Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Week in Taipei

I spent most of last week in Taipei on a business trip and loved the spring weather there; it was a refreshing change from the always-hot-&-humid Singapore. The people are warm, friendly & easily fascinated by Indians. The language barrier didn't come in the way of making some lovely new friends.

As with Singaporeans, the Taiwanese love bonding over food & conversations about food. So every conversation goes, "Let me take you to my favourite place for traditional dimsums/ traditional tea/ traditional Taiwanese barbeque....". I ate. A lot. And loved most of the food; lived through some of the food; and flatly refused to try some foods (like chicken testicles, duck heads & smelly tofus).

The Taipei 101 is, well, a very tall building. It's in the heart of the swanky new financial district of Taipei; which looks as uninteresting as Singapore's CBD. The old financial district on the other hand, has older office buildings, interspersed with old residences with balconies protected by iron grills; charming cafes; parked scooters; and has a lot more character. There's the odd Starbucks around the corner, but it serves a local menu of fragrant teas along with its regular menu.

The night markets of Taipei are quite fun. They sell absolutely everything under the sun (as long as its inexpensive) and are busy till almost 2 am in the morning. Of course, staying away from the smelly tofu stalls is recommended if you have a sense of smell & aren't chinese.

No comments: