Sunday, February 5, 2017

Taipei Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Double Decker Bus

Taipei’s First Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus and its Attractions

*pic credit to Kent Lee

January 18, 2017 marks the launch for the city’s first Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus. The bright red fleet of buses was inaugurated by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) along with Minster of OTC, other distinguished dignitaries and guests.

Honored to be among the first few to catch the Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus experience, it was indeed a service that will surely benefit everyone from locals to tourists who wishes to catch Taipei on the very best route in the city. The affordable service runs two routes – Red Route and Blue Route, each one allowing guests to check out Taipei’s popular sites to visit.

*pic credit to Kent Lee

Mayor Ko stated that the Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off is in tune with the city’s “Tourism ABC” objective where “A” stands for the app the bus service carries that provide tourism-related information, “B” for the double decker buses routing Taipei’s famous landmarks and attractions and finally “C” for the culture where everyone taking the bus can learn about Taipei’s culture through the downloaded audio guides that is available in Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese.

*pic credit to Kent Lee

The Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus is able to take on 57 pax in total with 47 seated in upper deck, 9 seats on the lower deck and 1 wheel chair accessible seat. It is design with space in mind and all seats are set in bright neon orange for much cheeriness.

Wheelchair accessible with ramp available for disabled so everyone can enjoy the sightseeing in Taipei.

Even the stairway leading up to the upper deck is surprisingly very spacious compared to others that I had used before in other countries.

Bus facilities include unlimited Wi-Fi internet, audio guide with app download, USB charging port on every seat, reading lights, alarm, emergency stop, CCTV, TV screens and more.

It takes almost two hours to complete either Red or Blue Route and there are currently 8 buses that runs both routes every 30 to 40 minutes.

The bus service accepts 9 payment methods which includes EasyCard, iPASS, VISA, MasterCard, JCB, China UnionPay, Alipay, WeChat Pay and cash for both online purchase (click HERE) & purchase on the bus the day itself.

Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Ticket Information
Four-hour ticket for NT$300
Day time ticket for NT$500
Night time ticket for NT$400
One Full-day ticket for NT$700
Two-day ticket for NT$1,200
*Passengers with disabilities, seniors (excluding non-nationals) and young children get a 50-percent discount on the fares above.

Here are the famous landmarks and attractions that runs on the Red Route and Blue Route. The Red Route runs from 9am to 10pm daily while the Blue Route runs from 9am to 4.20pm daily. While both may intertwined at some places, they have their own respective attractions that will certainly peak your interest either way.

RED ROUTE: Taipei Main Station - Dadaocheng

Located on the west side of Taipei near Tamsui River, Dadaocheng is one of the earliest developed neighborhoods in Taipei that is worthy of a visit with its rich history and architectures. Head towards Dadaocheng for unforgettable sights of Taipei’s heritage and culture plus lots of shopping for dried seafood, tea and more.

RED ROUTE: Taipei Main Station – Taipei North Gate

Built in 1884 by the Qing Dynasty, Taipei Prefecture Capital North Gate or Beimen (北門) is also known as Gate of Receiving Mercy or Chengen Gate (承恩門). It was the northern main gate to enter old Taipei during the era of the Qing Dynasty. The gate is located in Zhongzheng district at the intersection between Zhongxiao West road, Yanping North road and Boai Road.

RED ROUTE: MRT Ximen Station - Ximending

One simply kenot miss Ximending when visiting Taipei. It is one of the most popular tourist spot among local and tourists. Bustling with much activities, shops and eateries, Ximending is also located at the west side of Taipei. There is simply so much to see and do with the various streets of Tattoo Streets, Graffiti Wall, the Red House, Cinema Street, American Street, Eslite Department Store and more. One can easily spend a whole day strolling there to really see everything.

RED ROUTE: Xinyi & Yong Kong Intersection – QingTian 76 & Yong Kang Beef Noodle

Mentioned Xinyi Street and Yong Kang Street and you’ll get everyone raving about how the streets are filled restaurants, steamed dumplings (Original Din Tai Fung), beef noodles (Yong Kang Beef Noodle), street eats (Thanh Ky’s Pho Spring Onion Pancake), boba milk tea, mango shaved ice (Mango Snowflake Ice) and more.

Besides food, there is the QingTian 76, a residential house with Japanese architecture that is kept as a cultural preservation site today that might be a good visit. QingTian 76 now serves Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner and since it is a popular place, do make reservations if you plan to dine there.

