The Taiwan trip was the first of my four-nation journey and in the early hours of my fourth day I was scheduled to fly out to Singapore. To avoid struggling with the luggage in the wee hours of the day, I had planned to check out of the Marriott Hotel and move to Taipei Novotel, which is located very close to the airport, at the end of Day 03.
Being an Elite member of the Marriott Group, I requested the Marriott to give me a late check out and they willingly obliged.
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Shopping Near Ximen During Taiwan Trip
So, on my last day in Taipei I decided to tick off some of the stuff on my bucket list and I started that process by first doing some shopping in the morning. I took the MRT the Ximen station and within walking distance of this station is an area full of small shops, mostly tucked into small alleys, and selling everything from clothing to souvenirs.
Unfortunately, I could not get one of the items I was looking for – a replica of the Taipei 101 Tower. Apparently, one can buy that only from the souvenir shop or shops located inside the Tower. Check my review of Taipei 101 Tower trip on Day 2 of 3.
Still, I got some tea and other interesting items, such as very stylish lanterns and even some fancy looking fidget spinners.
Heading for Bubble Tea
After the shopping spree, I wanted to taste a Taiwanese gift to the world: The bubble tea. I love bubble tea, also called pearl milk tea. So, who wouldn’t taste a bubble tea during a Taiwan trip?
There are at least two stories related to the origins of the bubble tea. One of them is that of Chun Shui Tang. This place was opened by Liu Han-Chieh who, as the story goes, got the idea of bubble tea after watching coffee being served cold during a visit to Japan in the eighties.
The competing origins story comes from the Hanlin’s Tea Room in Tainan which claims its founder Tu Tsong-he created the first bubble tea in 1986 after being inspired by the white tapioca balls he saw in the local market.
Both companies have many branches across the world.
The Chun Shui Tang Bubble Tea Experience
Fortunately for me, there was a Chun Shui Tang branch close-by, at the Taipei Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store building and I walked there. They also served food but my main focus was to taste the famous pearl milk tea.
Chun Shui Tang certainly deserves the reputation they have. The ingredients were fresh and while it is not a refreshing drink in the traditional sense because any drink of this nature tends to be on the heavy-on-the-tummy side, it did sate my hunger for a fantastic tasting bubble tea.
After this exquisite experience, it was time for another massage. This time I went to the 6 Villa Spa, in the Songshan District, near the Nanjing Sanmin MRT station.
I went for the 65-minute foot & shoulder massage package costing 1200 New Taiwan dollars.
This place was a massive operation. First, they took me to a section on the ground floor where, after being seated comfortably, they asked me to put my feet in in a bucket filled with what looked like dirt water but comprised some herbal mixture.
Later, I moved to the first floor where I slid down in a comfortable bed with a mini-TV stand for a foot and shoulder massage. The massage was just right to end my three day, not-so stressful trip to Taipei.
And then it was time for a light dinner and then back to the hotel to leave for the airport hotel.
The three days were too short to enjoy the country. I hope to be able to come again.
Here is a video of my Day 3 trip to Taiwan