Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Yangming Shan & Xin Beitou Driving Directions

Traveling by scooter or car, cross the river from Central Taipei going towards Beitou and Yangmingshan, going north on Chengde Rd.(承德路 Chéngdé Lù) Staying on the main road, there will be brown street signs directing you to Xin Beitou and Yangmingshan. From Xin Beitou there is access to Yangmingshan. Basically stay on the main road unless directed by the signs. When you reach Xin Beitou, the MRT station will be on the right hand side and you will be on Daye Rd (大業路 Dàyè Lù) which connects with several roads.

To continue to Yangmingshan take Quanyuan Rd. (泉源路 Quányuán Lù) which is ahead and to the left. Continue on and you are in Yangmingshan. Follow the signs for additional options. If you follow Zhongshan Rd. (中山路 Zhōngshān Lù) the park will be on the right hand side which has an adjoining museum and public hotspring. There is no shortage of private spas to choose from if you want something nicer. The public hotspring is built on a hill with several pools. The hottest pools are on top and then flow into the lower pools at the bottom. There is also a cold water pool. These are co-ed pools so swimming suits are required.

Another option to reach Yangmingshan by car or scooter is to go north on Chengde Rd. (承德路 Chéngdé Lù) or by car only go North on Zhongshan N. Rd. (中山北路 Zhōngshān Běi Lù). From either road turn right (east) onto Zhongzheng Rd. (中正路 Zhōngzhèng Lù). This will merge with Fulin Rd and at the base of Yangmingshan will become Yangde Blvd. (仰德大道 Yǎngdé Dàdào). This is the main road to Yangmingshan. You can expect heavier traffic, especially during weekends and rush hour. This road may be closed to non-residents during the weekend, so you are advised to follow the route through Xin Beitou especially if you are travelling by car.

More details about Yangmingshan

More details about Beitou

Monday, November 20, 2006

Aunt Su's Pizza

They feature deep dish pizza but it is a mediocre pizza. The fried chicken is also decidedly average. Their commitment to being good enough can be seen by spelling their name wrong on the front door. It reads "Aunt's Su" instead of "Aunt Su's". Monday through Friday they have lunch and dinner buffets. It is located opposite of Sun Yet Sen Memorial (國父紀念館 guó fù jì niàn guǎn) on Guang Fu South Rd. between Zhongxiao East Rd. and Renai Rd.

Main Pizza Page

Friday, November 17, 2006

JP Pub

JP Pub is a small pub with a friendly owner and a Foosball Table. The pub is located in an area which caters to Japanese expatriates, and there are some suspicious looking places, but this one is fine. The owner speaks some English, but in general Chinese or Japanese will get you a lot farther.

Located near Linsen N. Road at Zhongshan N. Road, Sec. 2, Lane 77, No. 3, 2F / 中山北路 2 77 3 2 / Zhōngshān Běi Lù, 2 Duàn, 77 Xiàng, 3 Hào, 2 Lóu

Main Pub List

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yakiniku House

Yakiniku House is a Japanese barbeque. It is very good as long as you don't mind cooking for yourself on the charcoal grill that is brought to your table. There is a ventilation fan over each table so it is not smokey. You can get assorted thin sliced meats or seafood. The seating is split between ordinary tables and sections where you remove your shoes and sit on the floor, but there is a sunken area to put your feet if you don't like sitting cross legged. The salmon rice soup is very good. Service is good too. Located on the 11th floor of the living mall.

The Living Mall

Main Taipei Restaurants Page

Shandao Temple

Shandao Temple is not particularly noteworthy, but it is near the main station area. Get off at Shandao Temple MRT Station, one stop east from Main Station on the Blue Line, go out Exit 6.

Taipei Site Seeing Index:

Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s House

Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s House is a very small walled in park near Taipei Main Station. If you are near Taipei Main Station (MRT & Train Station), this is a nice escape from the city around you. There are fishponds and you can walk through Dr. Sun’s house. From Taipei Main Station (train station) go out the East exit, cross one street and you will hit a white wall. Follow the sidewalk around to the opposite side and there will be an entrance on Zhongshan North Road. There is not much inside the house; it’s the courtyard that makes it worth visiting. All of the signs are in Chinese but be aware that no photography is allowed inside the house, but don't worry you won't be missing out.

Taipei Site Seeing Index

Sun Yet Sen Memorial

Sun Yet Sen Memorial / 國父紀念館 / Guó Fù Jìniàn Guǎn

There is a nice courtyard and park, which are the best features. Inside you will find an art exhibit and a big statue of Dr. Sun. Located near the Sun Yet Sen. MRT Station on the Blue Line. The memorial itself is not such an overwhelming attraction, but it is the center of a very nice park which offers an excellent view of Taipei 101.

Taipei Site Seeing Index:


Ximen Night Market and Red House Theater

This is more of a large pedestrian thoroughfare lined with shops than a traditional night market, but of course there are some street stalls as well. The Red House Theater is a dinner theater across the street. The building is backlit in red so it really stands out at night. They have a good gift shop if you are trying to find souvenirs to take home.

