鼎王麻辣鍋 Ding Wang Mala Hotpot, Taipei

My friend Selena, who recommended and booked for us recommended Ding Wang Spicy Hotpot (鼎旺麻辣鍋)She said it looks fancy, famous, good, affordable and quiet for us to enjoy proper hotpot dinner. So I decided to go there together with my local Taiwanese friend, Oliver. 
There are actually two Ding Wang's! Ding Wang, with the name in Romanized letters instead of the Chinese name in characters. So I unwittingly googled "Ding Wang" and found a Ding Wang Spicy Hotpot (鼎旺麻辣鍋) with 2 locations and an official FB page.

Then a short while later, trying to confirm their location I googled "Ding Wang" again, this time coming upon a second Ding Wang Spicy Hotpot (鼎王麻辣鍋) with 4 locations and an entirely different official FB page. See the difference in the characters there: 鼎 versus 鼎, both romanized as and pronounced Ding Wang, and both are on this Foursquare top 15 Best Hotpot places in Taipei

We went for the Yuan-Yang Guo (鴛鴦鍋), which consists of their traditional spicy broth that comes with duck's blood and tofu, and a non-spicy sourish broth that comes with pickled cabbage. Both soups were refillable but we loaded up on the mala soup big time and the servers kept throwing in more duck blood. 

Oh man, those chunks of blood couldn't be any fresher or delicious despite what you might think.  They were smooth and soft like tofu but the thin casing had a slight snap that made them playful to eat them.(That what Oliver thinks) He downed more duck blood throughout this meal than he ever had in my entire life. I'm not a big fan of it. Since for me it just another BLOODY food for me. 
We ordered a whole bunch of stuff to throw into the bubbling tripod cauldron. Among some of the more unique items were their uber crispy dough fritters (an awesome idea to weave into our reunion dinner), fish paste, beef tendons and all sorts of hugeass handmade meatballs.

 Best of all, you can even ask to pack up the remaining soup when you are done for the session and they would throw extra tofu and duck's blood (!!!) if you wish for more (the blood fairy is in da house, yo). But i'm not do it as we too full for it. 

It goes without saying that the service at Ding Wang was impeccable. Each time a server attends to you, she would make it a point to bow 90 degress - talk about being at our humble service!

So if you stay in Homey Hostel, i really recommended for you guys to come here as this place is amazing. 

Raving About Taipei’s Riverside

Words cannot describe how in love I am with Taipei’s system of Riverside Parks.

In the past two months that I’ve been living in Taipei, the Riverside system has become my favorite part of the city – and where I try to spend as much of my time as possible. Every time I hit the Riverside, I discover something new, and I am thoroughly convinced it’s the best way to be outdoors without having to go too far away from Taipei.

Here are a few of the reasons why Taipei’s Riverside is one of the best parts of the city:

Beautiful Views

First and foremost, the Taipei Riverside system is a beautifully developed collection of 29 parks with a total area of 514 hectares in the greater Taipei and Keelung area. Each park has its own distinct characteristics, from the series of love-inspired sculptures and flower beds at Guting Riverside Park to the wetlands that border Longshan Riverside Park to the iconic multicolored bridges that dominate the scenery at Rainbow Riverside Park, every kilometer brings with it a new atmosphere and a new way to appreciate the river.

Guting Riverside Park heart-shaped sculptures. Photo credit: Taiwan News.
View of Rainbow Park. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Daonan Riverside Park. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Sunset at Yanping Riverside Park. Photo Credit: Angie Korabik


The Taipei Riverside system hosts an impressive 112 kilometers of bike paths that weave along the Tamsui River, Keelung River, and Xindian Creek. These paths provide a convenient, beautiful location to get in a solid run or bike ride, but don’t worry – you don’t only have to focus on cardio. Every few kilometers you can build strength on public gym equipment that includes pull up bars, core-exercise platforms, etc.
Are you more of a team player than a solo exerciser? The Riverside is lined with a number of fields and courts for baseball, soccer, basketball, and tennis, and on any given weekend you can watch local teams compete against each other.
Open bike paths for miles. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Take a quick break on your bike ride for a game of pick up? Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Riverside Gym Equipment. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Good Food and Drink

Who doesn’t love some good food or drinks with a water front view?  The Riverside system hosts several areas that are a great place to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. Go to Gongguan Waterfront Plaza for cheap craft beer and great pizza, Dadaocheng Pier Plaza for champagne and noodles, or grab some coffee or traditional Taiwanese snacks at Dajia Riverside Park. Alternatively, bring your own food to the Riverside and have a picnic!

