Ningxia Night Market 寧夏夜市

Are you a food lover? Ningxia Night Market is considered as a smaller scale food street compared to the other prominent ones like Shilin and Rao he market, it doesn’t lose out in the food aspect.

The NingXia Night Market Taipei is a traditional and popular night market for locals and visitors alike. Local Taipei residents continue to come back to Ning Xia for a few popular foods.

There is quite a variety of offerings, and both tourists and locals are here for its Fried Taro Cake, friend Yam Balls, Oyster Omelette, Pork Liver Soup, Chicken Rice, Braised Pork Rice, Fried Bee Hoon, Mochi Balls, slurp some herb soup, nibble on pork leg rice, try tofu snacks, and devour oyster pancakes.

The whole stretch is about 150 metres long, with stalls lining on both sides. So while the crowd can be overwhelming, and walking spaces cramped during dinner hours, navigation up and down would still be relatively easier. 

Ningxia Night Market serves up many types of Taiwanese street food, and the notable fact is that many shops around have a history of at least 40 – 50 years. If you are not fussy or overly indulgent on food, I can suggest you dedicate about 1 to 2 hours here.

How to get there? From Red Line Shuanglian (雙連) MRT station, Exit 1, take a left onto Minsheng West Road (民生西路) heading west. Walk for about 6-8 mins, and the night market will be on the left side.

For instance, if you have not been to NingXia Night Market in Taipei, you should go there one day to have a try. I would suggest you to get some traditional food in this market. 🙂

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Affordable Hotel in Taipei – Yomi Hotel

Taken at lower level

Anyone of you don’t know which hotel and affordable hotel to live when visit Taiwan? Anyone don’t know which hotel is best and worth to live in Taipei while visiting Taiwan? This blog would be the best for you to read. I would share about Yomi Hotel facilities, room prices, what they offer to their guest, how to get there, what is the benefit, why it is worth etc….It is very surprising to us because not many hotel would have kind of facilities.

Introduction of Yomi Hotel

Yomi Hotel is located in Taipei’s luxurious Zhongshan District. This area has a very long history of culture including the thriving Mitsukoshi department stores shopping district along with exotic cuisines and a collection of traditional Taiwanese foods. It is a dynamic and active area.

It is also located in the centre of Taipei’s MRT system. Using Taipei’s MRT system from Yomi Hotel allows for optimum choices in Transportation routes that let you see Taipei at a relaxed pace.

The most comfortable area to visit by walking self tour. In everyday morning, walk about 4 minutes to Shuanglian Morning Market to experience the passion and vivacity of a traditional market. At everyday night, walk about 14 minutes to visit “Ningxia Night Market” and don’t miss the #1 delicious foods of Taipei that can be explored on foot.

Hotel to the World Trade Exhibition Center in Xinyi District or Nankang Exhibition Center: approximately 25~30 minutes by taxi.

Room Information with prices

Yomi Hotel has a total of 63 guest rooms that were renovated in September of 2014. The new simplistic and trendy styles are clean and comfortable while the introduction of a new generation of guest room facility modules are constantly being innovated and added in order to meet all of a traveler’s needs.

Each room is equipped with: mobile phone charging station, 50 inch 4K LCD TV,  the bathrooms contain bathtubs and Panasonic bidets.

Awarded the government’s Sanitation Management Certification, Premium Accommodations Environment Certification to ensure you enjoy your stay.  

Superior and Scandi Design double room

Superior Room is an One double bed for 2 people. This room cost TWD 2080 per night. A double bed (160x200cm), a 50” high resolution LCD TV, a standard bathtub or western-style bathtub, an IDD telephone, an electric coffee pot, a mini bar, a mini refrigerator, a safe, a closet, and a hairdryer, Washlet.

Chinese and western buffet breakfast inclusive of 5% tax and 10% service charge. Free wifi and internet connection. Free bicycle. Free access to laundry, the business center, the computer and free use of the printer.

The check-in time is 15:00 and the check-out time is 12:00. Rooms are for two people. Extra beds are not available for this room. Parking lot (parking custodial fees NT$100 a day), Welcome gift, and paid laundry service.  

