The Xi Men Ding area is definitely the place to go for younger style clothing and mainly branded labels. Occasionally you will see some outdoor vendors wheeling in their carts full of either cheap or illegal knockoffs to the side when they are aware of a police car approaching the street. They manage to hide discreetly in the shadows by keeping a low profile. Not sure what sort of communication system they used but it was interesting to watch from the sidelines. The prices are generally reasonable ranging from wholesaler items to high end labels if you're after a particular brand.
Dinner that night was at a random steak and grill restaurant. Xi Men Ding is divided into 3-4 extended streets so it was confusing to navigate at times.
It wasn't an expensive cut of meat but the portions were massive. For $17 AUD you get a sizzling plate of meat at least 400g in size. They had a buffet area to collect your own sauces, salads and soups. There was an ice-cream station with about 4 flavours if you can fit it in later. Not a bad feed at all!
I never seen a bouquet of soft toys before! First time I've seen a Ted toy around too.
The following day wasn't exactly in Taipei but about 2 hours by train heading northbound to the mountains. I booked an overnight stay in Jiu Fen in the hope of releasing a sky lantern in Ping Xi but sadly it was pouring buckets of rain for the whole day :( oh well...maybe it's a sign to come back next time. Expect crowds of tourists mainly from Hong Kong as you try to squeeze through the old street filled with tiny food and souvenir vendors.
Crushed peanuts wrapped in a thin soft pancake and icecream were popular. Didn't get to try the tea eggs. The guy in the right photo is sanding down a block of peanuts with a small carving tool using an old traditional method.
Our lunch place: famous for fish balls but we thought it tasted average and the soup was really bland. The owner liked to place holiday photos of herself around the walls. No menus in English are available so it may mean a blind game of roulette of hopefully not gizzards.
Day and night views from our BnB: a day trip is possible with even time to visit surrounding suburbs near Jiu Fen.