Dajia Riverside Park food vendors. Photo credit: Angie Korabik
Gongguan Waterfront Plaza. Photo credit: The Poutinerie & Snack Shack

Dadaocheng Wharf. Photo credit: Google Images

Ecological Refuge

While the Riverwalk System has a largely recreational function, it is also an ecological refuge for numerous species. Of Taipei’s four Nature Conservation Areas, two are located along the riverside bordering Taipei proper: Taipei City Waterbird Refuge (located along the top half of Xiandian creek, connecting to Tamsui River) and Huajiang Wild Duck Nature Park (located at the north end of Shuangyuan Riverside Park).   Both of these areas boast restored habitats and contain largely diverse populations of native flora and fauna. Additionally, Shezidao hosts wetlands for wetland conservation where you can birdwatch and learn about the local environment.

The Riverside system also acts as the host for numerous environmental education, public outreach programs, and cultural events, such as the annual Taipei Riverside Festival.

Between 2007 and 2016, the River Pollution Index (RPI) value for Taipei’s border rivers has been steadily been improving, and with the amount of attention the Taipei City Government gives to these areas, we can expect it to improve even further in the future!

Cattle Egret. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Salamander. Photo credit: Angie Korabik 
Chengmei Left Bank Riverside Park. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Packs of wild dogs often roam the riverside. Don't worry, they're relatively tame. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

But the best part about the Taipei Riverside? Homey Hostel is located only 1 km from Yanping Riverside Park!

How to get there:
By foot: Turn left when you exit Homey’s building, and walk along Chang’an West Road (長安西路) until you reach Tacheng Street (塔城街) and turn right. Walk north about 1 block, and turn left onto Nanjing West Road (南京西路) – Make sure you turn west, because Nanjing Road changes direction at this intersection. Walk for about 3 more blocks, and then pass through Yuquan Evacuation Gate玉泉疏散門 (淡四號疏散門)You’ve reached the Riverside Park! Enjoy it!

Map to walk to Yuquan Evacuation Gate. Photo credit: Google Maps

By bike: Turn left when you exit Homey’s building, and turn left again when you reach Taiyuan Road 太原路.  Ride south two blocks until you reach Zhengzhou Road 鄭州路 (the one with the huge over pass) and turn right. Ride for about 1km, and then pass through Yanping Evacuation Gate延平疏散門(淡三號疏散門)。You’ve reached the Riverside Park! Happy riding!

Map to bike to Yanping Evacuation Gate. Photo credit: Google Maps
Stay tuned for next week’s post, where I’ll tell you about the best spots to visit along the Riverside and what you can do there!

Your Favorite Homey LTR (Long Term Resident), Angie

Best Snack to Bring Back from Taiwan.

As any true traveler knows, the best souvenirs are of the eating variety. On my trip to Taipei, after indulging in high-end restaurants and rubbing shoulders with locals at night markets, I decided some Taiwanese treats needed to be at the top of my souvenir shopping list. If you’re similarly on the search for the best foodie mementos, here’s what to buy and where to buy it.

Everybody favorite 7-11
The ubiquitous presence of 7-11 convenience stores is remarkable, comparable to the presence of Starbucks in US cities. There are more than three or four shops on each block in Taipei, selling everything from fresh stuffed buns and tea eggs for breakfast, to metro cards and Muji merchandise and an unlimited number of snacks, flavoured noodles, and bottled iced coffee. First up on my foodie treasure hunt, I found Viva’s Almond Strips and Fish, a snack mix of, you guessed it, fish and almonds. The combination may sound bizarre but this protein-full blend is actually tasty. (It also comes in a sealed and affordable pack so it will easily find a home in your luggage.) I also picked up Pringles with basil and salt, melon bread (a soft roll with melon filling), and some other difficult-to-identify but colourful snack packs. Those delights all made it home to my pantry, but while I was there, I also enjoyed some in-the-moment tea eggs, warm stuffed buns, and black sesame soy milk.

