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Taiwan Travelogue Day 2: Addiction Aquatic Development in Taipei

Being the foodie that I am, I researched pretty extensively on the topic before my actual trip to Taiwan. I can't settle for random "oh I'm too hungry let's just eat here" stalls anymore ever since a disaster in Hong Kong. Anyway, coming up tops from many many websites was this funny named hideout - Addiction Aquatic Development (AAD).

Just the size of these makes you want to lick your fingers already.

Alright alright here's how the entrance looks like. 

Like what is up with its name?? Are you developing people to get addicted to aquatic food? Haha. Jokes aside, the Addiction Aquatic Development is a must see for tourists. It's a clean and eye opening experience to check out the wide variety of seafood. I need to emphasize that this is SO CLEAN!!! People are usually turned off by wet markets but this was air-conditioned, dry floors kinda comfort, enabling you to appreciate it much better. There's also a huuuuge sushi and sashimi area that's amazingly fresh which you can grab off the counter, pay, and devour at the tables outside.

They're worth it.

I wasn't feeling well even before I went to Taiwan due to some gastric flu problems, but I did not want to give up the chance to eat delicious sushi so we went ahead and got a number to try the famed sushi restaurant in the middle of the market. It's a bit troublesome to get to so just grab a cab. So cheap anyways.

It's just amazing to stare at them

The first segment would be all the live seafood waiting for you to grab into a basket and bring them home. Of course if you're there on holiday and you're living in a hotel... run along to the next segment where there's food to be had on the spot! 

This stall had a long queue but I'm not interested in cooked food very much. This is like Taiwan's version of 'caifan' hahah.

This seafood joint is not for those who like to keep their hands clean. Pick your poison and sit by the bar as you peel off that juicy meat off your crab or lobster, completely fresh and perfectly marinated.

Then there's the sushi section.

Rows and rows of affordable sushi that taste as good as they look!! Don't believe me when I say it's affordable?? Check this out. 

Tuna sashimi. At approx $28 sgd for this lot.

Japan grade salmon sashimi at approx $17

After you pass the takeaway sushi area, there's a sushi restaurant where a ton of people are waiting at. Since there were a bunch of people, we decided to give it a try. However we were told that it was going to be a looong wait (think 50 numbers in front of us or something) So we couldn't resist and ordered some while waiting for our turn at the sushi restaurant. There's quite a few areas to eat your packed stuff outside the AAD.

Yellowtaillll. Damn fresh cannot take it wanted to eat everything.

PSST! If you intend to eat there, I'd suggest you run past all the crabs/lobsters/sushi etc and grab a number to the sushi place, THEN turn around and slowly appreciate everything from the beginning. We had to wait 1h. No joke.

When it was FINALLY our turn, we took a look at the menu. Wah really quite ex. We were quite full by this time (no thanks to the earlier sushi) so we ordered the set.

Verdict? Don't waste your time. Buying off the counter is the same quality as the one in the sushi restaurant as they were all caught fresh the same day! The chefs aren't as skilled as the Japanese who put in extra effort in the seaweed, rice, and sauce, so it's better you save your time (and stomachs) and load up on the takeaway food.

Sharing some of the other pictures I took that day.

Ramen egg! Shiok!

Some of the shops don't have seats at all to save space!

Uni, anyone?

When we were done eating, we went next door to check out the fish market but it wasn't interesting =\ You're better off skipping this.

There are some other restaurants outside but they were yakitori places. Why come all the way here for yakitori!? Maybe you could check it out and let me know though.

Will I come back again? Definitely YES. However my trip was too time packed and we didn't have time to travel to this a little out of the way find. There is nothing to do around it.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

Taiwan Travelogue: Day 1: NingXia Night Market

After a quick shower and freshen up at H132 Hostel, (you can read my review about it here), we took a nice 20min or so stroll towards Ning Xia Night market. It's not a very big market, it's about the length of one streeth, and you can easily finish walking it in half an hour or so, but why would you want to do that?? The whole point of a night market is to stuff yourself silly, and that's what we did.

You know you've reached when you've seen this. 

This is how small the lane is and yet there are annoying motorists that drive INTO the market, not giving a shit about your safety, and you're supposed to jump out of the way when you hear the engine -_- am so annoyed seriously. That's Taiwan for you!

When you first walk in, there are a bunch of game stalls that I didn't try. Did watch people playing some though!

Kids playing, our local night markets should have more games like these!

There's this stall where people pick our mahjong tiles to match the ones on the table. I don't really get the whole point of the game, especially for kids but I think they are getting training to learn how to "feel" the tiles, at a young age. Lol.

Prawn and fish catching! They don't cook the prawns for you immediately after, so you have to bring them home and cook your prize yourself, unlike in spoilt Singapore.

Ning Xia market isn't as touristy as the other markets due to its sheer size, but it's where you get lots of locals pigging out on a hot, sweaty evening. And you know, I'll go wherever the locals go :p

Ai-yu jelly was everywhere! You've got to try them when you're in Taiwan :)

I randomly joined the queues to snack on some grub before I had a proper meal!

This stall had a REALLY long queue which I couldn't afford the time to try :( If you're at Ning Xia and you spot this, be sure to grab one and let me know how it is!!

There are shops along the streets (with aircon) which we decided to try for our dinner.