Free! One child under 3 years stays free of charge when using existing beds. All children from 3 to 7 year are charged TWD 400 per person per night when using existing beds. All older children or adults are charged TWD 800 per person per night when using existing beds. The maximum number of cribs in a room is 1 free of charge. Additional fees are not calculated automatically in the total cost and will have to be paid for separately during your stay.

Scandi design double room is an One double bed. This room cost $NT 2280 per night. The different between superior room and Scandi Design double room are just the price but all facilities and offers are the same. I do recommended to stay in the Superior room if you are not in the hotel throughout the day.

VIP Room

VIP Room (This spacious room has a living room and bedroom in one design)

  • A king size bed (180x200cm), a 50” 4K high resolution LCD TV,  a stone-bathtub, steam sauna, an IDD telephone, an electric coffee pot, a mini bar, a mini refrigerator, a safe, a closet, and a hairdryer, Washlet.
  • Chinese and western buffet breakfast inclusive of 5% tax and 10% service charge.
  • Free wifi and internet connection.
  • Free bicycle use.
  • Free access to laundry, the business center, the computer and free use of the printer.
  • The check-in time is 15:00 and the check-out time is 12:00. Rooms are for two people.Extra beds are not available for this room.
  • Parking lot (parking custodial fees NT$100 a day), free guest fruit basket, and paid laundry service.
  • ROOM 3D:  VIP Room 3D

For the cost fee. Weekday price is NTD 2,280 up per night but if during holidays, the price would be NTD 2,880 up

Free! One child under 3 years stays free of charge when using existing beds. All children from 3 to 7 year are charged TWD 400 per person per night when using existing beds.All older children or adults are charged TWD 800 per person per night when using existing beds. The maximum number of cribs in a room is 1 free of charge. Additional fees are not calculated automatically in the total cost and will have to be paid for separately during your stay.

Royal Triple Room

Royal triple room is a 3 to 4 people bedroom.

Weekday: $NTD 2,380 up 
Holiday: $NTD 2,980 up

Deluxe family Room

All room offer the same things. The only different is prices. Depend on how many guest per room you need.

For the deluxe family room fees is $NT 2,880 up per night for weekdays. But, holiday fees is $NTD 3,480 up per night.

Perfect Facilities

They warmly welcome guests into their property by offering the welcome fruit bowls or plates. This amazed me and I never seen other hotel do welcome you by giving you something. The hotel staff are friendly too which make you feel welcoming and feel like home.

For guests use free of charge: Wifi connection inside guestrooms and hotel public space, Bicycle, All day Coffee & Drink in the B1 restaurant, Laundry room, Iron borrowing, Business center, English computer, Printer,  Scenic spot travel guide services, Foreign exchange, Mobile phone charger, Air ticket confirmation,  Massage chair, Infant and children articles, Luggage scale.

  • Free Coffee & Drink is served.  Served while guests take a rest, meet, visit friends and attend a meeting.
  • 3 / Washing Machine 
  • 3 / Tumble Dryer – Free of charge【Opening hours】All day
  • 4 desktop computers (Win7 and Office in English, Japanese and Chinese versions), a whiteboard, and printer.
    ◎ Free of charge
    ◎【Opening hours】All day
  • 【Charges】All equipments are available free of charge except for printer use. Please make a reservation with our receptionist at the front desk.
  • Parking area and guest parking services provided by our parking attendants.
    ◎【Opening hours】All day
    ◎【Charges】parking custodial fees NT$100 a day
  • Laundry service, city travel, lunch box ordering, letter mailing, fax, photocopy, blind massager service, drop-off at the Taoyuan International Airport are charged services.

Every guest in the Yomi Hotel room will received 2 cup noodles, couple of coffee and tea, 2 water bottles, a welcome fruit gift and so on. It is a valuable services that they provided me while I was staying in this hotel. These are offers everyday. As long as the house keeping cleans your room, they will put up the new 2 cup noodles and others for you. If you didn’t request for the house keeping to clean your room everyday, you can just call them to give you some cup noodles and other stuff you would love to have and they will taking up to your room.

