Tuesday, October 25, 2011

taipei round three!

Since I didn't know what my sister wanted to see while in Taiwan I waited until she was here before making any decisions. The first weekend my sis was here was the Double Ten Holiday weekend and Taipei was super packed. We booked three separate hostels and had each of them cancel on us. They each said they didn't update the website and so didn't have any room for us. Apparently there was a lot of walk-ins due to the holiday weekend. Well my sister and I were freaking out because we needed a place to stay and didn't want to make the trip back to Hsinchu and then go back to Taipei again, even though it would be cheaper than staying at a hostel. So we sent out an emergency S.O.S to the couchsurfing (CS) community and as we were on our way to Taipei we got a response. If people don't know what couchsurfing is, its basically a website where people can sign up to offer a couch or a place to stay. You don't have to host, a lot of people just meet up for coffee or are couch crashers. A lot of people actually responded to our cry for help but a lot of them responded really late at night which wouldn't help us when we needed a place to put our stuff but nonetheless was pretty awesome. I had actually tried couchsurfing when I was going to Europe but never got any responses so was pretty disheartened with the website. I'm glad the CSers in Taiwan are so much more friendlier.

So our CSer had a son who I guess was forced to show us around. Haha. He was pretty cool and spoke perfect English because he was born in America and came from San Jose. Pretty coincidental that he came from a place that was so close to my hometown. So my sister was going on and on about going to Modern Toilet because she had heard about how the restaurant was toilet themed and wanted to sit on the toilets. I had already gone but she kept nagging me and so I had to go again. Apparently there are two in Taipei and we went to the one located in Ximending this time. Thankfully Marcus (CSer's son) was there because there was no way we would have found this place without him. Ximending is a big shopping area and is known as the Harajuku of Taipei so I'm guessing this is where the things in fashion can be found. The modern toilet in Ximending is way bigger than the one in Shilin with multiple floors and was way more crowded too. This is probably due to its location in Ximending and more accessible to tourists than the one in Shilin.

Yunnan Chili Chicken Spicy
I ordered the same dish I did last time since I liked it and I'm the kind of person who eats the same thing over and over if I like it. When I venture out and try new things I always regret it. If you look at my previous post, even though I ordered the same dish there is actually a difference between the presentation and what came with it. I much prefer my meal at the Shilin location. 

toilet sink
This toilet sink was right next to our table so was pretty disturbing...

After spending some time shopping in Ximending, where we used Marcus as our translator and bag holder, we went over to Lungshan (Longshan) Temple in Manka District. This temple was mainly a Buddhist Temple but over time has also incorporated Taoist and folk deities. Apparently a lot of temples in Taiwan do this but since I'm not familiar with these beliefs I really can't tell the difference...

Longshan Temple
I wanted to explore and check out all the halls but Marcus and Evo were bored and didn't want to join me. So uncultured! There was a huge crowd here and a bunch of monks were chanting. The crowds added to the determent of exploring this place. Near by is the Bopiliao Old Street which is the only preserved old street in Taipei from the Qing dynasty. There are a whole bunch of old pictures and exhibits in the building but they were all in Chinese. Evo and Marcus being uncultured ppls just wanted to sit and rest so I wasn't so motivated to look at everything. The streets are decorated with art work from local artists and the street was the setting of an award winning Taiwanese film Monga.

Bopiliao Old Street
pretty artwork
A whole bunch of co-workers were planning to go to Jiufen, a pretty village in New Taipei City, the next day so we met up some of them for dinner at Shida Night Market. As usual the night markets were packed with people...

Shida Night Market
The crowds in Taipei are always so intense. This is maybe why I'm not as big a fan of the night markets here. This day instead of eating xiaochi, small eats, from the stalls we had some korean food at a little grungy restaurant.

korean food
This Korean food wasn't the food I expected. I'm really craving some korean pork bbq. This meal was ok. Me and Chad split the bill, $600 NT for 5 people. As if this meal wasn't enough, saw a little stall selling puff pastries with custard and had to get one.

puff pastry with custard

Introduced my sister to shaved snow for the first time! She really loved it. Mangos with syrup and condensed milk. I've noticed that shaved snow here melts really fast and doesn't keep its form for that long. The shaved snow I had in LA kept its shape until the very end. After a couple of minutes the shaved snow melts into a puddle of sweetness.

mango shaved snow

No comments:

Post a Comment