Supermarkets are probably one of the best places for culinary shopping since you can find both local grocery items and imported goods. A stop by Carrefour, the international supermarket chain, was a good choice.  You can find mostly national brands of everything but also brands from around the world with more localised themes — think Lays chips with seaweed flavour. Once you start strolling the aisles, you’ll find plenty of foods you’d want to bring back if you only had additional luggage allowance: Chinese mahogany-flavoured soda crackers, apple-flavoured soda drinks, plenty of teas and, of course, amazing dried fruit. I scored a box with dried pickled kumquat. Also highly recommended: the spring onion pancake crackers, which transform a favourite local snack (spring onion pancakes) into a cracker. And the almond original flavour crispy pork paper, a Taiwanese delicacy that consists of a blend of pork and almonds in a crunchy paper-thin cracker.

Typical Taiwan Market
Taipei is famous for its night markets where you can find everything from tote bags to socks, touristy gifts, hats and, of course, street food. Night markets are good places to taste fresh food cheaply, like sticky tofu, fried chicken on a stick, pepper buns, and coffin bread (a soup-filled piece of deep-fried bread). I haven’t seen a lot of packaged foods but they do exist if you keep your eyes open for colourful candy boxes, sun cakes, and even pork jerky.

By day, Shi Dong Market is a fresh market and a favorite destination for local foodies. It’s a place that has it all, from pork slices to winter melons, freshly made noodles to tofu. It’s not an ideal place to buy items to bring back, since most of the goods for sale are perishable, but you can invest your Taiwanese dollars in some packaged dried mango that is locally produced, as well as unique vinegar and maybe even pickled iron eggs.

Din Tai Fung paraphernalia

Din Tai Fung is the quintessential Taiwanese dumplings restaurant now found in many cities around the world.  If you end up eating at the one in the Taipei 101 building, don’t miss the opportunity to buy mugs, pineapple cakes, and paraphernalia from this largely popular eatery

Dihua Street
Dihua Street is the old Chinese neighbourhood in the Taiwanese capital. A long street with candy stores that also sell dried fruit and local delicacies, it will probably remind you of any Chinatown you’ve seen anywhere. But don’t be fooled; some of the findings can be one-of-a-kind — like the medicinal candies with a strong licorice flavour. You may not like them at first, but I can reassure you, they will send your cough away!

Get your tea at Maokong or the Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House

Taiwan is famous for its varietes of oolong tea, with the top quality being Alishan High Mountain Tea. If you can’t visit the tea plantations throughout the country, then make a visit to Maokong, a scenic spot just on the outskirts of Taipei. Not only will you get to experience a 30-minute gondola ride to the top of the mountain, but you can also find locally grown tea. Grab a bite at a teahouse, taste some teas from the numerous tea sellers, and be sure to buy a box or two of tea leaves. For the record, oolong tea can be far pricier outside Asia, so if you are a tea aficionado, investing a bit of money for a nice cuppa is not such a bad idea.
Alternately, head to the Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House in Taichung. It’s reportedly the birthplace of boba tea, or bubble tea (that milky tea with tapioca pearls at the bottom). Of course, you won’t be able to pack any to bring back home, but you can take a class and learn how to make it yourself. What you will bring back is your boba tea diploma — proof of your newly acquired skills.
Taiwan Bakery
The signature dessert of Taiwan is the pineapple cake that’s found nearly everywhere in the country — from specialised pineapple cakes stores like Sunnyhills and Chia Te to top bakeries like Wu Pao Chun’s. (But you can also find them at the local supermarket if you can’t make it to a bake shop). Pineapple cakes make a great gift to bring back home as they are individually wrapped in cute packages and have a two-week shelf life. Go for the traditional and tart, purely made from pineapple jam, or the sweeter cakes that include a mix with winter melon. Also, the word ‘pineapple’ sounds like ‘prosperity’ in Chinese so there’s another incentive for bringing back a few.