Wow, is there any hotel will give you a free bubble tea? No I don’t think so. Or may be there is but just I never encounter. Well, in the new traditional is such as post up the feedback on the TripAdvisor site by some challenges to get a free bubble tea. Yomi Hotel in Taiwan have been improve by providing their guest as best experience as possible such as the sample of photo taken by me which is the Yomi hotel in Taiwan provided us a free bubble tea after post up the positive feedback on the TripAdvisor site. On another hand, Yomi hotel in Taiwan accommodation fees has included the hotel pickup services, the breakfast and the services that they had offering to their guest.

Apart from free bubble tea, there is a free Taipei sightseeing between 5pm – 9pm which is worth.

The benefit of this Yomi hotel guest will received the free pocket Wi-Fi for them to take out with them so that their guest do not need to buy for a SimCard. Obviously that this hotel management did think about their guest needed before they commenced for this sort of services to their guest which is very professional. Apart from these services they offers mentioned above, they did offers for the laundry services as well as the game rooms for the children. By the way, they do provided a mobile phone per guest room, so just letting you know that you do not need to worry about the SimCard.

How to get to the Hotel? – Transportation

Photo taken from Taoyuan International Airport

Well, this would be depend on where are you coming down from. Some people arrive in Kaohsiung and depart from Taipei and some people after arrive Taipei, they go to Kaohsiung first then come back to Taipei for few days then return flight back home.

If you are arrive in TaoYuan International Airport, you can catch the buses shown in my photo above which is called Kuo-Kuang Bus. This bus is terminate in the Taipei Main Station but if you are going to this Yomi Hotel, you need to get off at the Guo-Bing hotel stop. It is just 3 minutes walk from the Guo-Bing stop to the Yomi hotel.

But if you are coming down from the South Taiwan such as Kaohsiung, you need to catch the high speed train to get to the Taipei Main Station, then catch the MRT to ShuangLian Station.

From MRT Shuanglian Station to the Hotel would be at Exit 1 take a right turn approximately 4 minute walk.

Please Note:

  • Taipei Main Station to Hotel is 5~8 minutes by taxi.
  • Taipei Songshan Airport to Hotel will take approximately 10 minutes by taxi.
  • Taoyuan International Airport to Hotel would take the 1819 Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport or 1961 CitiAir Bus. The ride takes about 40 minutes. Bus stops at (Ambassador Hotel) approximately 3 minute walk.
  • Hotel to World Trade Exhibition Center in Xinyi District or Nankang Exhibition Center would be approximately 25~30 minutes by taxi.

Gaya Street Sunday Market

Going to Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah very soon? Gaya Street is the main street of the Market. Gaya street has lot of shops surround there and the most famous part is the Gaya Street Sunday Market. Sunday market is running in Gaya street on every Sunday morning from 6am until 12pm. It is the one of the top tourist attraction must be plan to have a visit. You will be experiencing with the local cultures, foodies, beverages, clothes etc….

Other than delicious snacks, sweet fruits, affordable textiles, and pretty handcrafting, there are also some extraordinary activities ongoing on Gaya Street that you can’t or barely see elsewhere.  

Please note: Gaya Street starts around 7.00 am (only on Sunday) and reach its peak at 9.00 am, be sure to reach there as early as you can. If you are driving, the only thing to avoid traffic congestion is to go as early as possible. The jam always start around 7am, it is because the Sunday market is running on the main street which mean the street is blocking, that’s why the street is traffic after the road being close.

History

Regarding to the History of the Gaya Street, this is originally named Bond Street, Gaya Street is located in the Kota Kinabalu Central Business District has been the center of business for over a hundred years. The wooden shops with Nipah roofs are long gone but here is where generations-old family businesses are still thriving passed down from father to son.

On every Sunday morning, the length of Gaya Street is closed off to traffic to make way for the Fair, local families would gather in Gaya Street to buy their whole week necessities if not just wandering along the street and enjoy the morning walk.

