Monday, April 13, 2015

Taipei Diaries: Miniatures Museum of Taiwan

Not all who wander are lost. But not us. Over dark skies that loom to pour rain any moment, we were lost in the city of Taipei. This was Day 5 of our vacation. And by this time, we were already pretty confident in our commuting skills. After two station misses, I braved an inquiry with the local information office. 

It seemed that looking for the Taipei Miniature Museum is going to be really interesting. We were getting contrasting directions and locations. And yes, train stops. We've walked blocks and blocks in the inner city streets looking for the museum but instead we saw art galleries, urban gardens and quaint cafes that are apparently the hangout of local yuppies. 

Everyone was so helpful; it was overwhelming. Just when we thought we were at our destination already, we got back right to where our starting point was. It was crazy, tiring, and the hubby and I were already short on patience. I was ready to give up. But we collectively decided to give it one more try. So, we went back to the train station and double-checked the directional signages. That's the beauty of Taipei-- it's super tourist friendly. Tourist spots are marked and have directional signs for tourists to find them easily. Well, apparently except for the miniature museum. We just couldn't find it. 

Tired and cranky, I gave one more push and asked a group of office girls if they've heard of the miniature museum. One of those I inquired from showed me the most beautiful smile in the world and told me that it's just one building away from where we were. Boy, was I relieved. It better be worth it. 

Well, what do we know, the signage is miniature, too! We were looking up at the skyscrapers looking for it when we should have looked down!

Its location? The basement.

The museum is tiny in comparison to the museums in Taipei. But the treasure you'll find here is just short of amazing. Here are some of our finds here. 

The attention to details and the scale of the collection is awe-inspiring. My camera wasn't able to capture the beauty and elaborateness of each frame but being there, seeing everything was enough to compensate the street adventure we had to endure. 

The experience left me breathless with each breathtaking frame we saw as we walked through the museum. Awesome. Just awesome. 

The Miniautes Museum of Taiwan is the first museum to collect miniatures in Asia, gathering artworks from around the world. 

The Miniatures Museum of Taiwan 
AddressNo. 96, Section 1, Jianguo North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104 Phone+886 2 2515 0583

For directions, click here



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Taipei Diaries: Taipei Eats

A trip to Taipei is not complete without food. To me, it is a gastronomic heaven that is feast of the senses and your belly. 

Here are my personal choices. 

Din Tai Fung. Xiao Long Bao is almost synonymous to Din Tai Fung. This 1-Michelin Star restaurant originated in Taipei and is now all over Asia. Even heard it's coming very soon to Manila. 

The open kitchen shows the assembly of its crew preparing with precision each piece of Xiao Long Bao. Very strict quality control-- everything is measured and weighed!

I am in awe of this restaurant because they take customer service very seriously. The wait staff who takes your order is not allowed to handle the food from the kitchen. Only the kitchen staff carries it and when s/he arrives at your table, the wait staff places each order with care. 

Any time of the day, there is a long queue at Din Tai Fung. Interestingly even locals line up to eat here. 
After being seated, the wait staff will provide this bag stand.
The xiao long bao is so good we were at Din Tai Fung almost everyday. 

 Apparently, there is a proper way of eating it. 

These beans are super yum!

My all-time fave: chao fan

Next would be the night markets. First stop, Shilin Night Market. This is a crazy market place with underground food court. You will never go hungry here.

Smells like hell.
The famouse hot star that already found its way here in Manila. 

We traveled in a winding coastal road to get to the Keelung Night Market. And it did not disappoint. 
This is the kind of crows you have to brave to get inside the market.


And then there's a throwback to toilet humor. Definitely, not for the faint of heart. 

by the entrance of Modern Toilet
Make sure you wash your hands-- here.
Dining set: tub for a table, toilet bowl for dining chair.

Food served on a miniature toilet.
Sip your soda from a urinal!

Bon Appetit!