2014 was a year of travel for me and I couldn't be happier! It was what I wished for towards the end of 2013 and it came true fluidly just like everything else I focus my wants and attention to. Just like it says in one of my favorite books:
"when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” - Paulo Coleho, The Alchemist
This has proven true for me over and over again and I couldn't be more grateful.
For 2015, I wish for even more travel, (to further lands this time ;), a continued blessed and happy family life + cheers to more success and fulfillment!
But before that, here's a round-up of one of the best places I visited in 2014: Daan District in Taipei!
I love Daan because of its diversity and culture. It's a district that marries the old and young Taipei.
Traditional restaurants rub elbows with hip new coffee shops.
There's an endless number of malls too but my favorite feature of all are the many street level shops.
Daan is quite large but for me, the best way to really experience the place is on foot. Wear comfortable shoes and walk aimlessly once you get off the train.
The MRT has several stops located in Daan but my favorites are Taipei 101, Daan Station and ZhongXiao Donhua.
Getting off the Daan Station will find you in the heart of Yongkang. The ultimate Taiwanese foodie spot!
Here, you'll find the first ever Din Tai Fung:
and some of the best Chinese food I've ever had in tiny, obscure off the grid restaurants where everything on the menu is in Chinese. Don't worry, most have pictures so just point and order. :)
The Taipei 101 stop is where Taipei 101 is located (duh :P haha) as well as a multitude of other high-end malls. If you want to do some serious shopping, head there, it is worth a visit (will show more in a different post) but like I said my most favorite feature is the street level shops so I pretty much stuck to Yongkang and Donhua which remind me so much of Japan.
Walking around these districts remind me so much of the background scenery in all those vintage Shaider shows I used to watch in the 80s. I can imagine Annie living in one of the apartment buildings here.
I spent several days walking around here exploring the different shops and restaurants.
The youth of Taipei have a thriving cafe culture which I really enjoyed given how addicted I am to caffein :P
There's no shortage of good coffee and quaint coffee shops here.
There's also a lot of specialty stores (specifically in the Donhua area) that cater to specific sub-cultures like: punks, hip hop street wear, kawaii and most interesting of all: hard to find cafe racer accessories and paraphernalia.
There's also a lot of streetfood vendors scattered along the streets 'til the wee hours of the morning. The food they serve is just as good as those found in the night markets but without the crowds and long lines (definitely more my thing).
And if you're on the hunt for Taiwan's best Beef Noodle, it's also here. Yong-Kang Beef Noodle which is located across a school in the area. To get here, you need to walk from the MRT station and just ask around cause it's somewhere in between all the inside roads.
BUT HANDS DOWN my most ultimate favorite place in Taipei and where I chose to celebrate my birthday in is Revolution Now.
We came across it by accident while walking around Donhua on the way back to our hotel.
Like the pied piper, what led us to it was the sound of live music wafting in the air. We followed the sound and ended up here:
It's a boutique/coffee shop that serves coffee, pastries and beer. They also sell vinyl records and clothes. The people here are so nice we even made some friends during the night. :)
For those in the PI, Daan culture is very similar to that of The Collective in Malugay except much, much larger.
It's one of the coolest places I've ever visited and I certainly thing it's a must-see when you travel to Taiwain.
Read more about my trip to Taipei, Taiwan here: