Taipei Treasures

I went to Taipei for a fashion event last week and came back realising it’s a city I can’t wait to see again!

When we received the invitation to fly to Taiwan to check out Michael Kors’ Fall/Winter 2013 collection, I jumped at the chance to head somewhere I’d been wanting to visit for a while. All my colleagues who’d ever been there had only nice things to say and I got so many suggestions about where to go, and what to eat and buy that I wondered if a two-night-three-day trip would be enough.

I was told to eat fried chicken at the Shilin night market, drink bubble tea from the original bubble tea place at Taipei 101, hit Cosmed for a beauty stash, head to Wun Fen Pu market for clothes, shoes and accessories, visit the 24-hour bookstore Eslite, and absolutely try the black pepper biscuits and minced pork rice wherever I could find it! Phew! What a list. But all the suggestions came from fashion and beauty editors and travel experts who had been to Taipei many times so I guess these are must-dos for a first-timer to the city. Here’s a sampling of what I experienced:

Wu Fen Pu market

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Okay, so maybe we were a little overwhelmed by this street stall extravaganza; most of us didn’t get anything. But the experience was worth it. There were hundreds of stalls selling clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery, and the prices were so low! Shoes for RM30, bags for RM50, and good quality ones too, so it was a little like Platinum in Bangkok but outdoors. No worries, it’s not too hot because all the shops had air-conditioning that blew out into the narrow lanes, and all the salespeople were welcoming and helpful. And they don’t pull a face or give you attitude if you don’t buy anything. A few stalls sold popular Taipei street snacks like fried chicken and bubble tea. We stopped at one fried chicken stall so we could tick that one off our list. It tasted okay, but for a RM5 snack that fed four, who’s complaining?

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Taipei 101

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When I WhatsApp-ed my friends back home that I would be having dinner at an Italian restaurant at the Taipei 101 building, some of them screamed! “You’re going INSIDE??!!” they said, in awe. Because most of them have only seen it from the outside. Yep, and on the 85th floor, no less. The view? Something else. The food? In huge quantities, super-rich and DELICIOUS! My favourite was the lobster with gnocchi. The company? 22 journalists from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia, among others. It was a good night.

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The preview

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Michael Kors is one of my favourite designers because his looks have a laid-back luxe that’s so flattering and wearable. And the whole connotation of living a jet-setting life that goes with it is no less appealing. Here are some of my favourite pieces from the Fall/Winter 2013 collection. In a word? Speed. That’s what I see in the collection. You’ll see more pieces from the collection in the upcoming issues of female.

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Food experiences

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When they told me the food was good, I knew I had to go to Taipei. And I wasn’t disappointed. From Italian at Taipei 101, to Cantonese at the Le Meridien where I stayed, and Taiwanese at various restaurants and street stalls, the selection of dishes was overall very satisfying. Here’s some of what I ate.

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The best of the rest

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If you have fewer pictures of a particular experience that could mean that you had so much fun you didn’t have time to snap any, right? So here are my picks from the rest of the trip.

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