I can go on and on how I can't imagine wearing this and that in Manila--lalo na when I am out and about in hardcore commute. Anyway, the few days I stayed in Taiwan was an opportunity to experiment with fashion without being weather-inappropriate or looking weird.
Thought of wearing the brand-less lined long socks I scored in Raohe Night Market the night before. Supposedly it was just a "plaid red dress day" (a Forever 21 Men find, T-shirt talaga siya hehe!), but nung nafeel ko na ang lamig nung ibang araw alam kong ngangatugin ako with just bare legs!
Jacket and Dress - Forever 21 | Socks - Raohe Market | Shoes - New Balance
Another day, another fresh itinerary. Ate had a lot planned out for us for the whole trip, so all I did was think of my next meal (haha). For Saturday's breakfast, I grabbed a milk tea bottle and honey cake from 7Eleven para lamang tiyan. And then off we go na to our destination, the earlier the better!
Taipei Zoo Station!
We knew we were in the vicinity na when we saw these "paw marks" leading to the zoo's gate.
Warnings, maps, and rates by the entrance:
Cute that even their pay phones are crazily in-theme and photogenic!
CR *cries*! ;D
We paid only TD60 for the entrance fee, and it's one of the most sulit and must-visit destination for me when you go to Taiwan. Their zoo is well-maintained, lines are organized, and the selection of animals are rare and interesting. First that we saw was the group of "aggressive and territorial" flamingoes:
Cute kid in strawberry raincoat amazed with the group of tall pink birds (yup umuulan din that day!)
Ang amazing! Ang dami kong nakita there for the first time!
How many monkeys did you see? :D Nangangati ako sa kutuhan session nila, lol! Formosan Rock Macaque:
Asian Tropical Rainforest, where I had my OOTD taken, hehe.
Formosan Wild Boar, AKA Pumba of The Lion King!
May problema siya wag niyo guluhin! Black emo bear:
Formosan Serow, kamukha ni Yating my brown askal hehe.
Another unique sighting in Taiwan Zoo: KOALA BEARS!
Pygmy Hippopotamus, na always sumisigaw:
The most gentle giants: Asian Elephants!
There are so much more to see and photograph in the zoo, but the ultimate highlight are the cute PANDAS. You'll get a cue number and time the moment you enter the zoo gates palang, and you have to be on time for your less than a minute slot to see these black-and-white cuties up-close.
Outside their Panda zone is a souvenir shop filled with all things ...panda!
Toys, caps, shirts, slippers, accessories, and trinkets, adik!
A panda photo booth na inavail namin ni ate for TD10!
After touring the zoo, and eating in the Mcdo (mura ang Mcdo here!), we rode the cable car Maokong Gondola to get an aerial view of Taiwan and check the Maokong teahouses.
The Maokong Gondola, unlike other cable cars, isn't just to sit and watch and sometime get bored with the sights.. But it's also treated as an actual mode of transportation to get to the Tea Culture Promotion Center and several Taiwan indie tea places. Para siyang extended MRT! I love the Hello Kitty-overload station:
You have an option na i-solo the cabin, but for cheaper and more practical purposes, Ate and I went for the regular fare (around TD50) also paid with our Easy MRT Card. I think they have crystal-bottom cars din, but hindi na kami nag look into other options. May lines, but we were lucky sa timing that we waited barely 30 minutes lang, and direcho agad sa taas. Note that the Maokong Gondola is closed for maintenance every Mondays.
After 3 stops, we're in Maokong Station na! The gondola also stops at the Taipei Zoo South Station, and the Zhinan Temple Station.
Since it's in a higher location and in the mountains, Maokong felt really cold and damp. Can't help but think of a hot drink!
Lots of food stalls and random souvenir shops:
A nice view of the Taipei 101:
And a street lined with different teahouses selling pampasalubong and where you can dine and chill. Maokong is the biggest and most popular tea growing place in Taiwan.
With so much options and lack of time to do our research, Ate and I randomly picked this place with a cat logo, where we met an actual cat lady! Haha! Sobrang grumpy niya, when I tried taking photos of the cat tin cans, nagalit siya sa akin pero hindi ko naman naintidihan, hehehe.
Maokong literally means "no cat", so sobrang ironic to see this cat-designed cafe!
Ang cute ng designs noh!
After drinking our tea and hot chocolate, we're off again to our next adventures! Nakakapraning lang when in Taiwain is super bilis ng sunset, parang feeling namin gabi na yun pala 5pm palang! :p
Heading toward the MRT station, and saw this Meteor Garden-ish location! San nga ba naghabulan sila Dao Ming Si and Sanchai!?? :D
We tried to look for the Miniatures Museum, but after several walks and pag ask ng directions, we gave up na. :( We just dropped off the Jiantan Station of the MRT Red Line (Tamsui).
And ended up in the most popular shopping and food destination in Taipei: Shilin Night Market! Super excited namin ni ate, the place is super vibrant and alive! Tired, but when we got there ready na ako uli for food trip and shopping:
Haggard, pero picture padin! Haha! That's why we travel anyway, explore lang ng explore, and take lots of photos for memories' sake!
All sorts of knick knacks, like animals and character pins (galing ng pang display!)
Cheap trendy shoes such as these oxfords and slip-ons at TD290 only:
Pouch bags, customizable leather, solid perfume in small tin cans:
May Birkenstock store din kaming nadaanan, they sell lots of limited editions like this pair of Kermit the Frog clogs and camouflage print!
I wasn't able to buy anything in Shilin, sabi ko nga kung sa shoppingan baka mas cool si Raohe Night Market. But madaming interesting local food discoveries here.. So must-visit padin siya! We tried a random milk tea place for more energy:
Then Ate started with this mala-barbecue, while I picked this candied fruits in a stick, na kamatis pala! Haha! Meron ding cherries and strawberries.
The best! Craving for the stinky tofu now, fried and crispy with kimchi sa side. :p Ayoko sana itry coz ang baho talaga passing by their stall and ang daming tao, buti Ate insisted and ang sarap! Kaya pala siya pinipilahan!
Also love these breaded quail eggs mala kwek-kwek natin, but with thinner breading:
Popular pala tong shaved ice treat, according to Ava's mom! Sayang di na namin inavail dahil super busog ko na. :p
A humor food stall na may nakalagay talagang "Welcome to pick up and take a picture"! Hahaha!
We went around Shilin, bought pineapple cake and tea pasalubong after several taste tests (haha)
And chanced upon this cool arcade section where kids and adults fight for the stuffed animals and other toys!
Ended our Shilin night-out by buying dad an "I heart Taiwan" tee, our staple pasalubong for him (feeling daw ng friends niya ang well-traveled niya, hihihi). Kahit panay kids ang nagtitinda, hirap tumawad! Hahaha, awesome!
Read more of my Taiwan 2014 posts.