Find non-food, but food-related, goods

Apart from actual food, you could also just bring home some non-edible but still food-related souvenirs. Yingge is a district known for high-quality ceramics, where potters produce tea sets for the locally cultivated teas. Don’t miss Yingge Old Street, a pedestrian street where you can find pottery, porcelain, and related items at all price points. Some of the artwork you’ll find may be difficult to transport, but if you can manage, a nice teapot may be worth packing effort. Or you could go smaller — I found some elegant wooden chopsticks, which are much easier to carry.
Lastly, the number-one souvenir in my shopping list is cookbooks. In Taipei, I visited the secondhand shop Whole Books, located not far from the Shida night market. After spending two hours looking at the cookbook collection, I decided to buy an ices and iced tea cookbook… in Chinese. With the help of a translator, one day I’ll be able to figure out some of the recipes and prepare my own ice desserts.

Taipei Night Market

No visit to Taiwan is complete without a visit to a night market. The best nightlife in Taipei is found at food market. The country has a penchant for snacking and a desire to eat with friends all night long. Although night markets are traditionally a Chinese phenomenon, Taiwan’s scene has grown to be considered one of the best in the world. Taiwan’s night markets initially began as informal vendor meetings, where merchants would get together and sell their wares. These groupings eventually turned into more formal night markets. Now, visitors will find great Chinese food mixed with Taiwanese food, and that’s because of history—at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1950, general Chiang Kai-Shek retreated to Taiwan, bringing along more than two million people and some of mainland China’s best chefs. 

To get a real Taiwanese experience, skip the convenience stores and head out on the town for a night market snacking excursion. This are few popular night market for local and tourist.


This is one of the biggest Taipei night markets, and one of the most famous night markets in Taiwan. You’ll find menus in English and Japanese, and it’s easy to access, being right next to the MRT Red Line’s Jian Tian stop.
That said, it’s mostly underground now, which I personally think is less atmospheric, and its popularity with tourists means that sometimes you get a more sanitized (and watered-down) version of local favorites. Check the nearby sprawl of streets for more culinary options.
Nearest station: MRT Red Line Jiantan station

 Inspired by Japanese Takoyaki. The local called it Zhangyu Shao. Average price is 100NTD per box. Contain huge 3 pieces of octopus.

 Fresh grill meat but it's a bit pricey small portion. Average price is 100NTD per 100 gram. 

 Famous local desert called Chelun Bing which is Wheel Cake with Red Bean inside. Average price will be 10NTD-15NTD per piece

Taipei Shida Market

This Taipei night market is not as centralized, and there’s less food and more fashion shops and other hipster stuff since it’s next to a university.
That said, its location means that it draws a younger crowd of students and can be interesting for people watching as well. You’ll also find more coffee and sandwich/burger shops here and there. Out of all the Taipei night markets listed here, this is the hippest.
Nearest station: MRT Green line Taipower Building Station
 Juicy And Huge mushroom. Xing Bao Gu. Average price is around 100NTD-150NTD

 "Bird" egg known as quill egg and Anchun Dan for local. Average 20NTD to 30NTD per stick.


Often called Taiwan’s Harajuku (a hip area of Tokyo), Ximending is one of those frantic hubs of youth-culture that pulses with noise and neon. Lots of food and shopping to be had here, as well.

Instead a food stall, Ximending offer a small restaurant for you to enjoy the food. Average price is between 50NTD-120NTD. It is quite pricey but for me you get what you paid here, Especially to touristic area.

Most popular food/snack in Taiwan. Very popular for local known as Cho Do Fu or in english is stinky tofu. When I mention STINKY it's mean really STINK. For foreigner either you like it or hate it. There's no IT'S ALRIGHT comment. For me, i never try since the smell always stopping me to try it. 

Night markets are places that tourists will never skip whenever we travel to Taiwan. Great bargains at very affordable prices? Check! Wide range of irresistibly delectable local fare and street snacks? Check! Experience the local culture and night life, hanging out with Taiwanese locals? Check! We can’t think of a reason not to hit the night markets. Calories don’t count when you’re overseas and having good food will put you in a good mood. Complete your trip by heading to at least one night market when you visit Taiwan! Have a blast!

P/S: Need a place to stay in Taipei? Check out our places with cool and affordable rate by Click Here!!  

