the lively street of Ximending. The entrance of the metro station serves as a meeting point for most locals, so the area can get really crowded. The crowds consist of mainly of local youngsters, particularly students as well as tourists, so you can feel the energy on the street, especially with the loud music playing from some stalls. Young enthusiastic shop-owners will also be raising their voices to promote their products to the street passerby. There is a wide variety of shops from adorable cartoon collections, beauty products, and also apparels. You may also stop to watch street performances; usually dance or costume dress up. There is guaranteed to be something for everyone in Ximending!
Quench your thirst with the popular bubble tea
Taipei can be extremely warm and humid during the summer; starting from May to August. Most food and beverage shops in Ximending are along the street, so you can get hydrated easily. Fret not! Try out the famous local bubble tea, which comes in various flavours. The original bubble tea will be special iced red milk tea with chewy tapioca balls in it. If you do not like milk tea, they also offer other varieties such as Yakult apple, and other fruit-based beverages. There are several stalls selling such beverages along the street, and since prices are almost the same, go for the stall that you like best!
Experience the local culture by trying out the snacks!
Taipei is well-known for its street food and local snacks. You will have no lack of choices along Ximending street, where restaurants and street stalls are lined up. One of the famous stalls will be Ah Zhong Mian Xian where they serve rice vermicelli, cooked in a thick starch along with pig intestines. However, some other stalls serving this dish will include oysters in their rice vermicelli. If you are not a fan of pig’s innards, you can ask to exclude them, and the taste is equally delicious. There is no table at the stall, but there are chairs available so you can grab a bowl easily, and finish it within minutes. A small bowl will cost 45 NTD (1.40 USD), and a big bowl will cost 60 NTD (1.90 USD).
Another unique local delicacy to try out is the smelly beancurds. You need to be adventurous to try out this snack because of the stench! The really good ones are very stinky, resembling almost the stench of a dirty toilet. However, if you are able to overcome the smell, these beancurds are extremely tasty and mouth-watering. There are stalls selling these beancurds with no stench – you may want to know that those are not the authentic beancurds, and may not taste good too.
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Welcome to the Dog-Friendly Street!
For dog lovers, you will be delighted to know that this is a dog-friendly street. You will spot shoppers with their dogs walking on the street, or at the café. Many owners also have their dogs in the shops, and these adorable dogs are all extremely friendly towards strangers! Do not be alarmed if one of these furry-pets comes up to sniff you, even when you have no food on hand.
For hippies, youngsters, and anyone wanting to feel young again!
With so much energy and vibrancy, Ximending is not just a place for hippies and youngsters. I highly recommend anyone who wants to feel the liveliness in Taipei City to head down to Ximending. Even when the sun goes down, the vibrancy of this street continues on as the streets get lit up. This is definitely a place you don’t want to miss, so be sure to stop by to experience and immerse yourself into the spirit of this city!
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