I was kinda craving beef noodles because... well it's Taiwan, and so we walked into this popular beef noodle joint. I am a HUGE fan of beef plus beef tendon, so this is my bowl of soup. It was only about SGD$4 but seriously I could not finish it. The remainder of the trip we took note to share 2 to a bowl of beef noodles, but our greedy selves kept forgetting.

Was sooooooo full after that!! It's easy to gain weight in Taiwan, sigh.

Here's the beef noodle stall I ate at! It's really good and their noodles are handmade. There are seats at the basement with aircon too (it really was too hot in Taiwan, especially at the night market)

The next morning, I snooped around H132 Hostel for a bit before we checked out. For a more detailed review, check out this post.

On the top floor of H132 hostel, there is a nice chill out area where friends and mingle, have a smoke, their laundry.

Laundry is coin operated here, but I didn't check the prices.

There's also a secret room which I was tempted to check out but it looked dirty so I didn't. Lol.

It's really spacious and neat, I really would recommend staying in H132 hostel again.

However, I had to check out as I made reservations at a swanky new hotel downtown, which I will be blogging about soon. Stay tuned! 

Taiwan Travelogue: Day 1, H132 Hostel Review

Finally managed to get a proper breather and we decided to head to Taiwan! It was a country I had never been to, and had only heard about its amazing food and beautiful scenery. Was it just a myth or were all the raves about Taiwan true? Only one way to find out :P

We flew Tiger Airlines as there was a flight at 11am ish which landed in Taipei on a Saturday around 2pm? That was perfect because we could sleep in yet reach in time for the night markets! We landed at Taoyuan international airport, and grabbed an express bus into the city which dropped us off at Taiwan Main Station, where our first accommodation was at. Was reminiscing a bit when Roommates (korean variety show) went to Taipei! It's really cheap to take a bus out (around SGD$6) and it comes at frequent intervals (15-20mins), plus takes about the same time to get to the city centre, so you can consider it over taking a cab. For more information on transport out of Taoyuan Airport, check this website.

Our plan for the day was to check into our hostel, freshen up a bit, head to the night markets, head back to the hostel to shower, then partyyyy! We kind of followed that plan, well, continue reading about that and you'll find out what happened.

We stayed at H132 Hostel the first night as hotels we wanted to stay at were all fully booked, and this 5 rating hostel opening suddenly came up, so we thought, why not? This was the first hostel I had ever stayed in, in my entire life, and I thoroughly scanned through the reviews before deciding to go for it. All comments was that it was clean, and the only complaint was that it was a little tough to locate because their entrance was a little obscure.

They were right. I completely walked past this the first time and had to walk backwards a bit because the numbers jumped lol. The hostel is on the second floor, so you have to be prepared to carry your luggage up! My room was on the 4th floor so you can imagine me lugging it up for 4 levels... This place is a short walk from Taipei main station, which makes it very convenient to get around!

The reception on the second floor. One thing I really really liked about this hotel was how friendly the staff were and how homely the whole atmosphere felt! We later bumped into this lady while she was going home from her shift and she still greeted us happily, even giving us suggestions on where to go! 

The room was very basic, a bed, a small table, a tv, a small window, a clean toilet and shower, which is basically everything we needed. The room had enough space for me to open my huge check-in sized luggage. The toilet also smelt like disinfectant, and there were no traces of any insects around. Love how the place looks really modern and new, which is always a plus!

One of the only qualms was that the pillow was reaaally soft, which took a while to get used to. There were english channels on the TV for nights when we were bored!

We paid more for a private, en-suite bathroom because I don't really like communal toilets and sharing dorms with strangers after my experiences in NTU. Here's a picture of our simple and clean toilet. Shampoo, conditioner and body wash are provided in the form of sachets, which were pretty decent though they ran out really fast. Water was hot and the power of the shower head was pretty good. Towels are provided at no additional charge!

Cute house rules haha. Free Wifi yay!

The communal toilets are on the 3rd floor, which I snapped a picture of just in case any of you were interested! There are two showers! If I remembered correctly, they're unisex.

Back to the second floor, there is a chill out area for people to mingle, talk or just plan their day's activities. Love the colour scheme which injected fresh liveliness in the place!

The other side of the relaxing area. While we were there, we saw many guests from different countries like Korea, China and Hong Kong!

The second floor also comes with a kitchen where you can get complimentary breakfast made up of bread and some fruits. Their tap also supplies hot water for your coffee or tea!! The only thing that ticked me off was that some guests did not wash up after themselves, or that they washed up in a disgusting manner. What do I mean by disgusting? Well, let's just say that they basically scooped everything off their plate into the sink and thus clogging it with butter/strawberry etc. It was NOT a pleasant sight. Kudos to the staff there who cleaned it up though!! This is a hostel, and the staff aren't your personal maids geez.

Everyone removes their footwear once they step into the hostel! Was a little worried for my shoes hahah.

Overall, it was a really comfortable stay and I would highly recommend H132 as a great, value-for-money location to stay at in Taipei. This review was not sponsored and neither did H132 engage me to write for them. Directions were provided to us once we made our booking via 

H132 Hostel

2F., 132, Section 1, Zhongshan North Road
Zhongshan District

Thanks for reading! Keep checking back to find out more adventures!

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