Taiwan: Taipei, Part 1
I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you my Taiwan trip! The posts this week are basically a large photo dump of the two weeks that I was there. I’ll have blurbs throughout so if you ever choose to visit Taiwan (which you really need to!), you can try and visit some of these places. I’ll try to give addresses/location but some I don’t remember so I’ll just have to give the general area or something. Anyway..enough babbling..onto the photo tour of Taiwan!
Authentic milk tea bubble tea. Whenever I go back to Taiwan, I try to have one every day. I think we had one every other day we were there this time. There are SO many of these stores everywhere in Taipei so I guarantee you’ll run into several on the same block. ComeBuy, 50嵐, CoCo are all chains and they’re the most popular ones you’ll see. They have other flavors of bubble tea but I go for the traditional black milk tea one. We went to ComeBuy the most. Most of these places now have ALL these options there (way different than four years ago) where you can have your selection of full sugar, half sugar, less sugar, more ice, less ice, regular ice, big bubbles, small bubbles. So many options! It really confused me at first when they started asking me because I wasn’t used to that. Btw, just a tip: “full sugar” is like teeth-rotting sweet. I usually went with less sugar, regular ice, and big bubbles.
Breakfast sandwiches are pretty popular in Taipei. I think it’s due to the hustle and bustle and you just want something you can grab on your way to the office. In the mornings on our way to get coffee, we’d pass a bunch of these breakfast places that were frying up scallion pancakes with eggs, ham, bacon, etc. This was a breakfast sandwich we had at a cafe called Magic. It was down the street from where my uncle lives. It was ok. It was hard to eat this because of the flaky “buns.”
The MRT (subway system) in Taipei is the best ever. It’s SO easy to get around, so clean, and wayyy more efficient than the ones in DC. I love that some MRT stations are different in the sense that they have different themes or decor to them.
This MRT station at the Da’an stop had a waterfall fountain show that happened every 30 minutes. You could walk around the inside of it and I captured some cool water shots with my camera.
After we watched the fountains at the Da’an station, we walked over to the Flower and Jade Market. It’s this huuuge market that’s all connected together. Each has a large tent of their own. Seriously, so fun seeing all these vendors and their products!
After the Flower and Jade market, we hopped in a cab (or MRT, I forgot which) and headed over to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial. There’s this soup dumpling shop right next to it where we ate lunch prior to walking around the CKS Memorial grounds. Needed some energy! ;)
Sweet and sour soup:
Beef roll-up with scallion pancakes and this awesome sauce inside. So good!!
We got to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial right when they were doing the changing of the guard ceremony. They do it every hour where basically two guards who stand next to the statue are swapped out but it’s a whole ceremony – super cool. I suggest you try to watch it!
The view from the top of the stairs of the memorial
The two orange roofed buildings are actually theaters! They’re used, too!
There’s a little garden area by the memorial where you can catch another view of the entire memorial
After lots of walking around, we went to a shaved ice shop. They’re really popular in Taiwan. The place we went to was called Mango!
Ok, so right next to the Taipei Zoo, you can go on the Maokong Gondola and it takes you all the way up Maokong. You can either wait for a regular gondola or wait for the clear-bottomed gondola. Omg, so scary. I think my legs would’ve become jello had we gotten a clear-bottomed one. We took the regular one up and it was about a 20 minute ride up. You see all of Taipei and all the lush greenery underneath you. It’s gorgeous and SO surprisingly quiet and serene.
When you get to the top of Maokong, there are a bunch of tea houses and restaurants. Maokong is known for their tea so they incorporate it in a lot of their cooking.
This fried rice was AWESOME. I didn’t get to snap a photo prior to devouring most of it, but this fried rice was made with tea leaves. The flavor was phenomenal!
Taiwanese breakfasts are to die for. This little shop is literally a 5 second walk from my uncle’s house so we were definitely lucky! This was salty soymilk (鹹豆漿), a very popular breakfast item to have in Taiwan.
Scallion pancakes and eggs
Omg the oil sticks (油條)
These are the scallion pancakes prior to being put on the large griddle
This was an in-house coffee bean roaster at our favorite coffee shop in Taipei – Cama Cafe – we walked there every morning and got the same thing. Me: an iced hazelnut latte and Jason: an iced vanilla latte. Their coffee is SO good and I love that they roast their own beans!
This was like a 5 minute walk from my uncle’s house. They live so close to the Taipei 101! It’s awesome.
We went up the Taipei 101 (I think it’s like $12 USD). It’s so cool – you can have a 360 view of Taipei at all the lookout points and the elevator is so fast. You get up to the 89th floor or something like that in 20 seconds. Inside, you can also go into where they have the big golden mass damper ball which sways back and forth on hydraulics when there’s strong winds or a typhoon. It keeps the building stabilized. There’s this video in the Taipei 101 where you can see what the damper ball does during a typhoon. It’s swaying back and forth like crazy!
The food court at the bottom floor of the Taipei 101 is unreal. It’s unlike any other food court you’ve been to. The food there is actually GOOD fast food. I got this katsu hot dish.
Next to the Taipei 101 there is this shopping area where they have a Krispy Kreme, Zara Home, and a bunch of other stores and restaurants. Inside that building, there is this restaurant called Coffee Alley and they’re known for their brunch. We ordered black sesame waffles and they had black sesame ice cream on the side! So so good!
Omg, we then got this french bread pizza thing. Holy cow – so cheesy and good!!
We went to the Danshui/Tamsui district (淡水區) which is a little sea-side district near Taipei. It takes quite a few MRT stops to get there (it’s at the very end of the red line) and two transfers from where we started but it’s definitely worth going to! The view is pretty and there’s quite a bit to do there. You can take the ferry to the Fisherman’s Wharf area where you can see the Love Bridge (below) and there’s this famous street called The Old Street (淡水老街) where has tons of shops and lots of street vendors.
Haha, they have these ice cream shops all over Taipei and the night markets. This is what you get when you say you want a “tall” one :)
This was one of the shops making delicious almond granola bars on The Old Street.
Fried squid on a stick! This is really popular there.
And that’s it for part 1 in Taipei! Stayed tuned for Taipei, part 2 tomorrow!! :)
Posted on May 12, 2014