Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas up in Taiwan (part 4)

Last day in Taiwan! I got up to a gloomy and sprinkling morning. The plan for the morning was to visit the Longshan Temple and the CKS Memorial. I went to the memorial first which consisted of a lot of open space. So not so good for rain. The memorial itself was under renovation, which gave me a good excuse not to walk over there. The temple was filled with a ton of people so I managed to stay on schedule and got back to the hostel at around 11am. Talked to family for a bit while they were in wrapping presents.

In the afternoon I went in search of food at Yongkai st near the Dongmen mrt station. That is a really nice neighborhood! I had beef noodles at a small shop. It was really good. Lots of beef and freshly made noodles. There are some streets that are full of little coffee shops that looked like a really nice way to spend an afternoon. If it had continued to rain, I think I would have just stayed in one. But it was sunny out so I kept going. It would be really nice to live in a neighborhood like that!

I headed to the Daqiaotou area to find that it started to rain again. The outside of the mrt station was not very impressive either. Big intersection under an overpass. I nearly turned around to go back to those nice coffee shops. I kept going though and found a lot of older shops selling very cheap candy and tea. I picked out two big bags of candy and cookies and some dried rose and lavender. I made it to the harbor area and found a rainbow. This blogger app doesn't do we'll with photos. It doesn't seem like I can insert photos within my text. They just all go to the end. I'll just upload them in order.

The iPad is not a good substitute for a camera. It's too much work to keep taking it in and out. It also does not have flash and just doesn't do well in certain occasions. I should really get another camera.

Then for my last stop, I went all the way out to Tamshui, which is at the end of one of the mrt lines. It took a while to get out there and back. Glad I went though because its also a really nice area with a nice stretch of coast. There were also lots of stalls with food. I ate some fried pigeon eggs on a stick (I think they are pigeon anyway, those little eggs that are spotted?), fried potato on a stick, and have another bubble tea. I didn't make it all the way out to see the fishermans wharf and fort Domingo, which are some of the listed attractions due to the lack of time. I am writing most of this while on the train back to the city center.

All in all, the trip has been pretty interesting. There are definitely more things to explore, just in Taipei itself. I feel like this is a city like HK where there are a lot of hidden corners and interesting neighborhoods. There are definitely more night market foods to try out. Speaking of night markets, I was eating my stash of food on the steps of this temple last night (there were a lot of other people doing the same thing), when I was approached by the temple's cat. It came right up to me and demanded food. I gave it the last piece of my squid.

Looking forward to going on more trips around Asia while I'm still in HK. It's so easy to go places. And HK people travel a lot. There were people speaking Canto everywhere I go here. I assume they are from HK. I think travel restrictions are less stringent now between Taiwan and the Mainland. There were people at my first hostel from Beijing. I think this is really good to promote understanding and exchange between the two places.

Got to the airport and was disappointed that the return flight would be operated by HK Airlines instead of EVA. No hello kitty meals!

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