งานเทศกาลบอลลูนนานาชาติ 2018 ณ ไต้หวัน

งานเทศกาลบอลลูนนานาชาติ 2018 ณ ไต้หวัน

เทศกาลบอลลูนไต้หวันที่เมืองไทตง เป็นเทศกาลบอลลูนที่ใหญ่ที่สุดของไต้หวันจัดขึ้นทุกปี ในทุกวันจะมีบอลลูนแตกต่างกันไปและมีบอลลูนจากต่างประเทศเข้าร่วมมากมาย นักท่องเที่ยวสามารถซื้อบัตรเพื่อขึ้นบอลลูนที่ติดตั้งให้อยู่กับที่เพื่อไปชมวิวด้านบนได้ หรือจะขึ้นบอลลูนแบบลอยออกไปชมธรรมชาติบรรยากาศรอบๆ   *ଘ(੭*ˊᵕˋ)੭* ੈ✩‧₊˚
6/30 1-8 / 13 5:30-19:00

เข้าชมฟรี เเต่ถ้าอยากซื้อบัตรขึ้นบอลลูน
คนละ 500 หยวน (เด็กสูงกว่า 110 ต้องซื้อตั๋วด้วย)
ตั๋วจองไม่ได้ ต้องซื้อที่ที่ตั้ง

เมืองไถตง Luyeh Hill
นั่งรถไฟไทเป-ไถตง ลงรถที่สถานี Luyeh
ต่อรถบัส Puyuma หรือ East Rift Valley line ก็จะได้ถึงเเล้ว
(ภาษาจีนของรถบัสชี่อ  普悠瑪客運接駁車 และ 台灣好行縱谷鹿野線 )

-รถบัส East Rift Valley line ยังมีหลายที่ป้ายรถเมล์ที่น่าสนใจ -



 เพราะว่าเทศกาลบอลลูนนี้ ทำให้มีผู้ที่สนใจมาเที่ยวไถตง 
สำหรับผู้ที่ชอบชื่นชมธรรมชาติ เมืองนี้ไม่ควรพลาดเเน่ๆ 
นอกจาก  Luyeh ยังมีหลายที่ที่สวยงามมากๆ 灬ºωº灬

ถ้าสนใจ เริ่มวางแผนและจองตั๋วเครื่องบินตอนนี้
 ไปชื่นชมและถ่ายรูปกัน ❛◡❛✿
ถ้ามีคำถามอะไร ถามได้เลยนะคะ ยินดีตอบทุกปัญหา
มีอะไรให้แนะนำ บอกด้อยนะ !
จาก เด็กฝึกงาน โกโก้ที่ชอบเมืองไทยมากที่สุด 

เว็บไซต์ไทย https://goo.gl/CVf9pQ

เเนะนำชานมไข่มุกที่ไต้หวันที่คุณพลาดไม่ได้ !

สวัสดีค่ะ !! ヽ(✿゚▽゚)ノ

พอดีคนผู้เขียนเป็นคนที่ชอบกินชานมไข่มุกมากที่สุดค่ะ !
ต่อไปนี้จะเเนะนำ ๓ ร้านที่คุณพลาดไม่ได้ค่ะคนไทยมาเที่ยวไต้หวันต้องไปกินกันนะคะ
(ไต้หวันไม่ใช่เเค่มี 50Lan 5555)


ที่ ๑ ชุนสุ่ยถัง

ร้านนี้ประดิษฐ์ชานมไข่มุก เราชอบมากเลยค่ะ
 ที่นี้ไม่ใช่เเค่มีเครื่องตื่ม อาหารก็อร่อยด้วยค่ะ 
ที่ไทเปมีประมาณ ๑๐ร้าน
ข้อเสีย:  ราคาเเพงกว่าร้านอื่นๆเเก้วใหญ่ ๑ เเก้วประมาณ ๑๓๐ NTค่ะ
เเต่เเม้เรายังเป็นนักเรียน ก็ชอบไปกินบ่อยๆ


