10 – 13 May 2017
True to its tagline, Taiwan, really melted my family’s heart. Their natural resources were lush and beautiful. Their city was clean and safe. Public transportation were well-connected. The Taiwanese were gentle and kind. I will definitely go back there.
Day 1: Just around the Central Area
11 May 2017
I arrived an hour earlier than my family. So, to save on transportation cost, I just decided to wait for them. We all took the cab together to our accommodation, Yi Yuan Hotel, near Fuzhong MRT. We were all tired so we didn’t do any more than chitchatting til 3am. The next day, we agreed on spending the day around the city area.
We woke up, prepared and headed out. At NTD440, we purchased the Taipei 3days Pass which we thought would be more practical than all the other public transport options. Our first MRT ride was to Longshan Temple. One of the oldest in Taipei. They said people come here to wish for protection, marriages and fertility. Despite not of the same faith, I closed my eyes and said some words in my head. People looked so solemn in there. It was contagious.
We had lunch at a small shop near the temple. Food was yummy and very affordable. We walked around HuaXi Night market after eating. Almost all the shops were still closed except for some massage places. Since we all could feel the effects of our full tummies, we decided to rest and have an hour of foot and back massage for NTD299, each person. It was a good call because we were all very sleepy and tired.
After our nap, now well-rested, we headed out to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. It has a huge complex in between three halls. We walked towards the center, the CKS Hall and waited for the changing of guards. It was the first time, my parents have watched something like that. I was glad they liked it.
Changing of Guards, CKS Memorial Hall, Taipei
After this, we went to the end of the Red Line, Xiangshan and walked to the trail head of Elephant Hiking Trail. Atop the trail, one could see the view of the city, including Taipei 101. My mom and dad decided just to wait for us at the trail head. Me and my sister went up.
On top, there was an outdoor gym. A local named David was being friendly and he talked to us much about Taiwan and health. He taught us some basic poses to sooth our sore bodies. Unfortunately, we had to go and continue on with our journey because our parents were waiting for us.
We went a little bit more until, we saw the best viewpoint in the area. After that, we descended. Our parents were worried and upset at the same time because it took us so long do a small hike like that. Well, my sister and I really enjoyed talking to David and hoped we had more time.
We then headed out to Shilin Night Market to have our dinner. We found this shop, Jian Bao, selling fried dumplings. People were queuing, hence, we queued too. In front of the shop, there was a noodle stall, so, to add up more items on the table for dinner, we also ordered noodles from the lady. Street food for dinner was again successfully finished.
We walked around the market after that. My mom and sister were again so alive while we walk, just because it was shopping time! We concluded the night after that.