The sound of the immigration stamp falling on my passport gave me the goosebumps. It woke me up from the tiredness of a long flight and I stepped into the new country to breathe in Taiwanese air. Taipei is well connected with all sorts of public transport and we decided to take a train into the city. Our hotel was right next to the central station and after enjoying 45 mins of free Wi-Fi on the train, we found ourselves on a very very wide and crowded street of Taipei. Lesson one that we learned by then was that our credit and debit cards were not widely accepted and we had to withdraw cash to progress any further. Walking to our hotel, I started comparing Taipei to Hong Kong for no apparent reason. Taipei is nothing like Hong Kong and not in a bad way. Taipei has a very local and down-to-earth vibe which was different from the multi-national high-end vibe that one gets in Hong Kong. That said, our hotel room was tiny enough to remind me of the lack of space that was common among hotels in Hong Kong.My husband is generally very whiny about staying in small cramped places. He likes his open spaces and large windows that allow the sunlight to light up the room. I guess the way you grow up defines the things you end up liking or disliking. Living in Dubai as a part of a middle-class Indian family had got me accustomed to tiny living spaces, often with minimal privacy. So I prepared myself to hear all he had to say as we opened the door into our room. The first impression he had about the room was as expected and then he walked into the bathroom and came out all giggly and excited. Turned out that the water closest had warmed seats and was hi-tech enough to have massage options. Who knew that a toilet seat could save me from putting up five days with my not-happy-with-the-hotel-grumpy husband.
Last but not least how could you forget about visiting cafes? It seems to be in the trend of cafe hopping or visiting theme restaurants with quirky interesting decorations wherever you go regardless of the country you are in. To me one is for a different experience, like an eye opener, second is like a comfort resting corner, enjoying the ambiance and pace with a cuppa and plate of dessert. But it is always an irony – pretty and adorable cafe are usually photogenic, but food are not stomach worthy; whereas those urbane and poised cafe usually serves a good deal of dessert and coffee for enjoyment. There are quite a good variety of different cafe concept you can spot in Taipei such as branded cafe like Agnes B at Taipei 101; Barbie Cafe in Zhongxiao East Road and Pompompurin Cafe in Songshou Road for the cartoon fanatics; Myowa Cafe in Jinhua Street for the Green Tea lovers; Zenique cafe in Yongkang Street for a touch of japanese zen; Topo+ Cafein Zhongshan N Road; there is just simply too much to mention! But do you know, the best places are usually the ones you come across by chance?Bonus Sharing!1.Accomodation – Good 9 Stay at the Heart of Ximending