Day 10: Starbucks Taipei 101 and Shilin Night Market

A Visit to the Highest Starbucks in the World

We’re going to explore a few places today, the last leg of our itinerary already. And this morning, we are going to the highest Starbucks Coffee joint in the world! I’ve been here the last round with my bff @instantliam. So this time, I’ll be bringing my piglet with me. This place is so “hot” you’ve got to make a reservation to come up here. Yesterday we called them and retried for a million times before getting through. Thankfully we got a reservation.

We arrived early, as kiasu runs in our blood. While waiting for our time, we explored the mall and took pictures of the iconic Taipei 101. Once again with the help of our selfie stick, sticking Minmin’s phone out of the overhead bridge.

Anyway we were ushered up to Starbucks at level 35. Some bugger took up 4 seats so I got him to move so we could get the window seat. The view is just amazing, and we had our light breakfast of cakes and coffee. All these, while enjoying the view from the top. Nothing beats having a drink at Starbucks, while feeling on top of the world.

Addiction Aquatic Development 上引水產

And so we found this hipster place that sells seafood. It’s pretty much a Japanese concept, where you pick your live/fresh seafood and you’ll get them grilled or prepared on the spot. We had a hard time looking for this place though because it was situated in the middle of nowhere.

Addiction Aquatic Development Map
Map in Addiction Aquatic Development

So when you enter the area, it is the aquarium section. Here you’d see tanks of live shellfish and sea creatures. Some of these king crabs are larger than my face! It then leads onto the supermarket section. Honestly, most of the guests here are tourists. Doubt anyone actually stops by at the supermarket section. Besides, what do you do with a bunch of fresh broccoli? So yeah the supermarket section ain’t for us, probably ain’t for most.

Last but not least, our favorite section is here. The cooked gourmet section and the sushi bars area. There are really lots of food for us to choose from. There was tempura, fresh crabs, oysters, sushi, ramen, all those you’d find in a Japanese food street. Everything looks tempting but realistically we can’t have everything.

I did some quick math. Most of these items, in comparison to the seafood prices in Japan (I’m talking Kani Douraku), don’t make economic sense. It’s really alot more pricey over here. We ordered a seafood platter to share. It didn’t disappoint, but we’ve had greener grass in Japan. So in conclusion this place is really just a sub-standard version of its Japanese counterparts.

Seafood at Addiction Aquatic Development

Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf 淡水漁人碼頭

The Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most visited places of Taipei. Nobody comes on a holiday to Taipei without visiting this area, just like how everyone would surely eat ramen on a trip to Japan. We took the train to Tamsui station and within a short walking distance, we arrived at Tamsui Old Street.

It was a street lined with lots of shops, carnival games (albeit dated), cafes and restaurants. We wanted to go to the Fisherman’s Wharf, and it’s not possible for us to walk there from Tamsui Old Street. Therefore we rented an e-bike once again! We rode the to Fisherman’s Wharf first because it was nearing sunset and we didn’t want to miss it.

The Fisherman’s Wharf is home to the iconic Lover’s Bridge. Since its inception, it has been a popular place for for its beautiful sunsets, and that humongous heart shaped structure. As such, basically the place was flooded with tourists. It took us quite a while to finally find an opportunity (and the right passerby) to take a clear shot!

Tamsui Old Street 淡水老街

We didn’t stay till sunset cos I’d reckon the roads would be hard to travel after dark. On the way we stopped for random photos though. There wasn’t much to do here except to pop into random souvenir stalls. We got too spoiled because of the scooter, and became very lazy to walk on foot to explore the place.

Honestly wasn’t very interested in anything much, except food. One of the most popular dishes around the area was Ah Gei Bean Curd. It seems that it was due to the Japanese influence in the past, where agedashi tofu was first brought in. Clearly the Taiwanese couldn’t pronounce properly, and hence Ah Gei. It was a different style of course, but a unique taste nevertheless.

Shilin Night Market 士林夜市

Here we are, at our last night market visit for this trip. Honestly, we’ve had an overdose of night markets. So much that it didn’t feel exciting already. But still, we needed to satisfy our stomachs. I brought us to some sizzling hotplate steak shop that I used to eat with my buddy almost 20 years ago. Back then, Shilin wasn’t renovated yet and was still not air-conditioned. Fast forward 20 years, this food still exists, and still looks equally unappetizing. As disgusting as it may seem, it was one of the best dish we’ve ever eaten. And it only costs NT160, roughly SGD7.

We got so full from our dinner but we found something different from other markets – Champion Cake 状元糕. Thought we felt like champions after conquering so many night markets so we tried it. Didn’t disappoint, but it just felt like an enlarged version of Singapore’s Tutu Kueh.

And before we leave Taiwan for good, we took a last gulp of bubble tea. Choice for the night was Tiger Sugar. Nobody drinks this shit in Taiwan, there was virtually no queue at the stall. Cannot imagine why would anyone queue more than 10 minutes for this back at home.

Oh and tomorrow we made a date with my buddy’s mama. She’s always been telling me to visit her if we go to Taiwan. We didn’t wanna go empty handed, yet we didn’t know what to get. Thus we went back to Ximending and found a caricature artist to draw a portrait of her and his little girl.

Back to our apartment to pack our luggage. The sad unfortunate reality has to kick in soon. It was a fulfiling day nonetheless, as we’ve visited the highest Starbucks in the world!