Friday, April 20, 2007

Taroko National Park












Taroko National Park / 太魯閣國家公園 / Tàilǔgé gúojiā gōngyuán


Taroko is one of the must see sites in Taiwan. Winding along a mountain pass on one side the cliff goes straight down to the river and on the other side straight up. This is definitely at minimum a weekend trip, but a long weekend would be more realistic. Free camping was available, although this may have changed. In 2005 sites were available with parking, wooden tent platforms, and toilet facilities. The only thing missing was hot water. Also in 2005 the hotsprings were closed indefinitely after falling rocks killed and injured visitors. Taroko is an excellent site to drive if you have a car. If you are more adventurous, you can take the train and then rent a motor scooter. Depending on which shop you go to, you may or may not have a problem renting without a Taiwan driver's license.

The closest larger city is Hualian. This is where many people stay and do day trips into Taroko. They have all of the necessities and luxuries surch Carrefour and Starbucks. Near the train station there are several scooter rental shops, but you may do better if you get off one stop north of Hualian station. At the base of Taroko is a small town, and if you are driving you had better stop and top off the gas tank. Once in Taroko, you will only find small shops selling very basic supplies. There is one hotel in Taroko park.

Wikipedia

Taroko official government site: http://www.taroko.gov.tw/

Taroko official government site (English)

Train Stations on the East Coast

Bed & Breakfast (site is English & Chinese, but don't expect them to speak English)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Asiaworld Plaza


The Asiaworld Plaza is on the north-east corner of Dunhua N. Rd. and Nanjing E. Rd. (敦化北路南京東路口).

Shops include


Located nearby:
Dan Ryan's Chicago Grill
The Shannon
Silver Spoon Thai Restaurant
Municipal Stadium
Nanjing East Road MRT Station

Hypermarkets

Carrefour (家樂福 jiā lè fú) has many locations throughout Taipei and Taiwan.

Partial List of Locations (Tealit)
Partial List of Locations (Forumosa)
Official site in Chinese

Locations:

Song Shan District, San Min Rd. No. 160, Near the Minquan East Rd. intersection / 三民路160號, 民權東路口 Sānmín Lù 160 Hào, Mínquán Dōng Lù Kǒu

Tian Mu, Shi Lin District, De Xing West Rd, No. 47, Near the Fu Guo Rd. intersection / 德行西路47號, 福國路口 / Dé Xíng Xī Lù 47 Hào, Fúguó Lù Kǒu

RT Mart is another hypermarket found throughout Taiwan.

Dan Ryan's Chicago Grill

Dan Ryan’s Grill serves western food. The service and quality is ok, but the food is nothing special and it is more expensive than average. I found Dan Ryan's to be very comfortable but not memorable. The closest MRT Station is Nanjing East Road MRT Station on the Brown-Muzha Line. Go East on Nanjing Road and then turn right (South) on Dunhua Rd. It is about a ten minute walk. It is next door to The Shannon and across the street from Asiaworld Plaza and the Municipal Stadium. They have bar and restaurant seating.

Location: Dunhua North Rd., No. 8 / 敦化北路8號 / Dūnhuà Běi Lù, 8 hào
just South of the Nanjing East Rd. intersection
Map (see the Shannon)

Go to main Pub listing page

Costco Warehouse Stores

Costco: Neihu Branch

Taipei City, Neihu District, Jiu Zong Road, Sec. 1, No. 168 / 台北市, 內湖區, 舊宗路, 一段, 268號

Directions from Central Taipei: Going East on Minquan East Road, cross the Minquan Bridge and turn right. There is a gas station at this corner. Take the second right and you will see Costco on the right hand side. Telephone: (02) 8791-1030 ext. 2 (English)

Costco: Zhonghe City, Taipei County Branch
This is on Zhongshan Rd. near the intersection with Banan Rd.

Website (in English)

Map and Address

Longer List of Locations

Maps to Costco

B&Q Hardware Stores

B&Q Hardware Stores (特力屋 té lì wū) are located throughout Taipei and Taiwan. They have most any tool or material you will need for home improvement projects. If you have 220 volt electronics from another country you should be able to find power transformers here.

