Traveling Abroad: Taipei, TW -Edition

Martyrs’ Shrine

I’ve been bad at posting so I’ll be working my way back-and-forth through all the things I meant to post but never got around to doing so.  Back in March 2017, my fianceé and I (along with his parents) spent a week in Taiwan.  Despite Taiwan being a small island, we could’ve easily spent more than a week just exploring Taipei City and the surrounding areas.

Taiwan is known for its eats, and it did not disappoint.  We probably ate ungodly amounts of xiao long bao (小笼包) and mango shaved ice (芒果冰).   Ice Monster was a particular favorite but honestly there was so much delicious street food that we could’ve easily spent a month just trying all the food.  There was a vendor near our Airbnb in Zhongshan District (中山區) that sold Taiwanese Egg Crepes (蛋餅) for approximately 30-35NT (~$1-1.50 USD) depending on what toppings you wanted added – i.e. basil, onions, or oysters.  I’m pretty sure we ate there for breakfast at least 75% of our trip.  In addition to the shaved ice and xiao long baos, we had sesame oil noodles (麻油雞) that were cooked in such strong rice wine, I’m pretty sure we walked out of the street stall slightly tipsy.  And then there was all the beef noodle soup (牛肉麵) that we ate that was amazing – no matter if you were buying at a street stall for 200NT or at a department store (of which Taiwan has many) for 400NT.

With all the food we consumed, we obviously had to get out and explore by food.  However, Taipei makes it relatively simple with a metro system that is efficient and relatively top-notch as well as a bus system that functions…functionally.  We were able to make it out to hike up to the top of Elephant Mountain (象山) for a view of Taipei City as well as a 30-45 min harrowing, windy bus ride and 30 minute hike to Wulai Falls.  The views were gorgeous despite some rain showers and some smog (or fog, but it was most likely smog).  There were a few other places such as Yangmingshan National Park that we wanted to go to but simply didn’t have enough time.  Our last destination before flying back to SF was Beitou Hot Springs which were really quite spectacular.  I would have included pictures except the drizzle from the sky and the steam coming from the underground hot springs basically rendered all pictures foggy and, steamy – essentially it would’ve just looked like a posted a picture of white clouds.  There is a Beitou Hot Spring Museum that is open to the public, and FREE. It’s not particularly large but worth a walk through if you’re already in the area.

 

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