I was exhausted when I arrived in Taipei after my unplanned stay in Hong Kong. It seemed that I was still the first of my group to arrive in Taipei. At least, this time, I had my luggage with me. I found a charger and hogged the free airport wifi again!
It turned out that my flight from Hong Kong was considered domestic and I arrived in Terminal 1. Meanwhile, everyone else in my group who flew over from Australia had arrived in the international Terminal 2. There were only 2 terminals in Taipei airport but you would need to catch a train to get from one to another. Grrr, I waited for 30 minutes in the wrong Terminal until the rest of my group reached me on Skype when I got online. Actually, it was not a total wast of time, I managed to charge my phone and checked my email! 😃
We finally located everyone, purchased SIM cards, got connected and then, we felt that our trip was officially started!
Peggy knew Taiwan the best and had plan the whole trip. This was going to be a stress free holiday for me, how exciting! I was so tired when we dropped off our luggages, but sleep/rest was for the weak, I cleaned up a bit and went out with the group.
This was my first time traveling in Taiwan and yet Taipei felt familiar. It felt like Beijing or Shanghai in the 90s and I loved it. I was in Shanghai in 2010. I felt then that it was over crowded and dirty. The financial district was full of overpriced imported goods. The residential suburbs were fully of newly built high-rises. I was brought to a restaurant for a thousand Yuan Australian beef. Everything felt a bit pretentious to me.
Taibei was not as crowded, little old stores can be seen along the streets, there were street stands and many markets, the food, oh, I could go on and on about the taiwanese food! We went to a day and then a night market today. Both markets sold nothing but food. I couldn’t eat street food when I was travelling in China (I always got sick) but it seemed fine in Taipei. The food were mostly traditional Southern Chinese food. We would buy something from one store and share it around, then move to the next store. Just to name a few of the dishes we had: clam omelet, pork rib herb soup, seafood fired noodle, sticky rice pudding (see my gallery link below for photos)… Oh my god 😳, I then managed to wash them all down with some pickled fruit and a cup of ice plum juice! The plum juice was cooked so well, it brought back some sweet childhood memories! I’ve never had the pickled fruit before; its called Ba Le. It tasted like a mix of apple and pear and very nutty. I bought a little bag of the fruit pickled in plum source. They were amazing!
I insisted that we walked the 2 blocks back to Peggy’s house. I crashed in my bed with a smile – I was falling in love with Taiwan! ❤️