Around the World, China, Taiwan

[Taipei to Go – Taipei, Taiwan]

December 9, 2015

Taipei was a whirlwind. We chose the city as a great stopover on our way to Thailand. Flying EVA Air means they practically throw it in for free. Nobody needs to twist my arm at binging on soup dumplings, beef noodle soup and tons of shopping though…

We got in at night, I was so sleepy from a 14 hr flight (don’t worry it’s only 14 hours one way, its about 10 the other direction) that the only thing that perked me up was our cab driver’s surprise hello kitty projection lights when you opened the door. He liked that I liked them and squealed with glee upon noticing them.

We checked into the Dandy Hotel, our stop for this leg of the race. Can’t say enough about how friendly everyone was, our new front desk friend slash constantly willing helper told us to have nice sweet dreams. A peek at our room, free snacks and all.

Dandy style

Dandy style

Of course we walked down two blocks to a restaurant nameI don’t remember and pointed at things until we received the following delicious dinner. I want to preface this trip by saying often we ordered something and got something entirely different but I think those mistakes were pretty lucky.

Hello noodle soup, I love you

Hello noodle soup, I love you

It was morning and we hit the ground running. Grabbed what ended up being a really amazing breakfast buffet from the hotel, steamed taro rolls, all sorts of sandwiches and coffee. Our first stop was Lungshan Temple. Services were in full swing, we felt absorbed into the mix of Sunday services. (yes, we lost a day not he way there)

The view from the outside

The view from the outside

Us trying to be quiet, tiptoeing around as everyone chanted

Us trying to be quiet, tiptoeing around as everyone chanted

One last parting shot

One last parting shot

After this we made our way to Ximending, a quick walk from the temple and a very busy little shopping area. In our overzealous site it was about 9 AM at this point so nothing was open. We stopped by Fong Da coffee for a cuppa (not the greatest cuppa but a good old coffee place and worth a little pit stop if you’re in need of a desperate buzz and bonus fun fact Taipei’s oldest cafe)

We started shopping our way through the morning, stopping for street food. Ben happened upon some of the most delicious soup dumplings ever. While soup dumplings can go horribly wrong, these did not and when they are done to this level of perfection you mostly have to walk away from buying more. Not seen here – us sampling Pineapple cakes and milk bubble teas as I have tried to cut down on blog picture overload.

Ready for a shopping excursion!

Ready for a shopping excursion!

Ben took a selfie with some statues, I was unprepared for my closeup

Ben took a selfie with some statues, I was unprepared for my closeup

Unclear if the street vendors were as ready

Unclear if the street vendors were as ready

Ben's soup dumplings I tried to eat them but only got two. Looking back for the $1 price I could've gone back...

Ben’s soup dumplings I tried to eat them but only got two. Looking back for the $1 price I could’ve gone back…

Afterwards we may or may not have stopped at a bakery and had a cheese bun. I’m not including these pictures so that we can pretend we didn’t just dim sum our way through the day. Shopping. Eating. Shopping. Eating. You know what comes next. We went to the shopping area near the university after a failed attempt at Taipei 101 (note to travelers, views can’t be justified by 90+ minute waits) and found ourselves amid well, shopping and another food market in Gongguan

Welcome to more deals!

Welcome to more deals!

bicycles piled very high

Scoooot scoot, bike traffic.

We also stumbled upon an indoor fresh produce market

We also stumbled upon an indoor fresh produce market

Would our way back out to the food section strolling for something shellfish free

Would our way back out to the food section strolling for something shellfish free

Hit the jackpot at fried chicken in a bag lady.

Hit the jackpot at fried chicken in a bag lady.

Alright, Ive eaten enough. No I haven’t did I mention on the way we stopped by Ice Monster for a disgusting tower of shaved ice? We also stopped by Smith & Hsu for a little tea then took a nap back at the hotel gearing ourselves up for Taipei’s infamous night market Shilin Night Market.

Icy tower of goodness

Icy tower of goodness

Quick hop onto the very clean metro

Quick hop onto the very clean metro

You could hear a pin drop

You could hear a pin drop

I mean honestly, have you ever seen a metro this clean?

I mean honestly, have you ever seen a metro this clean?

I have a confession to make. We also bought a selfie stick for this trip so we didn’t have to ask people to take our pictures. This is the only picture to date we have on it – the test picture in the room, you’re welcome.

Selfie stick pros

Selfie stick pros

Once at the market a must do is to, um, shop and eat. I can’t really give much more context for what we did because it was literally just shopping and eating so enjoy! Tomorrow we go to Bangkok 🙂

Market you are my home

Market you are my home

The crowds were tough but we were tougher

The crowds were tough but we were tougher

Emboldened by our love of street meats

Emboldened by our love of street meats

Taiwanese Sausages

Taiwanese Sausages

and fried chicken galore

and fried chicken galore

Ben post snacks

Ben post snacks

A few more shots of the crowd

A few more shots of the crowd

Endless amounts of fruit

Endless amounts of fruit

Me waiting for a corn cheese pancake

Me waiting for a corn cheese pancake

Shilin Night Market Snap

Shilin Night Market Snap

Goodnight Shilin! Goodnight Taipei!

Goodnight Shilin! Goodnight Taipei!

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