RED ROUTE: Xinyi & Tonghua Intersection – Linjiang Street Tourist Night Market

Taiwan night markets are filled with heavenly street food and is a paradise for shoppers who seeks knick knacks of all kinds. Though the Linjiang Street Tourist Night Market we went is not as big or as famous as Shilin Night Market, it is still a worthy trip to check out as we enjoyed quite a few good eats such as Black Sesame Tang Yuen on Ice with Osmanthus Syrup, Fried Sweet Potato Ball, Spring Onion Pancakes and more.

We even visited this famous 24 hours Foot Reflexology named 指舞春秋 in this night market that was heavenly as we’ve been walking quite a bit all day.

RED ROUTE: Songlian & Songzhi Intersection – Taipei 101 Conservatory

Taipei 101 is one of the most visited site in the city so if you haven’t been, you must make a trip there at least once to see this outstanding landmark that transform Taipei. The tallest building in Taiwan, the 89F Observation deck offers visitors a majestic view of Taipei city in all direction. Not to forget the amazing visible Damper that is the world’s larget and heaviest damper ever build.

RED ROUTE: MRT Taipei City Hall Station – Discovery Center of Taipei

Make a visit to Discovery Center of Taipei where the Taipei City Government designated the building as a modern stage of interactive dialogues and Taipei’s achievements of city constructions for locals and tourists.

RED ROUTE: MRT Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall Station – Songshan Cultural & Creative Park

It was once a tobacco factory back in 1937. Today, Songshan Cultural & Creative Park is one of Taipei’s 99th historic site as inaugurated by Taipei City Government. It is a venue for hosting diverse cultural and creative exhibitions. Catch the largest StayReal Mousy here at the park that is a great photo ops. Taiwan’s world champion bakery Wu Pao Chun Bakery (吴宝春麦方店) and Pearl Milk Tea ~ Chun Shui Tang (春水堂) are located here in Taipei New Horizon.

BLUE ROUTE: The Ambassador Hotel – TaipeiEYE

“It is Home for Authentic Traditional Chinese Performing Arts in Taiwan!”

Catch live Chinese Peking operas, aboriginal dances, folklore performances, acrobatics or lion dances at TaipeiEYE. We caught the “The Great Monkey Fights the Spider Goblin” opera at this historical and culturally active boulevard since the Japanese Era. Fear not if you don’t understand as the theatre has sub titles in various language for the shows. From music to costumes and the performances, one will certainly enjoy what Chinese opera and other cultural performances has to offer.

BLUE ROUTE: Taipei Fine Arts Museum – Taipei Fine Arts Museum & Angel Life Pavilion at Taipei Expo Park

Taipei is filled with art everywhere so it’s no surprises that the city is filled with art interpretations that can be seen at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The grand architecture of the museum itself is beautiful with modern contemporary design. It is the largest contemporary art museum in Asia.

Located in Xinsheng Park Area, the Pavilion of Angel Life is a green building built and based on using natural sunlight, ventilation and resources of solar power panels, rainwater harvest system, energy-saving central air-conditioning system and water-saving system to maximize the potential of green technology. The whole park filled with greens and its buildings are a sight to behold!

BLUE ROUTE: Shilin Official Residence – Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence

The first ecological garden of Taipei City, Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence is the previous home of renowned former president Chiang Kai-shek. Expect lots of walking along the acres of well landscaped greens, Rose Garden, Victoria Chapel and even catch glimpse of the former president’s house.

BLUE ROUTE: National Palace Museum – Taipei National Palace Museum

The Taipei National Palace Museum is another must-visit on the list when in Taipei. Housing some of the world’s greatest and rarest collection of traditional Chinese art crafts and historical documents, there are more than 700,000 items on display with many that once belong in Beijing’s Forbidden City. The highlights include the exquisite Jadeite Cabbage, Meat-shaped Stone and Ting Cauldron.

For more information about Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus, visit or

*This trip was made possible by Taiwan Tourism together with Taipei Department of Information and Tourism. However, all stories and comments in my posts are purely derived from my own experiences through the trip.

*Sightseeing in Taipei
*Food in Taipei
*Hotel in Taipei
… coming soon

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Valentine Set Menu @ Em by Tedboy, Hotel Transit

5-Course Valentine Dinner to WOW your Date!

Romance is in the air in the month of February as Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Take your loved one on a delicious evening of affordable French delights at Em by Tedboy on this special day to set the mood for romance.

