Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 3] – Ximending


Oh, Ximending! If there’s Harajuku in Japan, or Myeongdong/Hongdae in Seoul, or the night markets in Tsim Sha Tsui/Mongkok in Hong Kong, there’s Ximending in Taipei.

In the early years, Ximending was a cinema district. I actually looked it up in Wikipedia which is why when I was just creating my itinerary, I included a walking tour of Ximending which will run through the Cinema Street. However, due to lack of time, I was not able to follow that but then it gives me  another good reason to re-visit Taipei.

When the central government of the Republic of China was reinstated, Ximending developed from a cinema center into a busy recreation and shopping area. For a time, Ximending was the largest business and entertainment center in Taiwan. Later on, these activities shifted to the East District but with the completion of the subway line for the Ximen station, people began coming back to Ximending for art, culture, and sports.

And as it stands now, as I said above, it’s a popular tourist destination similar to Harajuku or Meyongdong. Hence, the moderate to high hotel accommodation rates as compared with those in the other districts in Taipei.

More Ximending photos follow.

Ximending at night
Ximending in the morning
Ximen Red House or the Red House Theater, an old market transformed into a theater
Street food vendors don’t have fixed spots in Ximending. One day you’ll find them two blocks from your hotel. The next day, they’re operating in another block. Lesson learned: if you spot a street food vendor selling food that you would like to try, go try it already because you might not find the same vendor at the exact same spot next time.
I think Taiwanese have this strong fascination with toy crane machines. I’ve seen lots of them around.
Never leave Taiwan without trying their famous shaved ice dessert!
And when you’re in Ximending, the best one is from the Ximen Mango Shaved Ice.
One serving is huge and is good enough for two.
Okay, so everyone was raving about Ah Zhong Mee Sua. It was raining when I decided to drop by so I had a hard time looking for it the first time. It’s nearer to the Ximen station than to Amba Hotel.
The famous Ah Zhong Mee Sua with oysters and cilantro
You can choose from these three condiments to give your mee sua soup more flavor. I added a little bit of everything and it turned out nice. I had to add some more vinegar and chili because it was cold and I needed that extra kick of warmth.
Expect long lines of locals and tourists but the lines move pretty fast.
Just a few walks and across the street from Ah Zhong Mee Sua is another famous foodie stop in Ximending. It’s called Ji Guang Fried Chicken.
There are many things to buy in Ximending (especially food, shoes and sneakers!!!) but because I have this thing with grocery stores in a foreign country, my favorite in Ximending is going to be Carrefour 🙂 It’s open 24 hours and that’s where I bought my pasalubongs. Ah, typical tourist.

That wraps up my post on Ximending. Will be coming up with a post about Longshan Temple and Bopiliao Ancient Street so stay tuned, friends! 🙂


  • Kathy

    Hi Jenny! Galing naman your blog, this is so helpful 😉 By the way, with kids in tow what area would recommend in Taipei? And just for clarification, you guys didn’t pay na for the visa certification? -Kathy carandang-chua

    • Jan

      Hi Kathy! So glad you found my blog 🙂 As for the travel certificte, you’re right. We did not pay anything. It’s free. You just need to do it online and print the certificate. About kid-friendly places, I would suggest kasi Taichung. Just a 40min bullet train ride from Taipei. There’s Lavender Cottage, Flying Cow Ranch which we all loved (kahit yung adults haha), the biggest Carton King park. In Taipei naman, I would suggest Taipei Zoo, Yehliu Geopark, and Shifen Old Town where your family can fly lanterns for good luck. Actually, kasama namin si Juancho everyhere and marami din naman kids his age na kasama ng mga parents. Except sa night markets 🙂

  • Cha Austria

    Hi jenny!!! Your blog was very nice.. Its so informative.. Can i ask where to buy the cheapest pasalubongs and how much did you spent in your taiwan trip.. Thank you!!

    • Jan

      Thanks, Cha! 🙂 We spent around 25-30k per person because we covered Taichung and Taipei and we also rented a private van. That also included visa processing because a pre-approved visa was required before. For pasalubong, we always go to local supermarkets to buy snacks, coffee, and other food items that are unique to the place. In Taipei, we bought pasalubong from Carrefour in Ximending.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get not just one but THREE (3) FREE exclusive Jan Is Cooking South Korea travel guides when you subscribe!
We respect your privacy.