Official Website (Chinese Only)
Store Locator with Maps (Chinese Only)
Longer list of Locations

B&Q Hardware Store, Neihu Branch: Taipei City, Xin Hu 3rd Road, No. 23, B1 / 台北市, 新湖三路, 23號 B1 F / Xīnhú Sān Lù 23 Hào B1

Directions from Central Taipei: Going East on Minquan East Road, cross the Minquan Bridge and turn right. There is a gas station at this corner. Take the second right and you will see B&Q on the left hand side. Telephone: (02) 8791-1030 ext. 2 (English)

B&Q Hardware Store: Tianmu/Shilin Branch:
Taipei City, Shilin District, Jihe Road, No. 258 / 台北市士林區基河路258號

Telephone: (02) 2889-1000 ext. 2 (English)

Edit 9/2007: List of B&Q locations island wide provided by B&Q:

Region

Store Name

Address

Telephone

North

Nankan

No. 1, Chung-Cheng Rd, Nan-Kan, Lu-Chu Village, Taoyuan County 33845

03-321-1000

南崁店

33845桃園縣蘆竹鄉南崁村中正路一號

North

Hsinchuang

No. 620, Chung-Cheng Rd, Hsin Chuang City, Taipei County 24255

02-2906-1212

新莊店

24255台北縣新莊市中正路620

South

Kaohsiung

No. 218, Wu-Miau Road, Ling Ya District, Kao Hsiung City 80289

07-225-9111

高雄店

80289高雄市苓雅區武廟路218

Central

Taichung

3F, No. 359, Sec. 1, Fushing Road, South District, Taichung City 40256

04-262-0300

台中店

40256台中市南區復興路一段3593F

South

Chiayi

No. 547, Chung Shiao Road, Chia Yi City 60080

05-271-6568

嘉義店

60080嘉義市東區忠孝路547

South

Tainan

No. 720, Wen Hsien Road, North District, Tainan City 70451

06-358-5656

台南店

70451台南市北區文賢路720

North

Neihu

內湖店

B1, No. 23, Hsin Hu 3rd Road, Nei Hu District, Taipei City 11494

11494台北市內湖區新湖三路23 B1 F

02-8791-5678

North

Pingjen

平鎮店

No. 261, Sec 2, Huan Nan Road., Ping Jen City, Taoyuan County 32443

32443桃園縣平鎮市環南路261

03-428-7111

North

Shihlin

士林店

No. 258, Ji Ho Road, Shih Lin District, Taipei City 11163

11163台北市士林區基河路258

02-2889-1000

Central

Changhwa

彰化店

No. 49, Sec. 2, Chang Mei Road, Ho Mei Town, Chang Hwa County 50854

50854彰化縣和美鎮彰美路二段49

04-736-9999

Central

Beituen

北屯店

No. 407-1, Bei Tuen Road, Taichung City 40654

40654 中市北屯區北屯路4071

04-2247-1000

Central

Yuanlin

員林店

No. 399, Sec. 2, Chung Shan Road, Yuan Lin, Chang Hwa County 51049

51049彰化縣員林鎮中山路399

04-835-1234

South

Fengshan

鳳山店

No. 99, Ruei Lung East Road, Feng Shan City, Kaohsiung County 83073

83073高雄縣鳳山市瑞隆東路99

07-766-9000

South

Jender

仁德店

No. 799, Chung Shan Road, Jender Village, Tainan County 71742

71742台南縣仁德鄉中山路799

06-249-2888

North

Tuchen

土城店

2F, No. 152, Chin Yuen Road, Tu Chen City, Taipei County 23653

23653台北縣土城市青雲路1522F

02-8262-6000

North

Hsinchu

新竹店

No.469, Sec. 2, Gong Dao 5th Rd., Hsinchu City 30069

30069新竹市公道五路二段4692

03-575-1234

North

Chungho

中和店

3F-4F, No. 291, Sec. 2, Chung Shan Road, Chung Ho City, Taipei County 23558

23558台北縣中和市中山路二段2913~4F

02-2240-1888

South

Pingtung

屏東店

No.2-27, Min Sheng Road, Pingtung City, Pingtung County 90049

90049屏東市民生路2-27

07-721-6000

North

Hsindien

新店店

4F, No.1, Zhong Xing Rd., Sec. 3, Xin Dien City, Taipei County 23144

23144台北縣新店市中興路三段14F

02-2910-9988

South

Zuoying

左營店

2F, No 948-1, Min Zu 1st Rd, Zuo Ying District, Kaohsiung City 81362

81362高雄市左營區民族一路948-12

07-310-4000

North

Lodong

羅東店

No. 6, Ming Sheng Road, Lo-Dong Town, I Lan County 26547

26547宜蘭縣羅東鎮民生路63F

03-955-2000

Please find the store map via website: http://www.bnq.com.tw/where/where.jsp

IKEA


IKEA is located in the Asiaworld Plaza on the north-east corner of Dunhua N. Rd. and Nanjing E. Rd. (敦化北路南京東路口). Delivery is also available through Ikea. In case you have been living in a cave IKEA sells semi-disposable furniture and kitchenware.

There is another IKEA branch in Xinzhuang City, Taipei County. It is on the riverside just across the Dahan Bridge from Banqiao. The cafeteria here is very nice with a view of the river.

