No Jokes, the BEST Pineapple Cakes I’ve ever tried! Hidden Bakery in Taipei

Travel Taiwan Pan's Cake Taipei 比吃台北小潘蛋糕坊

Eat what the locals eat!

Today I want to introduce you to this super small bakery in the alley way of New Taipei City called Xiaopan Bakery (小潘蛋糕坊). It is not close to any train station, and it doesn’t have any fancy decoration, the pastry they sell looks very ordinary, BUT, the taste is unforgettable! Not to mention, they  have won so many awards over the years!

Travel Taiwan Pan's Cake Taipei 比吃台北小潘蛋糕坊

I was introduced to this store by a local friend in Taipei, he told me that he’s going to take me to a very famous local bakery to buy the traditional Pineapple Cake. He also said that, once I took a bite into this little piece of cake, I would not want to try any other brands’. I was a bit skeptical at first, because to me, all the pineapple cakes which I have tried previously all tasted pretty much the same.

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A One Stop Shopping Destination for MIT Products – Maji Food & Deli

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場

Buying souvenirs is never an easy task!

When you travel overseas, it’s always a difficult task to think of what to bring back for your friends and families You would want to bring back something that is within your budget, and can symbolize that place.

Upon my last visit in Taipei, I discovered this gourmet supermarket inside the Maji Square Market (Link), and not only do they sell everyday grocery, but they also sell lots of MIT (Made In Taiwan) products, which are great for gifts and souvenirs!

Entrance of the Supermarket

The Maji Food & Deli is located on the right hand side when you walk into the Maji Market. It’s one that you would not miss! I would suggest you to take a walk in the supermarket first before heading to the restaurants further inside the market, as the supermarket closes earlier.

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場

Interior of the Supermarket

The supermarket is quite spacious, and there are ample spaces between the shelves, which made it very easy to walk around even with the shopping cart. It is separated into different sections, such as dry products, the deli, frozen goods, wines etc.

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Food Deli Supermarket 神農市場
Maji Supermarket has their own branded ice-cream made from fresh Taiwan fruits and dairy

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A Playground in The Heart of Taipei for KIDULTS – Your Perfect Weekend Place

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集>

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集

During my weekend escape to Taipei, my local Taiwanese friend took me to a market in the Yuanshan area called the “Maji Maji Square”. I have to say, as a Hong Konger, I know Taipei pretty well, but to my surprise, this market that my friend took me to, I haven’t even heard of it before, and it’s been there since the end of 2013. Better yet, this place is like a playground for adults!

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集

A little bit of the background information about the area, Yuanshan is home to a popular children’s theme park, and has been very popular with parents bringing their kids for a family day. With the opening of “Maji Maji Square” (By the way, “Maji” means buddies/good friends in Taiwanese), adults now have a place to spend a few happy hours too. Located in the Taipei Expo Park’s Yuanshan Park Area (this was one of the exhibition ground for the World Flower Expo a couple of years ago), the square is designed as a fun and causal gathering spot for friends – an adult version of a children’s playground! The square is like a mix of a flea market and shopping complex, a place filled with culture, music, food, and agricultural products!

Travel Taiwan Taipei Maji Weekend Market 台北集食行樂 創意市集
Entrance to the Maji Market

“Maji Maji Square” is about a close 5 minutes walk from the Yuanshan MRT station, and upon entering the market, visitors immediately notice the slow pace and laid back, casual foreign-style atmosphere.  The market uses a variety of recycled materials, using wooden pallets for the walls of restaurants, old cargo containers to house small eateries, and discarded military tents and iron frames to create sunshades and display racks. The design is eco-friendly yet still chic and stylish. Adjacent to the market is a carousel, adding to the atmosphere of youthful play.

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A Budget Stay in the Heart of Taipei – A Minimalist Boutique Hotel

Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介
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Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介

The last post I have wrote about hotel stay in Taipei was a review of a 5 stare hotel (Palais de Chine Hotel). That hotel was a great stay, everything was perfect! Except… the price was still towards the higher end, and may not be my first choice when I want to go on a budget trip to Taipei…

I was staying over in Taipei for 2 nights before heading back to Hong Kong from a business trip in Japan. As this Taipei trip was only intended to be a lay over, so I want keep everything at a budget. I also want to stay in a location where a lot of actions take place, whether it’s food, drinks, or other form of entertainment… after doing some research, I have narrow down to hotel stays in the Ximending area (西門町).

Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介

A little background of Ximending – it is often being referred as the Harajuku/Shibuya of Taipei! It is the source of Taiwan’s fashion , subculture and Japanese culture; an area full of little boutiques, clubs and pubs, tattoo salons, local food stores and hawkers. Ximending was also the first pedestrian zone in the whole of Taiwan! This is an area highly recommended to those who wants to experience a bit of the local life here in Taipei.This area gets extremely lively at night time with all the food hawkers, just look at the video below and you will see!

So, this boutique hotel is at the edge of Ximending, and is only a short 10 minutes walk from the closest Metro Station. The name of the hotel is Art’otel, and is on the 5th floor of a semi-commercial building. Even though it is inside a building, they have big signage with the name of the hotel, so you won’t miss it.

Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介

The hotel was opened in February 2015, and has a total of 30 rooms. There are a few different types of rooms available, with the most basic room being the superior room with no window, and the price is around USD$60/night for 2 people. A good thing about this hotel is although there are only 30 rooms, but they also offer family room for a maximum of 4 people (around USD$85/room), which is a great choice whether you are travelling with your family, or with a group of friends.

The decoration of the hotel and the rooms are very minimal yet with great details. The corridor tends to be a bit dark with very dim lighting. However, once you enter into the room, it’s completely the opposite – white is the main colour for all the rooms, with wooden furniture and black steel frames.

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WHERE to STAY in Taipei- Classy Hotel right next to Taipei Station

Classy Hotel above Taipei Station Palais de Chine Travel Cover

Guest first, no matter when or where!
This is the motto of the Palais de Chine hotel in Taipei.

Palais de Chine hotel is one of my favourite hotel in Taipei. (My other favorite is the W Taipei, but I’m sure there are already lots and lots of people that talked about it, so I have decided to write about this one instead)

Classy Hotel above Taipei Station Palais de Chine Travel 09
The main entrance of the hotel with a big sign you simply cannot miss!

Situated right above Q-Square shopping center, this hotel is basically next to the Taipei Railway Main station, and sits at the hub of five transport avenue – Taipei Bus Terminal, Taiwan Railway, Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Taoyuan International Airport MRT (opening in 2017)! So it doesn’t matter whether you are coming from the airport, or other cities in Taiwan; whether you come with just a backpack, or a huge luggage,  the location of this hotel makes it very convenient.

Staying in this hotel is really like a home away from home, as the staffs are very friendly and helpful, and they will assist you with all they can. Upon check-in, they will greet you with a big smile, and explain to you all the facilities in this hotel. The staffs at the concierge will happily give you suggestions on where to go, what to eat, what’s there to see etc. This is especially useful for visitors who can’t speak Chinese, or those who came to visit Taipei for the first time.

Classy Hotel above Taipei Station Palais de Chine Travel 04
Lobby
Classy Hotel above Taipei Station Palais de Chine Travel 05
Lift Lobby
Classy Hotel above Taipei Station Palais de Chine Travel 08
At check-in

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