Go to the Ximen MRT Station, which is one stop west of Taipei Main Station. If you are on the Red Line, you can bypass the chaos of the main station by transferring at CKS Memorial Hall to the Pea Green-Ximen Line.

Taipei Site Seeing Index: http://taipeiguide.blogspot.com/2006/05/sites-in-taipei-city.html

Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel / 圓山大飯店 / Yuán Shān Fàn Diàn

This lives up to its name; it is a towering pagoda style structure with a view of the city. It is starting to show signs of age, but is still very impressive. There are no doubt more luxurious hotels, but none with as much character. Take the MRT to Yuanshan. From there you can take a taxi for $70.

The Grand Hotel's Website: http://www.grand-hotel.org/newsite/html/e/ca01.htm

Taipei Site Seeing Index:


CKS (Chiang Kaishek) Memorial Hall and National Concert Hall

CKS (Chiang Kaishek) Memorial Hall and National Concert Hall
中正紀念堂 Zhōngzhèng jìniàn táng

This is a great example of Chinese architecture in the center of the city. It is easy to get to and can be seen quite quickly. Although it is very impressive and should be on your list, there’s really not that much to see beyond the exterior. Inside you will find a statue of Chiang Kaishek and some honor guards. This is also a gathering place for public events such as New Year’s celebrations and political rallies. On Either side of the courtyard are two towering red pagoda style buildings. One is the National Theatre Hall and the other is the National Concert Hall.

By MRT it is located on the Red-Danshui Line 2 stops south of Main Station. Get off at CKS Memorial Hall Station, exit and you will be right there.

Main Taipei Site Seeing Index

228 Peace Park 二二八公園 èr èr bā gōng yuán

A few blocks South of Taipei Main Station and next to NTU Hospital MRT Station is one of Taipei’s bigger parks (2nd after Daan). It has walking paths, fishponds, shaded pagodas, and an outdoor stage.

Taipei Site Seeing Index

Customs insoles by Dr. Mark

I got a pair of custom orthopedic insoles from Dr. Mark. He takes a mold of your feet and they are ready in a couple of weeks. Getting the mold is maybe a 30 minute process. Cost is around NTD 10,000. These are the sports shoe insole.There is a dress shoe insole which I beleive uses leather instead of foam.

The white is a dense foam, the gray is a plastic, and the blue is a standard foam you would find in a shoe insole. These are supposed to last for several years, but I don't think that counts the blue foam which must be able to be replaced.

Dr. Mark Griffin, Doctor of Chiropractic, USA

Chiropractic Care
Deep Muscle Tissue Therapy
Sport Injuries
Custom-made foot orthotics
By Appointment Only, Please!

Zhongxiao East Rd. Sec. 4, #250, 11F-5
忠孝東路,四段,250號,11樓, Suite 5
entry at Lane 248
Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: (02) 8771-3516

see my original page about Dr. Mark: http://taipeiguide.blogspot.com/2006/10/dr-mark-fixed-my-back.html

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ta Chien (Da Qian) Cinema

Ta Chien Cinema / 大千電影院 / Dà Qiān Diàn Yǐng Yuàn

For a bit of luxury the basement of the Westin Taipei Hotel has a theater in the basement level which has sofas with footrests. Tickets are NTD 350 and reservations are advised however if you show up and no tickets are available, you may wait to see if there is a no show and can get seated just before show time.

Location: Nanjing East Road, Sec. 3, No. 133, B2 / 台北市南京東路3段133號B2
On the north-east side of the Fuxing Rd. intersection, this is walking distance from the Nanjing East Rd. MRT station on the Brown-Muzha Line.

Their website is in Chinese only: http://www.whatis.com.tw/westin2005/act.php

http://babelfish.altavista.com/ can provide a half-ass machine translation which should be adequate to see what is playing and maybe even make a reservation.


To make a reservation:
Telephone reservtations are accepted for the same day only, but English may or may not be spoken: (02) 3518-3161
On-line reservations can be made up to 2 weeks in advance, this site is in Chinese only, but can be machine translated: Www.whatis.com.tw/westin2005/onl_movie.php

The ticket window is open the following days and times:
* Monday ~ Tuesday from 13: 00
* Wednesday ~ Friday from 12: 00 noon
* Saturday ~ Sunday from 09: 00 am

Main Theater Page

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Parco Pasta & Au Gratin (and Pizza)

Parco makes an excellent personal size thin crust pizza. They also as the name would imply serve pasta. Bottled beer is available. Service is good, and they make sure there is always a carafe of water on the table.

Location: Minsheng E. Rd, Sec. 5, No. 59 / 民生東路559 / Mínshēng Dōng Lù 5 duàn 59 hào

It is not near an MRT stop but is a short bus/taxi ride (or a long walk) from Zhong Shan Jr. High Station, the northernmost station on the Brown-Muzha Line.