Grocery Stores and Supermarkets

All Hypermarkets such as Carrefour and RT Mart have a grocery section. In general these are the best balance between convenience and finding what you want.

Wellcome Supermarkets are found throughout Taipei, and will have certain staples but the selection is not impressive. The exception is the branch at the Miramar in Neihu. This branch has more imports and a better selection in general.

There are some specialty grocery stores. Most well known is Jason's Market with a branch in the basement of the Taipei 101 shopping center. They have another branch in Tianmu in the basement of Dayeh Takashimaya Dept. Store, Zhongcheng Rd., Sec. 2, No. 55 忠誠路二55. They have probably the best selection of hard to find western food items. Needless to say, some of their products are expensive. They also have a decent selection of wine and beer.

There is a small specialty grocery store in Zhonghe.

Another specialty grocery store is the City Super located on Dunhua S. Rd. near the Fareastern Plaza Hotel. Details pending.

3C Computers & Appliances

3C 燦坤 (càn kūn)

This chain sells computers and consumer appliances. They are found throughout Taipei and can be distinguished by their yellow sign with black lettering.

Their website is in Chinese only: http://www.tkec.com.tw

Grocery Store in Zhonghe


There are probably places in Taipei City where you can find specialty foods, but if you live in Yonghe or Zhonghe then this will be an option for you. Near the Yongan Market MRT and the Zhonghe park there is a small grocery store selling specialty items including spices, liquors, and Mexican ingredients such as tortillas, sour cream, salsa, and jalapeno peppers. Some items have clearly come from Costco but there are other items you will not find elsewhere.

中和市 宜安路118巷14號
Zhonghe City, Yi-an Rd, Lane 118, No. 14
Zhōng hé Shì, Yí-ān Lù, 118 Xiàng, 14 Hào

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shilin Night Market

Located in northern Taipei with easy access from the MRT. Take the Danshui-Red line to Jiantan Station.

The Shilin Night Market is one of the bigger night markets in Taipei, It will have a lot more selection and variety but it is often extremely crowded.

See also: Wikipedia

Linjiang Night Market

This night market is on Linjiang Street (臨江街 Línjiāng Jiē) which connects with Keelung Rd. near the Keelung Rd. / Guangfu S. Rd. intersection. It is not the biggest night market, but has everything you expect to find at one.

TGIFridays

One of Taiwan's international chains for western comfort food. You know what to expect, but that's the idea.

The official site for Taiwan (in Chinese only)

They have several locations in Taipei county as well as locations in Taichung (Taizhong) and Hsinchu (Xinzhu).

Taipei City Branches:

Dunhua Branch
Dunhua N. Rd, No. 150
台北市敦化北路 150 號
營業時間:週日至週四 11:30 ~ 24:00 (Sunday through Thursday)
週五至週六 11:30 ~ 01:00 (Friday and Saturday)
See Map

Zhongxiao Branch
Zhongxiao E. Rd. Sec. 4, Lane 49, No. 2
台北市忠孝東路四段 49 巷 2 號
營業時間:週日至週四 11:30 ~ 24:00 (Sunday through Thursday)
週五至週六 11:30 ~ 01:00 (Friday and Saturday)

World Trade Branch
Keelung (Jileng) Rd, Sec. 2, No. 7
台北市基隆路二段 7 號
open from 11:30 until 24:00 daily

Chung Ching Branch

台北市重慶南路一段 94 號
open from 11:30 until 23:30 daily

Ximen Branch

台北市武昌街二段 72 號 2 樓
open from 11:30 until 24:00 daily

Miramar Branch
台北市敬業三路22號2樓 (美麗華百樂園購物中心2F)
open from 11:00 until 24:00 daily

Yong Chun Branch
Zhongxiao E. Rd. Sec. 5, No. 297, 2F
台北市忠孝東路 5 段 297 號 2 樓
open from 11:30 to 23:30 daily

Monday, April 02, 2007

Grandma Nitti's Kitchen

Grandma Nitti's tastes so shitty. This place is a trap for Shi Da students who don't want to wander to far off the campus. The food was not that good and was expensive by local standards. I would have been better off at one of the local breakfast shops.

Grandma Nitti's Kitchen is located on Shi-Da Road, Lane 93, #8. The telephone number is 2369-9751-2. They are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm.

see also: http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=4382

Night Markets

Night markets are a great place to try some of the truly local dishes. You can pick up cheap clothes, DVDs, and just about anything else.

Here are just a few of the night markets you can find in Taipei:

Hwahsi Night Market (Snake Alley)

Linjiang Night Market
South of Xinyi Rd on Keelung Rd. near the Guangfu South Rd. intersection.

Shilin Night Market
North Taipei with easy access to the MRT.

Ximen Night Market