I’m so excited to share you my recent trip to Taiwan. It’s my sixth country to date and part of my travel bucket-list I’ve mentioned before. There are highs and lows in this trip but as the trip went by, it did get better and much more exciting. But I wasn’t prepared by the amount of people, and I know crowd when I see one. Hello, I hail from one of the most densely populated cities in the world. But enough chitchat, let’s go on with it.
I’m making this post two parts. The first installment is about our adventures around Taipei. Next installment is about our side trip to Shifen and Juifen. So, now’s that out of the way, time to truly begin this recap. I think I’ve already said why I wanted to visit our country neighbor. Taiwan is so accessible to Philippines, with only 2 hours flight time! So…yeah, it was supposed to be a fast flight (like my trip to Hong Kong, it was breezy both flights were on time) but it got delayed by I think more than 2 hours! So we were there by 3-4am (almost 5am?) already. Then it was mishaps after mishaps (starting from our delayed flight to private transfer not showing up, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was our accommodation problems). We were so exhausted bracing the cold, hunger, and sleep deprivation (and frustrations) in our first few hours after landing. Well, some things happen unexpectedly (but it was more like series of unfortunate events than lack of preparations tbqh). But the good thing we managed to get back on track for this travel trip.
So because of that our first day didn’t pan out as we planned due to lack of sleep, but we were optimistic for the following days. So the next day we traveled around Taipei major tourist spots by riding their the red and fun Taipei Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus. It was very convenient for tourist like us ‘cos we were very overwhelmed by Taipei Main Station (been to HK, SG, & JP but that still didn’t prepare me for the maze that was their train station haha) Nevertheless, I think it was better decision ‘cos it was fun riding the bus. My nephew had wanted to ride one since he saw the double deckers. So, we went to the usual places, like Chiang Kai Shek, Shilin, Taipei 101, National Palace Museum and others. We didn’t get off on every stop but we went to check out the popular places. At night we visit the the night markets, and mother of pearl, it was so crowded. But then we went there one week before Lunar New Year and some places were already preparing for it (so many red lanterns). The night market atmosphere reminded me so much of our very own Ongpin and Binondo. Trivia to those who isn’t aware yet, but we have the oldest China Town in the world, and the vibe of the night markets felt really familiar. But I digress, so it was winter and the nights were cold so we didn’t sweat facing the crowd.
We didn’t get to eat a lot of Taiwanese
street food (yes, what a bummer) but I’m in love with their egg tart! They were so delicious (we ate like a whole box)!! And their bakeries were really good. I really loved this bakery (I think it was Japanese store though) that sells amazing custards croissant (we even bought box before we left, they were amazing!) And as a person who loves milk tea! Damn, they do have the best! The hot foamy milk tea specifically warmed my heart (and my tropical-custom body that was facing the still cold sub-tropical winter).
We did a lot of walking but after a while we got somehow familiar with the stations, so we brave that maze again. I thought it was as simple as Japan (we never got lost in Japan, only hopped the wrong bus ) but we still embarrassingly got lost even with the help of Google Maps (
I can’t read a single character of Chinese…my Kanji is already lacking). But I loved the convenience of their train that goes straight to the airport (which what we rode on our way back). I want something like that here.
Like Japan, the aesthetic is so cute, especially if you went to places like Ximenting. This district had loads of shops specially for younger peeps (there were so many young people here). I saw lots of Innisfree stores btw (other Korean brands as well) but we didn’t have the luxury of time to even drop by (I’m running out of cleanser you see…) Anyways, it was super crowded that day, too. But it was very vibrant place. It made feel young haha.
It was a very modern city like you expect from an East Asian country. If there’s a next time, I wish to check more places w/ traces of old times. Thankfully we did get to do some side trip aside from Taipei, but I’m saving that for next post. So stay tune!