Main Street

The main Gaya Street consists of over-sized umbrella stalls stacking along the streets, and you would need to spend at least one hour in order to visit all the stalls. There are tons of merchandises being display along the street, from daily necessities to tourist’s favorite, so stick with them and learn more about Gaya Street and local cultures

You will be very hungry after exploring the street. There are also great restaurants on both sides of the streets selling local breakfast which definitely worth a try. 

Traditional Malaysian Kuih-Muih

Regarding to the photo taken above, these are local Malaysia Kuih-muih made by the Malay people. Malay people is defined as Malaysia Muslim/Islamic people. But these are mostly Hakka’s people made it, very professional in making traditional pastries and being handed down for generations, few must-try pastries including – Pork Rice Dumpling, Green Bean Pastries, Pandan-Coconut Roll and Rainbow Layer Cake. 

These traditional pastries are selling in a small portion, it enables you to pick a more different option and serves as a perfect treat while walking along the busy Sunday street. The kuih-muih is cost RM0.50 each which is very cheap and worth for a try.

Malay Cultures

Photo Taken at the Malay instrumental booth somewhere in the main street

First of all, Malay is defined as the Malaysian Muslim/Islamic people. Their cultures are very interesting and you should understand and get some knowledge about their culture. Regarding to the picture shown above, i was experience the Malay instrumental at the musical booth. It was remind me of the African culture. This drum pretty much similar with the African Drum.

In a gist, Malays are an Austronesian ethnic group and nation native to the Malay Peninsula, eastern Sumatra of Indonesia and coastal Borneo, as well as the smaller islands which lie between these locations — areas that are collectively known as the Malay world. These locations are today part of the nations of Brunei and Malaysia (two of the modern-Malay nation state), Indonesia, Singapore, and southern Thailand.

There is considerable genetic, linguistic, cultural, and social diversity among the many Malay subgroups, mainly due to hundreds of years of immigration and assimilation of various regional ethnicity and tribes within Maritime Southeast Asia. Historically, the Malay population is descended primarily from the earlier Malayic-speaking Austronesians and Austroasiatic tribes who founded several ancient maritime trading states and kingdoms, notably Brunei, Kedah, Langkasuka, Gangga Negara, Chi Tu, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pahang, Melayu and Srivijaya.

Malaysia has a rich cultural life, much of which revolves around the traditional festivities of its diverse population. The major Muslim holidays are Hari Raya Puasa (“Holiday of Fasting”), or Aidilfitri, to celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and Hari Raya Haji (“Holiday of the Pilgrimage”), or Aidiladha, to celebrate the culmination of the season of pilgrimage to mecca. Buddhists honour the life of the Buddha on Hari Wesak (“Wesak Day”), and Chinese Malaysians celebrate Chinese New Year. Deepavali, a Hindu festival of lights spanning several days, is observed by many Indian Malaysians, while Christmas is the principal holiday of the Christian Community. On most of these holidays, it is customary to host an “open house,” where guests are treated to Malaysian delicacies and hospitality. A holiday that spans all ethnic groups and religions is Hari Kebangsaan (National Day), a celebration of Malaysia’s independence on August 31.

I also want to clarify sport of Malaysia. Sports in Malaysia are a mixture of traditional and Western games. From the mid-19th century, British expatriates introduced soccer, cricket, events, and rugby to the peninsula; they formed a number of clubs and organized competitions. The Malaysia Cup (formerly the H.M.S. Malaya Cup), first contested in 1921, is the country’s premier football competition.

Traditional sports also enjoy local popularity. Top-spinning (main gasing) competitions are seriously contested, with winning tops often spinning for well over an hour. In some areas, top spinning is not merely a random pastime but is associated with the agricultural cycle. Kite flying also is a favourite activity, as are bird-singing contests, which may feature hundreds of birds, all with unique songs. Sepak takraw (“kick ball”) is a uniquely Southeast Asian game (now played in other regions) that is similar to volleyball but is played with a woven rattan ball and without using the hands. The sport is internationally competitive, and Malaysia has fronted winning teams.

These are Malay Gongs.

