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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taipei Day 2: Jianguo Holiday Flower (建國假日花市) & Jade Market

A 15-minute walk away from Da'an station, the Jianguo Holiday Flower Market was already open for business when we reached at ten in the morning. The market only opens on weekends and public holidays. Situated along a long stretch of road under the Jianguo South Road Overpass, the flower market, unlike the jade market nearby, does not have air-conditioning.

Nevertheless, the interior is spacious and air-circulation is good. There are an estimated 200 stalls selling everything for your gardening needs.

The variety of plants on sale is astounding, and stalls are rarely repetitive in their offerings. Prices are also extremely reasonable, considering the freshness and healthiness of the flora.

My favourite plant, the cactus, going at only NT30 a pot, NT100 for four!

Packets of seeds were going at NT20 a packet.

A stall selling tea, just in case you get thirsty from all that walking and bargaining.

Or you could try wheatgrass and other similarly healthly drinks.

We were surprised to see an association for animals in the middle of it all, soliciting donations from shoppers and seeking adopters. The animals seem to be rescues. Some had missing teeth which caused their tongue to fall out of their mouth, others had bad patchy skin. Taipei seems to be a dog friendly place. We saw dogs everywhere, even in shopping malls.

At the end of the flower market and across the road, was the Jade Market, It is essentially a pasar malam, with numerous individual vendors displaying their goods on their own small wooden table. You can find loose crystals and stones, all kinds of jewellery, and charms. Prices are not displayed so I guess how good a deal you end up with will depend on your bargaining prowess.

Taipei Day 2: Da'an Park
Taipei Day 1: Kuo-kuang airport bus


Getting from the Airport to the Town Centre
Airport Bus

A review of the reasonably priced City Inn Hotel

Great Yakiniku Dinner Wine and Dine
Best Fruit Smoothie at Agnes B Cafe
Dining Cute @ Hello Kitty Cafe
Best Breakfast @ New York Bagels
Best Spaghetti and Fruits Tea @ Afternoon Tea Cafe
Ice Cream Toast @ Dazzling Cafe, opened by a socialite
Best Mala Hotpot Supper @ Ximending

Night Markets
Shida Night Market
Shilin Night Market
Raohe Night Market
Jianguo Flower and Jade Market

Shopping Malls & Bookstores
Eslite, Shinkong Mitsukoshi

Main Attractions - Places that you can't miss
Danshuei Old Street: Eat while you walk
Jiufen: Traditional Alley
Shifen: Lighting A Wish Lantern
Beitou Hot Springs: Soak your troubles away
Yehliu Geopark: Amazing Rock Formations by the Sea

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