Checking out Ximending

Enough of rest at Just Sleep Hotel Ximending for about an hour, we told ourselves we had to get out & explore the famous Ximending shopping district.  Shan’t waste anymore time! Hehe

It was already past 2pm & we were feeling famished, so immediately we headed to the famous Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle (阿宗面线) for a late lunch.

Ay-Chung’s Ximending Headquarter

The outlet we went to is the Ximending headquarter [Address: No.8-1, Emei St., Wanhua District, Taipei City (台北市峨嵋街8号之1). Walking Directions: 5 min walk from Ximen MRT station, exit 6.  Opening Hours: 11:00 to 22:30 (Mon – Thu); 11:00 to 23:00 (Fri – Sun)].  It also has branches at Shilin & Xinyi districts.

There were only stools outside the shop, but no tables for customers to use for a proper meal.  We could see many customers actually standing to enjoy their bowl of flour-rice noodles (commonly called mee-sua in Singapore).  There are 2 bowl sizes to choose from – the small bowl at NTD45, or the big bowl at NTD60 (about S$1.90 & S$2.50 respectively).

The ordering process was very fast, I only had to indicate the bowl size I want then within few minutes, I was able to lay my hands on this piping hot bowl of delicious 阿宗面线:

Small bowl of mee-sua (with chilli)

Instead of oyster mee-sua like the Singapore version, Ay-Chung’s version uses large intestines, which did not stink at all.  Truly yummy!  The chilli was also quite spicy & I had to eat it with caution haha.  We were both full after the meal but craved for some bubble tea to cool our tongues (“burnt” in the process of eating the piping hot bowl of mee-sua haha).

Sad to say, the pearls at the bubble tea joint near Ay-Chung was not up to standard. 😦  It wasn’t chewy, in fact a bit tough, though the milk tea was ok.  I forgot to note down the name of this bubble tea joint so that you can skip it next time!  Just don’t patronise those brands unknown in Singapore, nearby Ay-Chung’s shop.:P

Count us lucky or what, there was a new Chinese pop singer 李唯枫 who was holding his debut album 《渴了》 autograph-signing session at Ximending.  We had never heard of this singer before, so out of curiosity, we stood there to watch him sing for a while.  I actually went to google for his personal data later & found him to be a young 24 year-old guy who gained popularity through Tao Jing Ying 陶子’s 《大学生了没》.  His debut album was officially released only on 7 Sep 2012, & his English name is quite… erm… unique – “Coke”. -_-“

The singer 李唯枫 (right) being interviewed by the MC (left)

Look at the crowd!

Considering that he is a very new singer but had such a crowd at the session, I guess he must be quite successful as a newcomer?  According to the MC, some of his songs are now part of the soundtrack of a current Taiwanese idol drama (台湾偶像剧《剩女保镖》).  Probably that is why he is quite popular.  In fact we kept hearing his song on TV during our trip…

As it was a Sunday (23 Sep 2012), Ximending was very crowded.  I feel that Ximending resembles Harajuku in Japan to some extent.  There are many shops selling Japanese & Korean fashion, but in terms of price, think Taichung is still cheaper.  Hence I only bought 1 chiffon top at a little shop next to the stairway leading to Jia Jia Records (佳佳唱片).  We also bought a few CDs from Jia Jia Records as the CDs were cheaper than those in Singapore.  The Fish Leong’s CD I bought costed only NTD369 (about S$15.70), and the 2 CDs my friend bought were also around this price.

There is also an Eslite Departmental Store in Ximending & we went to the Eslite Bookstore (诚品书店), where we each bought 2 magazines loaded with freebies (Naruko face mask, Guerlain miniature eau de toilette & Kate Spade PVC tote bag).  Eslite Bookstore is really big with a wide selection of books, stationery & magazines, no wonder it’s so popular, I like! 🙂

We spent about 3 hours here just exploring the area across Just Sleep Hotel Ximending along Section 1 Zhonghua Road (中华路一段), but we had yet to complete the whole Ximending shopping district.  Really an interesting place to visit, so I shall plan more time here if I visit Taipei next time! 🙂

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