Visited the iconic Taipei 101! To our disappointment, we weren't going up to the observation area due to the long queues and waiting time. Was looking forward to it actually :(
So we only visited the shopping area!
And took photos of the view from 5th storey.
The mall reminds me of our Marina Bay Sands!
SHILIN NIGHT MARKET
Excited about Shilin Night Market because it's one of the popular places for tourists visiting Taipei. Although other people say it's not as good as it's raved to be, but still a must-visit at least once!
We did try the Hot Star chicken later at night, although it's also available in Singapore.
Went down to the air-conditioned underground area where there are many food stalls selling the typical Taiwanese street food.
Outdoor area was more crowded!
Wah, also have carnival games! It's like a big scale pasar malam.
Bought a drink from this shop~
And grilled squid from here!
Another cup of drink before we leave the area.
After a long queue, finally got our chicken cutlet from Hot Starr! Quite big!
PINEAPPLE TARTS DIY
Earlier that day we also attended a pineapple tarts workshop here!
It was quite easy because everything prepared nicely for us already.
My creation! It was the cube filling type.
Also bought other souvenirs from this shop since they sell quite alot of local snacks.
Tea-tasting at this place~ The tea leaves sold were quite expensive though.... Not for casual drinkers.
WU JIAO CHUAN BAN
Went to this interesting and well known restaurant for lunch. The architecture and interior is very artistic and unique, it felt like we were dining in a cave in some tribal village. Read online that the entire place is built out of driftwood. We were told there that the female owner built this entirely herself, so we were quite amazed at how one person can do this alone. But I tried to google about this story and couldn't find anything. I think they actually meant that she designed it entirely herself, and not really build it physically using her own hands on her own.
THE GRAND HOTEL
Part of our itinerary was visiting The Grand Hotel, and the background story of its fengshui was particularly interesting.
It's a hotel built to host foreign dignitaries who visited Taipei (It has secret passages! How exciting!). To my surprise, it is also open for booking to normal tourists too! I feel that staying here would be an unique experience for sure. It felt like a palace, especially because of its dragon motifs, wall paintings/carvings, and traditional Chinese decor.
Took the chance to take a group photo infront of it!
When reaching the front entrance, a sudden gush of strong wind blew in our direction. According to our guide, the wind is there 24/7 throughout the year no matter the weather.
The lobby... Definitely garnered alot of "wow...." from us.
My grey top is from www.earthdoll.co! Dressed quite casually during this trip~
YANG MING SHAN
Didn't know that nature also exist in the big city of Taipei! Went up to Yang Ming Shan to check out Xiaoyoukeng and the Flower Clock.
The Xiaoyoukeng recreation area is quite well known in Yangmingshan National Park for its volcanically-created fumaroles. The scenery was breathtaking, but it was especially stinky due to the sulfur released. It was quite an eye-opening nature visit for us though.
There were a bunch of vendors selling these squash balls that were connected to the racket, so that you can play squash without an opponent, plus if the ball goes to far, don't have to chase after it... Just pull the string attached. Quite fun!!
Taiwan is really full of 山山水水 (mountains and rivers). Am not a big fan of nature though..... Don't mind some countryside activities but not too much. Haha.
Check out my other Taiwan blog entries below, or other travel stories:http://www.estherxie.com/p/wander.html