Our last day in Taipei was an absolute whirlwind. But would you expect anything different?
We booked a nighttime flight to take the most advantage of our time in Taiwan and unfortunately, had to leave the Airbnb that morning, so first things first was storing our luggage in the lockers in the train station.
It’s a nifty trick to remember that most travel hubs will have lockers that you can rent on an hourly basis to store your belongings. They are a great option for when you don’t want to drag your stuff around with you. Keep any very valuable belongings on your person instead of locking them up…but we’ve never had an issue! (knock on wood)
Ay Chung Flower Rice Noodle is one of Taipei’s most famous street foods and the line wraps around the block most nights. Are you surprised that when TT and I showed up at 10am on a Sunday, we walked right up to order? We kinda were! The menu is simple – choose large or small and take your bowl of goopy flour rice noodles with salty cured pig intestine into the street to slurp away.
The locals call this Mee Sua and I don’t know if anything has so embodied the word goopy before. This was just the goopiest. Definitely good and a definite recommend but just prep for the goop.
There was another small stall on this street that always had a line snaking out of it but everything was in Chinese and we had no idea what the green drink everyone queued up to buy was.
We decided we had to try it so held up one finger, passed the aproned man the money, and watched him shove two of those weird green things into a blender and then hand it to us.
This is bitter gourd juice! Also known as bitter cucumber to some. It is light and refreshing and has just the teensiest bite of bitterness at the end of a slurp. Success!
Free from our bags, we kept on our journey to Hsing Tian Kong Temple but could NOT pass up this bakery. Stepping inside Ijysheng was like stepping into Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory of pastries.
Coffee for size.
Head for size.
They looked incredible and tasted even better!
The sun was shining and it was actually pretty warm! A far cry from all the rain we had experienced. We arrived at the temple with a pep in our step.
Hsing Tian Kong is an extremely popular temple in Taipei. It is dedicated to Guan Yu, the patron saint of businessmen, and there were throngs of people lined up to ask for blessings in their careers and personal life.
It was bustling! People stood waiting to pray or be blessed, there were smaller rooms filled with people listening to sermons, and a whole bunch of people studying sacred texts.
Right below the temple, there is a tunnel called Fortune Telling Alley where stalls line the walls set with fortune telling ladies eager to let you know what you have coming for you in life.
We passed this time around but a cool little spot! They were all very nice and welcoming. Onwards!!!!!
The streets of Taipei wound every which way and we had to triple check that scooters weren’t racing around the corner when we were trying to cross. We arrived more than ready for our lunch.
Taipei Fish Market is the Eataly of Taipei. You walk in to a fresh fish market with tanks and tanks of different species of seafood swimming in the waters.
Up a few stairs is a fancier market with artisanal goodies and display cases of freshly made but already packed sushi, sashimi, uni, seafood goodness.
Even farther in were a few open restaurants and sushi chefs where you could pick out exactly what you wanted and watch them expertly slice it in front of you.
We grabbed our goodies and went outside to for a table in #perfectlighting
Lunch was melt in your mouth fresh and the sunshine and al fresco dining made it just so fab. I would highly recommend a stop at Taipei Fish Market if you are ever in the area. It is a fun place to grab some good food and watch some seriously good chefs do work.
Are you tired yet? Almost done, I promise.
Our second to last stop was Starbucks – duh!! Taipei 101 held the title as world’s tallest building until the Burj Kahlifa in Dubai was constructed in 2010.
Nevertheless, it looms over the city at 101 stories tall and has stood as a testament to modern Taiwan since it was built. Most importantly, it houses the world’s tallest Starbucks!
But this Starbucks isn’t like any other Starbucks. This is a classy Starbucks. You have to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance at this Starbucks. You have to spend 200 Taiwan dollars per person at this Starbucks. And you have to leave after 90 minutes at this Starbucks.
Sound like a drag? Yeah right! We hurried across town from the fish market to make our 3pm reservation and walked in like the kind and queen we are. The views were spectacular and it was a fun activity. But necessary? Nah. Go for the novelty and the views, leave once the blazing sun in the windows since you’re so close to the ozone layer starts making you sweat through your jean jacket.
I’ve just hit my 1000 word mark so will tie this up with some pictures from our quick jaunt around Shilin Night Market – the largest night market in Taipei. It was stocked with arcade games, food stalls, and tiny shops – it felt like an arcade!
I feel I could have dedicated an entire post to each of the activities from this day but decided to squeeze it all in to one as I am already in Hong Kong and have so many other things to show you!
Farewell for now Taipei, what a wonderful city!