Em by Tedboy, located in the bustling area along Jalan Pudu, is the sister of the famous Tedboy Bakery in Bangsar. Named after Matilda, the owners’ other child, Em by Tedboy serves an honest menu filled with Mediterranean with a dash of Asian flavours as well as Breakfast treats.

The quaint bistro, set in Hotel Transit, sets out to attract the tummies of foodies, local and travelers with its variety of dishes. Helming the kitchen with the culinary team is Consultant French Chef Pierre MC, whose former Croisette Café had us all enjoying affordable French dining in the city. Chef Pierre has whipped up a special 5-Course Valentine’s Dinner Menu priced at RM168+ (for 2 pax) to set the mood for romance.

The interior at Em by Tedboy reflects the raw industrial outlook. Cement walls left bare in its natural form are dressed up with posters of food and murals. Insta photos of diners from all over the world are set on one large mural of world map. Eclectic mix of furniture, artsy lightings, chalkboard menu and an open kitchen sums up the interior.

We like how the bistro has various sections of dining area so that one has more privacy as well as privacy for private functions. The mood is casual and yet eclectic chic as one dines in comfort at Em by Tedboy.

Since it’s a day for romance, the bistro will be set with special settings befit the mood for some love.

The Valentine menu comes with Pink Lady Cocktail to kick off the evening. Our giggle juice may sound feminine but rest assured, this one is pretty potent with cranberry, lemon, triple sec and vodka. Pretty at sight and gutsy in taste!

Accompanying the cocktail is a four canapes of Prawn & Mango Salsa, Mushroom Soup, Pesto Rice Salad and Olive Tapenade. Savor little bites of deliciousness to whet the appetite. The prawn and mango is enjoyable and fruity while the mushroom soup is superb with its rich, earthy and intense mushroom flavour. The pesto rice on crisp lettuce was light and the rich and moreish olive tapenade is yummy on toast.

There are two choices for the appetizer course. The first one is Fresh Salmon Tartare with Mirepoix in Blood Orange Dressing. Raw cubes of salmon, smoked salmon and butterfish are mixed with chopped gherkin served on a bed of salt cured cucumber. The result is a creamy and sublime tartare of savory, smoky and tangy flavours. Finished with a colorful sprinkling of chopped hardboiled egg, tomatoes and fresh dill, the tartare is delicious if you are a fan of salmon.

The next choice of appetizer is great for vegetarians with the Beetroot & Feta Chantilly Mille-Feuille with Pomegranate Dressing. I adored the bold flavours of feta cheese with the tangy beetroot. The feta has been whipped into a fluffy creamy lightness that is very enjoyable while the crunchy bits of pomegranate and micro herbs added delicious bites of textures to the dish.

For a palate cleaner, the Tomato Vodka Granita is gorgeous. The bold punchy notes of fresh tang of tomato with hits of vodka does wonder for the senses as well as the soul!

There are also two choices for mains with the first one being Pan Fried Duck Breast with Raspberry Sauce, Potato Gratin & Vegetable Tian. Slices of duck breast, cooked medium rare, goes nicely with the luscious tangy raspberry sauce. The sides of vegetables makes great fillers. If you prefer your duck more cooked, do let the wait staff know in advance.

The Butterfish Fillet with Red Capsicum Coulis, Potato Gratin & Vegetable Tian featured a lovely thick butterfish cooked till just right and served with a savory and sweet red capsicum sauce. I enjoyed the butterfish a lot and it also goes really well with the vegetable and potato gratin.

Dinner ended with Chef Pierre’s desserts with a choice of Em’s Signature Pavlova. For those you haven’t been to Chef Pierre previous eatery, he does such amazing desserts! The Em’s Signature Pavlova has just the right sweetness for my palate. Crispy meringue with a soft center is heavenly with thick berry coulis, fresh cream, fresh berries and kiwis.

If pavlova is not your thing, then opt for the Mille-Feuille Strawberries. Layers of golden puff pastry sandwiching velvety custard with fresh strawberries and berry coulis are layers of sweet love meant to be shared with your loved one.

Coffee or Tea will be served as well.

Do call for reservation for this 5-Course Valentine’s Dinner Menu priced at RM168+ (for 2 pax).

EM by TedBoy
Ground Floor, Hotel Transit
42, Jalan Pudu
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Business Hours: 10am to 10pm

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