This is Malay Gongs. It is one of their traditional music instrument. When it comes to souvenirs, you can consider buying these local handcrafts that strongly emphasize the art of Borneo which includes – Rafflesia, Gong & Seruling (a musical instruments), and Proboscis Monkey. Some stalls even offer custom handmade on the spot service if you willing to pay more for the exclusiveness. 

Today, the Malays, Malaysia’s largest ethnic group, make up more than 50% of the population. In Malaysia, the term Malay refers to a person who practices Islam and Malay traditions, speaks the Malay language and whose ancestors are Malays. Their conversion to Islam from Hindustan and Theravada Buddhism began in the 1400s, largely influenced by the decision of the royal court of Melaka. The Malays are known for their gentle mannerism and rich arts heritage. Traditional Malay dance in Malaysia can be classified into 3 primarily categories. Court Dance, Folk Dance of the West Malaysia and East Malaysia are widely practiced in Malaysia.

Court Dance started as entertainment for the Royal Households of Malaysia. The style is very graceful and the movements are slow, sustained and controlled. Most of the Court dances begin in seated position then slowly to a kneeling or standing position. Such dances used to be performed for the public in many places. As for Folk Dance, these dances are always associated with joyous occasions for the community. Folk Dance is popular but the origins are unclear. Most of the dances use hand-held props that are easily recognisable. Some of these dances can be traced to animistic beliefs and rituals. Since the 15th century, Malaysia had tremendous influx of traders and missionaries that brought with them their own culture, tradition and beliefs. Folk Dance is quite alive in eastern Malaysia. These dances are simply yet beautiful. The style appears to be without tensions or muscular action and fairly relaxed. The dance movement often depicts nature, life in jungle, movement of birds and others. The major differences of Folk Dances in East and West are the dancers, musicians and musical instruments. Dancer’s costumes are very ornate and often with an elaborate headgear and other accessories in the East. Primarily a 4 stringed, elongated guitar for the Sarawakian Dance and the Kulintantan for the Sabahan Dance. These instruments are mostly handmade and very artistic. They are many Malay Dances; Joget, Silat and Dikir Barat are some examples.

Traditional Malay Herb & Medicines

The herbal roots and fungus are originated from the local state while medicines in fine packaging are imported from Indonesia, they don’t smell bad at all and in fact, some Malay even suggests that these traditional medicines are actually efficacious and use broadly in their daily life. Among Malay Ladies, there is also a special beverage called “Jamu” (yellowish color, a strong galangal brew) that they would consume daily which is said to be a very good natural remedy for beauty. 

Apart from Herbal Medicines, Gaya Street also a bargain paradise when it comes to hunting for fashion and textiles. The best selling item would be the colorful pattern of batik scarfs which is the best symbol to proves that you had been to Malaysia. Don’t be surprised if you happen to stumble across someone who actually wears similar like you in Gaya Street because it just shows that you both practically have the same taste!

Professional Calligraphy

You might see it as a normal calligraphy master in the street, then how about if we tell you that he’s a pure Indian with a Chinese name? Yes, his name is Huang Poh Lo aka N.Poolohgasingam (N.Polo) the man below the wind and very into Chinese & Shah-Rumi Al-Arabia Calligraphy. You can pinpoint his stall within the Gaya Street and request him to custom write specific word characters (different sizes) at a little extra charge. 

If you would like to buy his book marky, it would be charge RM5 each only which is good and billion.

For extra info about the market, who needs a visit to high-end massage parlor when you can actually get a cheaper one in Gaya Street?  They actually consist of Malay and Filipinos who are expert in performing simple neck/foot massage to visitors across the street. Based by the locals, this massage service is operating every day and available all day long at a specific area around Gaya Street, so walk around the street and ask those locals if you really in need of some great massage!

Gaya Street Vegetable Market

Gaya Street situated behind shop row is known as the Sabahan Paradise – a vegetable market which sustains the local needs on vegetable, fruits, and spices throughout the whole week. This is the place where local people would gather and do their grocery shopping since the product is fresh and naturally grown by local farmers. Some interesting yet never seen before vegetable and fruit are also available in this market, you might need to ask the store owner for the proper usage regarding it.  