2. ห้าง Shinkong ที่สถานีจงซ


                                                   ที่ ๒ Chen Shan Ding
ร้านนี้เเค่มี ๑ ร้านที่ไต้หวันค่ะ 
ซึ่งอยู่ในสถานีกงกวน คนไต้หวันชอบกินมากเลยค่ะ 
ไม่ว่าเป็นเวลาไหน๑วัน ก็จะมีคนจำนวนมากมาเข้าเเถวรอกิน เคยกินมาหลายๆครั้ง ก็ชอบมากด้วยค่ะ
เเก้ว ๑ ประมาณ ๓๐ ถูกมากกกก
ข้อเสียก็คือ อยากซื้อต้องรอนานๆ 
(เเต่อาจทำให้อร่อยมากขึ้น ?)
เเละสำหรับบางคนที่ไม่ชอบกินหวานอาจจะรู้สึกหวานมากเกินไปเเล้ว !


 ที่ ๓ เจินจู่ตันที่ไทเปมันมีร้านเยอะๆ 
นอกจากมีชานมไข่มุกเเล้ว ยังมีเครื่องตื่มอะไรอร่อยเยอะๆได้เลือกค่ะ
เคยไปกิน ๓ ครั้ง อร่อยมากค่ะ ! เเก้ว ๑ ประมาณ ๕๐ NT
ข้อเสีย: เครื่องดื่มเยอะทำให้ตัดสินใจยากมากที่ตลาดกลางคืนซื่อหลินมี ๒ ร้านมีใครไปเดินตลาดกลางนี้ พลาดไม่ได้นะ


สำหรับคนไทยที่ชอบกินไข่มุกเหมือนอย่างเรา ต้องรีบไปกินนะคะ ถ้ามีอะไรอย่างไม่รู้เรื่อง สอบถามได้นะคะ ยินดีตอบทุกคำถามเกี่ยวกับไต้หวัน มีวีวเกี่ยวกับร้านเครื่องตื่ม เเดชร์กับเราได้ค่ะ 

จากเด็กฝึกงาน โกโก้ ที่ชอบเมืองไทยมากที่สุดヘ( ゚∀゚;)ノ

Checking On Fried Chicken! Taiwan Edition!!!

Taiwan is well known for their snacks, which you can get anywhere, and it's the same for fried chicken. Since I started living in Taiwan 3 months ago, many people told me how good their fried chicken is. I was not really interested in it since I had previously been living in South Korea, which is notorious for eating more fried chicken than any other Asian country does.                                          Typical korean style fried chicken

The longer I stay here, the more people keep talking about and forcing me to try fried chicken. So I decided to focus my live show last week on comparing various fried chicken tastes. And for last week’s episode, I invited two of my friends, both from South Korea, and one of Homey Hostel’s guests to help judge how good Taiwanese fried chicken is. I got a few suggestions from local Taiwanese people on which chicken I should eat. Surprisingly they also suggested me the brands that everybody knows: KFC and McDonald's. To be honest, I really had doubts about these 2 brands, but like others say, you never know if you don't try it. 

So I decided to just try all the suggestion that I got from the locals. I bought all the chicken from the major fast food chains and also from one local store, which many locals recommended to me. 

                                                               We try this  first

                                   It's pretty cheap  but i guess don't judge  early. 
They even have new product called "shake shake" with Seaweed and Spicy flavor

I have to say this brand was my least favorite, and I will avoid going there if i'm ever craving fried chicken in Taiwan. We decided to rate them a 1 out of 10 since there's nothing special about them.
Our next stop was McDonald's competitor next door, KFC. It surprised us, since it's not like our expectation.

                                                                    Next door KFC
                                They also bring a Taiwanese flavor with BBQ flavor.

We concluded that KFC in Taiwan is way better than other KFC in the world, I think because it's way more juicy and spicy. The BBQ flavor did not disappoint us since we were really able to taste the BBQ and smokey flavor. 

Twin Peaks

Last but not least, the fried chicken place most highly recommended by the locals: "TWIN PEAKS". They gave us some super huge chicken, and I think that’s the reason why it was really recommended to me. 

The greatest surprise from our taste tests was how cheap Taiwan is. It only cost us around 200NTD($6.81 USD) to try everything!

By the end of the live show, we all had our own preference, and also a lot of thanks for all the people who help with the recommendation, because we got to eat some really good chicken! To know what we choose in the end, feel free to watch here. Stay tuned for this week's live video – exploring Ningxia Night Market!