Taiwan Holidays : Martyrs Shrine , Taipei 101, Xinmending, Tamshui Old Street

Chan Brothers Taiwan Customised Tour
Taipei 101
This is the final chapter of Taiwan Escapade. The rest of the entries can be found at the following links.
Part 1 : Chan Brothers Customised Holidays : Taiwan - Tashee Blooming Oasis, Swiss Garden
Part 2 : Ever Green Grassland- Sun Moon Lake- Wen Wu Temple- Sun Link Sea Resort
Part 3 : Kaohsiung- Lotus Pond Lake, TaiChung - Eda Theme Park
Day 7 Attraction : Taipei 101 台北101

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The Taiwan Tour concluded from where it started. After traveling more than 700km from Taipei to Kaoshiong and back via our tour bus within 7 days, we entered the last leg of the trip.
We proceed to Taipei tallest building , Taipei 101. Taipei 101 is a sky scraper with a distinct Asian architecture. Completed In 2004 , it holds the title of the world's tallest building till it was eclipse by Burj Khalifa in 2010. During our stop , we only managed to stop by the shops and misses the opportunity to visit the summit for a panaromic view of Taipei. The shops were quite similar to Singapore and we would have prefer the option of heading to the top of Taipei 101 than to window shop. Unfortunately we could not do so due to time constraint.
Jade lion
Miraculously the guide managed to find time bringing us to a Jade lion factory. A note on this 'shopping trips'. Mostly the goods introduce are inflated. A tiny jade lion offered to is cost upwards of $250, while a similar item would probably fetch more than 80% discount elsewhere.
Lunch was served at the a heavily decorated avant garde restaurant that is more known for its facade than for its food.
Art Deco Restaurant
Attraction : Martyrs Shrine
Our last stop for the day would be at Martyrs Shrine , a shrine build to commemorate the war dead of Republic of China.
Accommodation :WestGate Xinmending
Westgate Xinmending
Our accommodation for the night would be at Westgate Xinmending. It is a modern boutique hotel located in the heart of Xinmending.
Westgate Taipei room
Attraction : Ximending
Ximending Pedestrain crossing
If you have been to Ximending, you would probably be familiar with the 'Harajuku' of Taipei.
The area is known for being the source of Taiwan's fashion and subculture. In addition, there is the Ximending pedestrian area that is well known as a shopping enclave.
Food in Ximending
As our hotel is located in the heart of Ximending, the typical shopaholic Singaporean emerges and we were off to the streets to explore and shop.
Street bubbles.
The street are full of locals and tourist alike soaking in the atmosphere.
Tour buddy
It is no surprise that food is one of the many attractions found in the vicinity. Don't miss Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle 阿宗麵線. It has set up shop since since 1975 and is a very famous and popular noodle shop in Taipei. Serving bowls of thin rice noodles from NT$45 , it is pefect for an evening snack. Be prepared to stand and eat while you indulge in the tasty treat.
Ay-Chung Flour rice noodle
Attraction : Cks Memorial 中正紀念堂
Csk Memorial
One thing to note about tours overseas is that the itinerary will keep going , even on the last day. We managed to squeeze in a few more landmarks of Taipei before jetting back to Singapore.
Our first stop for our last day is at CSk memorial. Build as a monument in memory of Chiang Kai Shek, it is located in Zhinxheng district , Taipei.
Guard changing ceremony
The main attraction for tourist would be the guard changing ceremony which takes place every hour.

Attraction : Tamshui old Street 淡水老街
Our final stop was at Tamshui where we visited the Tamshui fisherman's Wharf.
Fisherman's Wharf
The place was rather quiet on a weekday, but we heard it is a great spot for locals to unwind during the evening,
Heart Taiwan
We proceed to Tamshui old market for the infamous Taiwan tall cream before making our way back to the airport.
Tall Ice cream
So it's goodbye to Taiwan. It was an interesting trip for us discovering Taiwan. It was different from what we used to experience in Singapore. The whole trip was quite a rush, but the moments spend together as a family is one we will remember for a long time.
Tamshui Waterfront
Before we bid adieu, we would like to give our 2 cents worth to the experience we had from Chan brothers customised Taiwan tour.
  • Able to travel as one family. That means more eyes on the kids!
  • Many attractions at the shortest time
  • Visit different parts of the country within 1 trip.
  • Planned Itinerary - Hotels, transports and most food options pre arranged
  • Journey could be quite long. In some parts , we were traveling for 4-5 hours on the bus
  • Time spend at attractions were inflexible and mostly too rush
  • Trip was misrepresented - it was supposed to be a scenic trip but with the various long stops at pre selected local shops, it turned out to be a 'shopping' trip in some parts.
  • Local tour guide was in a rush mode and had even 'lost' part of the group during the trip. However other than this incident, he did his role to a t.
For traveling to Taiwan with kids, we do recommend a shorter route or a trip with less traveling time. Given our travel experiences , we would have opt for a free and easy trip if we could. However with the vast coverage of Taiwan for this trip, it would be difficult to replicate the journey on our own for such a big group.

If you are looking for a comprehensive tour of Taiwan , especially if it is your first time, a tour group may be the preferred mode given the convenience. If you are traveling in a big group, the customised tour would be a good option. For a price similar to the normal tour , you get the added benefit of traveling as a family if you meet the numbers. Great for a bonding session.
As for us, will we visit Taiwan again?

Perhaps... But the next time, we would most likely stay in one city and explore it on our own time.
Till then...(Memories from Taiwan Dec 7 to 13 2013)
Taiwan blooms
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  1. Haven't heard of the rice noodle. gotta try that when I get back :)
    p.s. cute kids!

    1. Thanks for the compliments tailofsnowbear!