Wild vegetables and roots could be real delicacies provided if you know the correct way to cook and preparing it while Sabah indigenous are categorized as one of them. Akar Wali – has a rattan-like brownish appearance, its stem can be used to boil with water and serve as a drink which is effective on controlling diabetes.  

Borneo Premium Rice

One of the most iconic food that you must try while traveling in Sabah is none other than the Borneo Bario Rice which has different types of grains and colors. This famed rice is as precious as gold for local farmers that they would rather sell for extra income instead of serving it on their own plate, the grain is in perfect size which known to be as delicious as the Japanese Pearl Rice. 

For instance, I do recommended to those whoever never visit Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Sabah, you must visit this Gaya Street Sunday Market during your visit one day. It is one of the best market and it is worth to go to explore. Make it like 2 hours explore around as it would be very crowded. For those who have been there, what the best experience you gain 🙂

#Vacation #Summers

Kadazan Cultures – Sabah Borneo

Taken from Imago Shopping Centre

First of all, this photo was taken in the Imago shopping centre. This is the Kadazan cultures in Malaysia. Malaysia aboriginal people are name called Kadazandusun. Their main languages is Dusun. You won’t experience this in the gaya street but you would experience in Kadazan culture in the Imago shopping centre instead. They had set a specific performance times in the shopping centre for tourist to explore and experiences.


The Kadazan people, originally Borneo head-headhuntters, are the first Borneo people that uses the plow for farming rice and it became as their main source of income. Prior to that, they are known as agriculturalists, where almost all the rice cultivated in Sabah Borneo is grown by them. As a result, they can create the rice into various delicacies and alcoholic drinks through home-brewed fermentation processes. Tapai and Lihing are an example of Kadazan alcoholic drinks that are made from rice.  Therefore, these alcoholic drinks are usually served during any festive season (Kaamatan or Harvest festival), social gatherings and wedding ceremonies.

Their most important festival is the Kaamatan or harvest festival, where the spirit of the paddy is honoured after a year’s harvest. This takes place in May. During the celebration, the most celebrated event is the crowning of the ‘Unduk Ngadau’ – the harvest queen in Kadazan. Majority of the Kadazans are Christians, particularly around Penampang and the larger towns. In the district of Ranau, there are also a number of Kadazans who have embraced Islam. They practice arranged marriage. The parents of both sides will make the decision of engagement when the boy is at the age of twelve and girl is eleven. The Kadazans call this ‘miatod’. When a child is born, a leaf known as wongkong is immediately tied over the door. The name of the new born baby is chosen by the grandparents. The names chosen are taken from these ancestors and are based on the nature around them such as the names of trees, animals, and so on.

Sumazau is their traditional dance often performed during the harvest festival or joyous ceremonies. It is danced by farmers, both male and female, who are wearing traditional dress, in black and red. The dance will be accompanied by gongs.

Traditional Kadazan cuisine are cooked in a healthy way – boiling, grilling and with a little use of oil. It also uses locally available ingredients, such as bamboo shoots, sago and fresh water fish. The more popular dishes include hinava, pinasakan, and hinompuka etc.

This is Kadazan traditional clothes

The kadazan performance always having in the Imago shopping Centre located at the main entrance of the shopping centre. As long as they seen the tourist come in the main entrance, they will perform their cultures shows. However, you would also see them around the shopping centre walking around with well performance like what photo shown above. Just imagine that is there any local culture show in the shopping centre in your country to give the tourist to experience the local culture? Some people may think it is weird that why the performance having inside the shopping centre and not at the festival instead. Well, this imago shopping centre is one of the top tourist shopping centre where there is full of tourist shopping around and see what is interesting inside. Although imago shopping centre stuff are expensive as a top shopping centre in Kota Kinabalu, but it is still cheaper than our own country.

Will going or thinking of visit Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia, try to plan to go to Imago shopping centre to explore and see what is something interesting there likewise I said you will experience the cultures performance inside there and the food are very nice 🙂