I've been noticing lots of Taiwan posts in my contacts lately, which made me wish talaga that I can easily transport there now na! :p Anyway, the few days I stayed in Taiwan felt like just one looong day with no time to rest, more time to explore. Minsan lang naman to, so everyday was jam-packed talaga!
Day 4 started with OOTD c/o Ate, haha! Ang tiyaga niya, mabuti nalang! Four shots lang, Ate! ang linya ko, lol! This was taken when we were waiting for our breakfast in the must-try takeout food stall "Hot Star" in our area (Ximending). I was already wearing the long polka dots blazer I bought in Raohe Night Market the other night.
Black Bowler Hat - Singapore Bugis Market | Blazer - Taiwan Raohe Night Market | Sweater - Shana | Skirt - Style Stunner Manila
Try niyo umorder ng drinks nila, hahaha!
Food here is super affordable! And sobrang malasa. I've ordered the Shutter Bean Curd 2 or 3 times during this trip's duration.. super good lalo the spices they used! Pero next time I'll try their other many veg-friendly options naman at di ko na sila binigyan ng chance, hehe:
Ate's famous Hot Star large fried chicken! Di niya yan naubos!
I heard that we also have Hot Star na in Manila, but sayang in their website wala pang nakaindicate na they serve these crunchy tofu. :p Super yum!
Now off to our usual commute! Super sikat ng Line charaters here, btw, they're everywhere! From T-shirts to stuffed toys, and even the walls of their MRT:
When we got off, we took the very organized bus system of Taiwan to visit more temples before our scheduled lunch with Ava's mom in Taipei 101. Numbered and never nagsiksikan, I really admire the commuting in other countries and I really hope we can apply these din soon!
Clean, lots of bars to hold on to pag prumeno, and you can also use your Easy Card to pay for your pamasahe before going down to your stop.
"Taiwan, The Heart of Asia"
Baoan or Paoan Temple in Hami Street looks similar to the Longshan Temple that we visited on our second day. The structure shows so much of Taiwan's traditional decorative arts, and they also hold folk arts festivals here.
Even on an alanganing time and day, the temple is still filled with people busy with their rituals: giving their food and flower offerings, lighting candles and incense sticks, and saying their chants or silent prayers.
You'll get the actual feel of Taiwan's old culture and traditions just by going here. Right across the Baoan Temple is the Taiwan Confucian Temple na agad!
Also called the Scholarly Temple, this Confucian Temple is fairly new (1665) compared to the other ones that we've visited. Save for the colors, details and dragon decorations, this also looks a bit different with lots of open areas, gardens and benches, and this bridge.
Confucius is a Chinese teacher and philosopher, thus the temple houses several halls built for instructors to cultivate intellectuals. The National Academy (Guo Xue) and the Wen Miao are the so-called "First Academy of Taiwan".
Interesting stone pillar details:
Heard them play nice music:
Outside the temple on our way back to the MRT, I saw this political car (haha) and an elementary school:
We were early for the meet up with Ava's mom, so went to the Observatory muna to check out the rates and buy our tickets nadin (Adult at TD 500, Fast Pass at TD 1000).
We also booked na our slot in Din Tai Fung, 90 minutes pala and waiting time so sakto lang when Tita arrived we were able to try Ava's favorite Ten Ren Milk Tea pa muna just across the building.
It was great to see Tita in Taiwan! She's super energetic, with barely 30 minutes left for our Din Tai Fung slot, nakuha pa naming bumili ng mochi balls for pasalubong, and pumila for milk tea! :)
A Taiwan-original, Din Tai Fung is said to be the best xiaolongbao place in the world! Prepared fresh, and always jam-packed, I can't imagine pag nag open na sila dito sa Pinas!
Ang saraaap! Our meal, thanks to Tita! Love everything, my vegetable dumplings are super moist and perfect with soy sauce and chili, but the best ang rice mixed with their chili sauce. :p I can live with just fried rice + chili forever!
Super busog, we walked to Tita's favorite bookstore in Taipei 101 - Page One, before heading to our Observatory schedule. Books and trinkets overload!
Parang si Ava lang! Hehe! Nagkasundo ang dalawang mahilig sa trinkets and house decors! Haha! Had to stop myself from buying the cute post-its coz alam kong cute lang sila but di ko gagamitin!
Thank you Tita for the few hours of catch-up and tips! Ate and I had a great time with the good meal and kwentos! Thanks also to Ava! Balik tayo ng magkakasama!
In the Observatory, we rode the fast elevator by batch, heading to the 89th floor for the indoor area. You also have the option to check out the outdoor observatory deck at the 91st floor.
View of Taiwan!
There's actually not much to do here, so inavail na namin ni Ate lahat ng pwedeng gawin:
Di ko to gets nung una, pero laughtrip pala!
After going around and taking lots of bird's eye view photos of Sims City (hehe), we went down nadin and explored the other places across Taipei 101. Zara Home:
Lots of Christmas decors, bedroom accents, and nice sheets:
Our last stop in Xinyi District is also a recommendation from Ava: the Eslite, Taiwan's biggest bookstore!!! A heaven for book lovers!
As if being huge is not enough... Eslite Bookstore is open 24 hours, the first in Taiwan, making it the "nightclub for bookworms" according to this CNN article. Interesting read yan! But aside from large selection of books, they also sell all sorts of knick knacks and big ticket items like cameras and even home stuff.
My favorite international magazines!!! Vivi girl here! Huhu! Plus Katy Perry and T. Swift covers!
Gusto ko yung Encouragement Section! Haha! Tambay ako nito pag taga dito ako, lol. Also saw the cutest Pentax cameras in different colors. Bawal mag photo kaya tabi-tabingi ang shots, peace! :p
Pigil na pigil ako with buying magazines and cutesy things that I won't use naman, but I bought this lion door knocker as souvenir for my room:
It was nighttime na when we went out, hello lighted Taipei 101! They also hold New Year countdowns here.
We headed to our hotel room muna to rest and eat merienda before going out uli. It was also the night when we discovered the yummy Taiwan Mister Donut, also recommended by tita. Ang sarap ng bread niya mismo, perfect with coffee!
Ended the night in our neighborhood (NAKS) in Ximending, where we strolled all the eskenitas in our pambahay. It was also our last night na so sinusulit na talaga namin! Huhu!
I really really want this witch's hat! :,( But sabi ni Ate aanhin ko naman daw, haha!
Brandless shoes are cheaper talaga in Raohe and Shilin, but hindi nadin masama ang TD390 a!
Saw a kuya making wire art keychains and other wild works na super inspiring! He also uses colored wires na wala tayo dito!!! Collab tayo kuys!??
Ansabi ng guitar, bike, at robots!?? Grabehan ang talent!
Ferris wheel and Iron Man FTW! Sana pala I bought a souvenir. :p
Ate explored the different street foods since she eats meat naman, while I visited the giant Adidas and Nike stores just across this takeout store (yan ang uso kanila). Super OK daw yung sotanghon soup from this place, must-try!
My dinner was in KFC dahil gusto ko matry yung egg tarts nila. :) Babaw, hehe!
Parati kaming pabalik-balik sa ABC Mart!
Kawaii stuffs (char!), Totoro sightings...
I even want the Totoro phone case, pero bulky!
Cute, should have bought this furry paw slippers for next halloween! Haha!
Bought cherries in this stall before heading home and pack na. They also have macopa and persimon and atis, yum!
Bright lights! Selfie with Ate at the center of Ximending's crossing! Naalala ko bigla ang Times Square, hehe.
To be continued...
Read more of my Taiwan 2014 posts.