Around the World, Asia, China, Taiwan

[Head in the clouds, Maokong – Taipei, Taiwan]

January 6, 2016

We’re back in Taipei! It was a bit rainy and cold which was welcomed after some sweltering 100 degree days of whether. At this point in our trip I was in a grumpy mood. No matter how much you love travel, as a trip tapers off you hit that moment of slight depression that it’s ending (and also frustration in your ability to do things as easily as locals). We stopped into the Beauty Hotel, our home for the night. All  I will say is that it had a jet filled, whirlpool bathtub with a TV in the wall. Who even thought of this amazing thing?

We were pretty tired at this point but I’m never too tired to breakfast. My grumpy self four squared and we decided on Loco Food. Known for what I will describe as a scallion pancake burrito – this thing would kill in the states. Nobody spoke English which is fair enough because I think it’s absurd the rest of the world thinks a second language is standard when a lot of Americans speak just their own language. Instead I mimed things I wanted, adamantly hoping we wouldn’t get a burger or anything with shellfish. We got completely different things than we requested but true to form the woman who helped us order made a game time decision and picked the most popular things on the menu.

Breakfast Roll and a burger

Breakfast Roll and a burger (yep, one of the most popular items is a burger)

One of my few regrets was not making it to Jiufen, the town that inspired Spirited Away. Instead we found another mini getaway for our last day in Taipei. Maokong used to be the biggest tea growing are in Taipei and whether or not it still is, taking this terrifying gondola ride up to the top makes for a magical day in Taipei and the perfect ending to a trip. Once up there we had our run of beautiful tea houses hanging off the side of the mountain where you really can’t go wrong with a view. There are also many local dishes with tea leaves incorporated in the meal as well as tea flavored soft serves.

 

Off we go!

Off we go!

The gondola fluctuated between low and higher

The gondola fluctuated between low and higher

A little bit of the view below, can you believe this counts as public transit?

A little bit of the view below, can you believe this counts as public transit?

Almost there...

Almost there…

Finally arrived!

Finally arrived!

Once we arrived we had some taiwanese sausage on a stick and stopped by Maokong Tea House (couldn’t find a site but you can’t miss it, there are two). We missed out on the tea leaf fried rice because unfortunately we arrived a bit too early. Tea farmers came here to open tea houses but after a while demand dropped and they moved away. Nowadays tourists are once again surging to the hills whose name Maokong (means “not cat”) came from the domesticated cats running away. Despite this our cafe and all the others have very cute cat representations on it.

Hello chinese sausage

Hello chinese sausage

We followed the map this way first

We followed the map this way first

Stopped for a spot of tea

Stopped for a spot of tea

My date and longan tea which is basically different types of dates and honey. Ben's oolong tea.

My date and longan tea which is basically different types of dates and honey. Ben’s oolong tea.

...and here is me sipping a tiny cup

…and here is me sipping a tiny cup

We continued on past this overlook cafe where people were dining

We continued on past this overlook cafe where people were dining

Continued on to this temple

Continued on to this temple

More of us on the road

More of us on the road

We continued on to a different tea house where we thought we might eat lunch but wound up wiht more tea instead

We continued on to a different tea house where we thought we might eat lunch but wound up wiht more tea instead

And took a picture of course overlooking some tea farms

And took a picture of course overlooking some tea farms

Also turns out I liked before, we used the selfie stick one more time

Also turns out I liked before, we used the selfie stick one more time

I had this wonderful matcha latte with mini marshmallows

I had this wonderful matcha latte with mini marshmallows

This is what Ben looks like while I take pictures of cups with a stunning view as a backdrop

This is what Ben looks like while I take pictures of cups with a stunning view as a backdrop

We made one last stop that morning....three guesses as to what it is!

We made one last stop that morning….three guesses as to what it is!

Obviously, soft serve. (the eggs are in warm tea leaves)

Obviously, soft serve. (the eggs are in warm tea leaves)

With all of that we started our long journey home. Beautiful trip and we’re already itching for another one 🙂

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