Taipei April 2014 Part One

Taipei, Taiwan was quite the adventure—In many ways, this trip wasn’t like all the other trips I’ve planned (or micromanaged), seeing as I’ve had a relatively shorter time mapping everything out. This trip was more open-ended; more spontaneous; more susceptible to changes and spur-of-the-moment decisions (like suddenly visiting the zoo!).

It was kind of refreshing, not being bound by a physical to-do list I feel compelled to check off one by one. Of course, losing the actual physical copy of that list on the way to our first stop helped a lot.

My trip to Taiwan will surely be the first of many—There’s just simply too much things to see and do (night markets to cross off my list) that a few short days wouldn’t be enough!

I guess visualisation really works! I drew these giraffes on the plane bound for Taipei (copied off the latest issue of Smile magazine) not really anticipating that I’ll be actually meeting them on this trip.

Just look at the gorgeous architecture of the Taoyuan International Airport. Doesn’t it take your breath away? I certainly paused and drank it all in before hurrying towards immigration.

Waiting for the 1819 Kuo Kuang Bus to take us to Taipei Main Station.


HAHAHA! My sister made me do it.

Aren’t their single-jouney tickets amazing? Instead of a card, you tap these plastic tokens on the sensor and in you go! You just drop them in the slot as you exit your station. Their MRT feels very similar to that of Singapore and Hong Kong’s—Makes me wonder when our public transport system could ever be as sophisticated, hassle-free and safe as theirs.

Mom and I goofing around Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.

EGD (Environmental Graphic Design) on their restroom walls! Each floor of ATT 4 Fun has a different wall graphic.

Another lovely thing about Taipei are these cool bike stations. You just tap your a card (I’m not sure where you purchase this) on the sensor, grab a bike and off you go to your destination.


Check out this golden cake! Check out the price too! That costs about 7,200 PhP.

My sister presents… The Menu.

Obligatory xiao long bao snack!

Fancy Taipei 101 water bottle!

Goofing off again.

On our way to Wu Fen Pu, we encountered this brilliant art installation in their MRT. The panels of the face flip every few seconds to reveal another image below. There were several of these pieces, some whole images, others diptychs, installed on the way to the platforms.

Wu Fen Pu—Shopping! To be honest, I don’t really enjoy bargain shopping so much. The effort of looking through a lot of not-so-good stuff just to find a gem, or the energy to haggle down the price in something you’re actually willing to pay is just too much for me. Leave the bargaining to the experts (a.k.a. my mom and sister).

I did find a really cool skater skirt though!

In the next few days of this trip, we also stumbled upon different shopping areas (Da’an District and Ximending) which I felt had a nicer, chiller feel that Wu Fen Pu. We also realised that some of their prices aren’t that to far from the wholesale area. Was it because we were tourists? Or was it because we weren’t buying wholesale? But whatever the reason, I wouldn’t mind skipping this area the next time I visit Taipei.

*2018 edit: WHERE ARE MY EYEBROWS???

The famed black pepper pork buns! I… don’t like it so much. They gave it to us pipping hot—like steaming, scorching hot! We couldn’t eat the thing for a good thirty minutes after! The bread was nice and chewy but I felt that the actual meat inside was rubbery and hard to swallow. I’m willing to give it another chance next time.

Now these cheese-flavored takoyaki balls are heaven.

Mmmm! Pancakes and ice cream—How could you possibly go wrong?

And finally, we got to try our Taiwan’s stinky tofu! It was okay, as long as I didn’t linger on its smell.
It DID stink, but not so much that it was unbearable to eat.

Raohe Night Market was short but sweet—I couldn’t wait to go back to try out the others as well!
Taipei Adventures:
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
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