Ximending西门町 & American Street 美国街 @ Taipei

Ximending 西门町, a neighborhood and huge shopping district in the Wanhua District 万华区 of Taipei, Taiwan. This area has been called the “Harajuku/Shibuya of Taipei” which is equal to our Bukit Bintang Golden Triangle area.

Ximending is one of the most popular tourist spots among both local and travelers. As a hub for a diversity of shopping, entertainments and F & B outlets, this place houses boutiques and road side stalls with wide selection of fashionable clothing and accessories, hair salons, CD shops, movie theaters, karaoke, cafes and eateries.

 

Ximending also well knowns for its pedestrian zone which was the first pedestrian zone built in Taipei and is the largest in Taiwan. The streets and alleys are lined with numerous of shops which offer various of merchandises include clothing, cosmetics and skin care products, souvenirs, accessories, mobile phone accessories, toys and snacks, you name it, they’ve got it! There are abundant options of cafes and eateries as well, not to mention the countless road side stalls.

 

When it comes to delicacies at Ximending,  Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodle 阿宗面线 is without a doubt the place to look out for. Located at Emei Street 峨嵋街, this place can be easily spotted by the huge crowds standing around on the street or sidewalk savouring their noodles.

There are no tables or seating space at Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodle, you just need to place order and pay at the serving counter and get your food. Proceed to the condiments station and top your noodles with chili sauce, vinegar or garlic puree.

 

Having appeased customers with their trusty bowl of Mee Suah for more than 30 years, slurping down a bowl of Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodle definitely a must do when you are in Ximending. The Mee Suah is cooked in a thick and sticky goopy broth with side ingredients of oyster, pig intestine and a small handful of chopped coriander. The noodles are silky soft drenched in that rich thick soup with pleasant smoky umami flavor. To enhance the taste, one can add in chili sauce, vinegar or garlic puree for a more robust flavors.

Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodle 阿宗面线

No. 8-1, Emei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108 台北市峨嵋街8號之1

Operating Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9.00 am to 10:30 pm

Friday – Sunday: 9.00 am to 11.00 pm

 

Lau Tian Lu 老天祿滷味

68 years of making braised meat, Lau Tian Lu is another must try at Ximending. They offers wide selection of braised products such as the signature duck tongues, duck gizzards, duck heads, chicken wings, chicken feet, chicken drumsticks, assorted bean curds, beef stomach, seaweed, braised egg and etc. Apart from this One and Only retail shop, they also provide online ordering.

 

Lau Tian Lu 老天祿滷味

No. 55, Section 2, Wuchang Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

台北市万华区武昌街二段55号

Tel:+886 2-2361 5588

Operating Hour: 9.30am to 10.00pm, Daily

Website: www.lautianlu.com.tw/

 

Fong Da Coffee 蜂大咖啡 at Chengdu Street, Ximending is one of the oldest coffee shop in Taipei which has been around since 1956. It operates as a cafe, roastery and retail front for quality coffee beans. They still using those vintage coffee equipment to brew their coffee and one of them is the meter tall iced coffee maker placed near the entrance which is used to prepared their famous iced coffee. Beside coffee, they also serve teas, flower teas, fruit juices, iced blended drinks, ice cream, cakes, sweet soups and sandwiches.  There are rows of huge glass jars filled with palatable looking cookies and biscuits for sales too. Heard that the walnut cookie is worth a try, don’t miss it if you happen to be at this area.

Fong Da Coffee 蜂大咖啡

No. 42, Chengdu Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

台北市万华区成都路42号

Tel: +886 2-2371 9577

Operating Hours: 8.00am to 10.00pm, Daily

 

Apart from the bustling and touristy area, we were brought to a less explored part of Ximending during our tour ~ the American Street 美国街.

Can you see the he flag of the United States of America on the floor? The exact location of American Street is at Lane 96 of Kunming Street.

 

One of the America culture that reflected on this street is the stylish graffiti on the walls. These artsy graffiti which has grown from the American pop culture are imbued with a free, casual ambiance and symbolize their independent spirit of freedom. There are Japanese influenced graffiti with humorous and interesting figures create a complete Japanese-style scene. Those cartoon-style images also make the monsters and devils featured therein unexpectedly amicable. We were truly thrilled by the colour and the audacity of these masterpieces

 

Don’t you think this place is an ideal backdrop for OOTD? My acted cool OOTD, hehe 😛

PS: Legs missing because I’m wearing black stocking LOL

 

Also check out my travel companion, Kevin, posed in front of the mural. 🙂

 

American-style accessories and clothing shops, cluster of tattoo parlors as well as eateries can be found in this area. It is a place full of creative mixture and liveliness.

Another iconic building at Ximending is the Red House 西门红楼 which was built in 1908 to serve as Taipei’s first public market. This Western-style red-brick octagonal structure is now classed and preserved as class III historical site. Now the Red House is home to Taipei’s creative and culture industry, hosting exhibitions and performances daily. The square behind the main building houses a large number of outdoor bars and restaurants. Unfortunately the building was under maintenance and some renovation works was going when we were there.

Red House 西门红楼

No. 10, Chengdu Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

108台北市万华区成都路10号

Website: http://www.redhouse.taipei/

 

Verdict: Ximending definitely a must visit for those who travel to Taipei andthe American Street worth to explore too for some nice photography.

 

Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus (Red Line)

MRT: Bannan Line (板南线), exit Ximen Station (西门站), leave via exit 6.

Bus: Take bus no. 18, 221, 232, 235, 257, 513, 621, 635, 540, 659, 663 or Blue 2 to Ximen Market stop (西门市场站).

 

 

 

 

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