Taipei | Taiwan

22 June 2015 – 29 June 2015

Taiwan had never really been on my radar, I’d just never considered visiting, but when my favourite braja, Steven, moved to Taipei it seemed like perfect excuse to visit a new country and have some good old family times.

It’s fair to say that Michael and I were perhaps the shite-est tourists to have even visited Taipei – but I’m totally okay with that. We had around seven days and instead of running rounds ticking boxes, we spent a lot of time in at Steven and Sarah’s place, sleeping ’till lunch time, catching up on loads of washing, planning our next few months of travel and having home cooked New Zealand-ish looking meals made by Mama Gibbs.

Here’s the low down on what we got up to in T-Town.

Walking up a hill

Taipei was hot. So hot. Profusely beading all over hot. So one morning we got up early to beat the heat and Sarah led the expedition up the wee hill close to her and Steve’s apartment. Here’s the view from the top

There were a lot of people out walking, many over twice my age and two time fitter than me nailing that hill in the humidity. At the top we sat and listened to a man whistling tunes with a piece of grass. Towards the end he pulled a phone out of his pocket and we debated whether he was actually whistling or just playing music on his phone and it was all a big scam. The jury is still out. On the way down we met another man who was super excited to show us a rhino beetle he’d just spotted, as well as a group of four playing badminton and a man practising on his trombone. This was all before 9am. Go you Taipei. What a friendly bunch.

Riding bikes

In Taipei riding bikes is cool with the locals, which was great news for me because I love doing skids and wheelies. Sarah was the ultimate hostess with the most-ess and sorted us out with little beeper cards so we just had to swipe our card and we could jump on one of the shared public bikes.

Super handy and a great way to see the city.

Linjiang Street Market

No trip to an asian country would be complete without a visit to a street market.

Here’s Michael being the chicken man, waiting for his big chicken cutlet, a local Taiwanese delicacy according to the magazine on the aeroplane.

And this is Michael being sausage man.

The sausage was average – we stopped off and had dumplings on the way home to compensate.

Miniatures Museum of Taiwan

This place was a little bit creepy – but I loved it.

There was no way Michael was going to come to the Miniature Museum , so eventually Steven and Sarah took pity on me.

I dunno – how can you not be impressed at all these tiny displays?

Best $7.20 NZD I’ve spent in a long time.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Art on the way.

An exhibition where you could take clothes that need mending to be fixed – awesome.

These guys.

Rugby

Nothing will get between Michael and a Highlanders game – even if we’re in Taiwan.

Here are are few pictures on our way home after the game.

Shilin Night Market

More market action – but this time we saw little buddy on the way.

Stop it!

There was lots of food and locals playing games.

And here’s Steven ordering a saus and trying to explain, in mandarin, that I am his sister visiting Taipei on holiday.

Pork buns and orange juice.

The BMOC.

Waiting for a train.

View from the train.

Din Tai Fung

Steven and Sarah introduced us to Din Tai Fung. We ate there not once, not twice, but three times. The menu is extensive but the standout would have to be xiao long bao – little pork dumplings with pork juice trapped inside them, resulting in a pleasant pork explosion in your mouth when you bite down.

It’s quite the process making xiao long bao.

And here they are – can you see how they are just little sacks of pork juice? NOM NOM NOM.

Here I am enjoying the pork dumping. So soft. So porky.

These little wonton things are good too.

Not to mention the sweet red bean steamed bums that look a little like nipples if held in a certain position. Just saying.

And this is the Din Tai Hung mascot. HIS HEAD IS A DUMPLING. What will they think of next?!

Chur Taipei and double chur to Steven and Sarah .x.

Costs

Rate 1 NZD = 25 NTD | All prices in NZD unless stated

  • Bus Taichung airport – High Speed Rail (HSR) station – $2.20
  • HSR Taichung – Taipei – $30.60
  • Miniatures Museum of Taiwan – $7.20 p/p
  • Taipei Fine Arts Museum – $1.20
  • Pork Dumplings | Din Tai Fung – $8.00
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