| || |
Up and down Zhongxiao East Rd and through the same department stores again. My camera was my best friend, always at my side and capturing the little things that make Taiwan so awesome. I spent time in some of my favorite parts of Taipei and also got to get out of the city a couple times to prime day trip destinations like Pingxi and Keelung. Typhoon or no typhoon, I ran around Taipei like a crazy person to savor every last moment.
life of a perpetual pedestrian
I got to check off everything from my Taiwan food bucket list that I neglected during work. First, I wanted to try Marukame Udon (located in A8) as soon as I saw this on hungryintaipei back during a sad night of finals week. Even after 7 entire weeks walking through all the Shin Kongs on a daily basis, I still hadn't been able to try it, though I've seen the horrendous line for it on several occassions. But when I finally went (on a Monday afternoon, aka smaller line!), it satisfied every udon and tempura craving I had. Definitely worth another trip next time. The small bowl + all the fried goodness was extremely filling but delicious. Plus you get to watch them make the udon, cook it and batter and fry all the tempura as you make your way down the line.
One well known gem is a breakfast place at Shandao Temple Station (one away from Taipei Main) located in Huashan Market, won't be missed, as the line extends through the market down the stairs and around the block!
Note: Taiwanese people have a pretty screwed up idea on what to eat for breakfast. They serve spaghetti. And burger meat sandwiches. My cousin used to eat ro gen (pork stew thing) with rice for breakfast all the time. Or oyster vermicelli. I guess I can't be talking, since my parents served me ice cream cake and chocolate for breakfast growing up. It took me a decade and a half to figure out what "breakfast food" was and to gain an appreciation for it. But traditional Taiwanese breakfast food is all about the shao bing you tiao with soymilk. And radish "cake" and egg "pancake" and green onion "pancake". None of them resemble what you would eat with syrup. You can probably tell, I'm not a fan of the translations for Chinese food.
the last hurrah
After spending all Wednesday trapped indoors singing "rain rain go away" and eating 7-Eleven meals (still delicious, but I would like to travel a little further than 10 steps right of the apartment building) not venturing any further than Hankyu and Eslite, I couldn't help but itch to get out of the house. I was determined to get out. Thursday morning, after exploring SYS in the morning, we continued west to Taipei Main where we ate a disappointing meal at the dim sum place in Breeze, went to the post office and stopped by the traditional market before heading home to hide out more rain. But I was still antsy. So after a little research on "places to go when it's raining" and not coming up with anything besides underground malls and department stores or even "make up your own aboriginal rain dance" (really?), we decided to screw it all and made our way over to Shuanglian area to explore.
From a 60 year old hot mochi store to a hole-in-wall meatball store, the authentic street food of the older area caters well to the local population. We also stumbled upon Ningxia night market (food only) before coming back through the R mall back home with midnight snacks to finish off a successful night of exploring.
You know it's going to be a good day when you stroll into DTF in first thing in the morning and get a seat immediately. After filling up with yummy food, we go specialty gift food shopping after helping guide some Koreans to Ice Monster (what can I say, I attract tourists, I've be asked everything from where a night market is to where the night life is, all by strangers from all over the world).
After breakfast we went to Pingxi, home of the world famous sky lanterns. There, we wandered the "old streets", ate local street food and watched numerous groups light sky lanterns. Afterwards, we headed over to Keelung to take in the harbor view and eat and shop at the Miaokou night market before heading back to Taipei.
sunday wasn't sunny
The last day after 9 weeks in Taiwan. It's been quite an adventure.
But it's time to say goodbye.