Touring Taipei

So this past Songkran Weekend (which is the Thai Water Festival that celebrates Thai New Year), our international adviser invited us to his family home in Taipei and it was tons of fun! As soon as Saturday morning rolled in, I was packed up and ready to go!

"All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go...

The bus ride from Tainan to Taipei took about 4 hours, but seats were comfortable enough that we were able to sleep through most of the ride. Upon arrival, our adviser took us to a really nice Thai restaurant:

I need to figure out the specific directions to this place, in case someone asks...

The place served REALLY, REALLY GOOD Thai food!

I believe that's Panang Gai (Thai Chicken Curry) and Pad Pak Boong (Stir-fried Spinach)

Though I’m not so much into Thai food (and yes, that statement has shocked way too many people), I must say, I really liked the food here! It was delicious and to a good extent, according to my teammates, tasted just like home!

The near empty dishes should be testament enough of how good the food was! 🙂

After lunch, we headed to the 101 Tower to go sightseeing and enjoying all the modern sights Taipei has to offer!

It was a foggy day... Our best view of the 101 Tower, so far...

I love the bustling of the city and the tall buildings that showcased the modernity of the area!

Wow! I guess to a certain extent, I really am a city girl! Because really, who else would appreciate the following stores that we passed by?

No, I did not bother going in. I knew my spending budget wouldn’t even be a fraction of whatever these brands cost, but still it was nice to window-shop! 🙂

We headed out to the National Palace Museum of Taiwan for a free visit that evening. Due to the strict security, we weren’t allowed to bring in our cameras or take pictures. I must say though, the exhibits were wonderfully fascinating!

The next day took us to the riverside banks of Tamsui Station

The view: with the help of my handy-dandy panorama camera app!

There, we saw people of all ages taking part on a painting competition. And not just any painting, they were all using watercolors!!! I mean, seriously! Acrylics are already hard enough, from the glimpses I caught, these people were amazingly talented! Not to mention, extremely focused!

We stopped by the Chiang Kai Memorial Hall and enjoyed the cultural courtyard, filled with people enjoying the arts and their local lifestyles.

The Chiang Kai Shek Monument

The monument itself was guarded by frozen soldiers.

A frozen soldier guarding the Monument...

We were fortunate enough to see them change posts (an event that happens every hour or so, apparently), which was an ordeal that took a bit more than 10 minutes.

After our stint at the memorial hall, we rode on to New Taipei to celebrate Songkran. Now because I didn’t like to get wet, nor was I willing to risk my camera/phone by getting wet, I left it safely in my bag and didn’t take it out until lunchtime! I guarantee however, that though I didn’t participate, the Water Festival was a fun and colorful event that was enjoyed by hundreds!

After my friends dried up, we stopped by for lunch at a local restaurant that served really, REALLY GOOD Hainanese Chicken Rice!

The Taiwanese version of Hainanese Chicken Rice! YUM!

After lunch, we marched on to the Maokong Gondolas, a cable car service that took us passed 2 (or was it 3) mountains and up to a Daoist Temple way up in the mountains!

A Panoramic View from the Temple Grounds...

It was definitely an experience, watching and listening about Chinese faith, culture, and mythology!

The busy day ended with Shabu-Shabu for dinner and an attempt for either shopping (my friends’ idea) and an evening stroll by the riverside (my idea). Either way, both ideas were slashed as rain poured down on us just as we were exiting the restaurant. -_-;;;

But despite the rain, it was a wonderfully fun day and an eventful weekend altogether. I’m really hoping to visit Taipei again soon! But alas, because it’s so far away, I’ll just be content on my adventure to Kaohsiung tomorrow!

Not exactly sure how that will work out, but if you see me update, I guess that’s when we’ll all really know! 🙂

Til next time!

 

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