Weekend in Taipei

OK, I'll admit it. My blog post haven't been nearly as frequent since I started working, but I promise to keep posting! Just took a little break there. I also got a new camera since my last post and I am obsessed with it! I finally figured out how to upload the pictures without them being massive so things should be back on track for N&Z.

To the point of this blog post: last weekend we took the quick 1.5 hour plane ride over to Taipei. Taipei is home about 2.6MM people, quite small compared to Honkers. The city layout has more of an American feel to it, although I am sure that won't come across in these pictures. For whatever reason, there are flights almost every 15 minutes from Hong Kong to Taipei.  And these aren't small planes. We flew 777's over there and on the way back and they were packed! No kidding. So what is there to do in Taipei? Read on my friends:

After checking into the hotel, we hit up the night markets. You gotta do the night markets. We ate our faces off and for practically nothing. And Bonus, no one got sick the next day. YAY! I have seen the night street vendors that pop up in Beijing and I don't recommend them, but Taipei is another story. And apparently when strawberries are in season, there is a place that dips them in hot caramel. I was very disappointed that I couldn't find them.

Taipei style boiled peanuts!

Picking out our meats to be grilled up

Fish Head soup. Mmmmm.

How about some socks?

Fresh cotton candy for dessert
I just liked the way this guy looked

Fresh egg custards

Yes, that is a fried duck head. Believe it or not, the boys loved these things!

A Quick pit stop at Bar Code before calling it a night. Love the massive foosball table!

The next morning we walked from our hotel to have dim sum at Din Tai Fung, located in the Taipei 101 building. But before we got to dim sum, there were many sights and sounds along the way:

Seriously, you just can't make this stuff up!

We must have passed 20+ pet shops on the way -all full of cute puppies. Somehow I was stuck with only boys on this walk and they had no sympathy for how badly I wanted to stop and hold one. They barely let me snap these photos.

I could die!

If this Frenchie had turned around, it would have been over!

So many motorbikes in this town
Room for the whole family

Yes, someone decided to make a statue of a woman nursing. Why? Why?

Finally, Taipei 101 is within our reach. As our weekend continued, a lot of activities were in this building. A little trivia: the building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010

Dim Sum at Din Tai Fung. I highly recommend this spot. This chain is located in quite a few places in Asia, including Hong Kong.

My favorite part (besides eating it) is watching the assembly line of men making the dumplings. It is hypnotic. Sort of like when you watch the hot ones come out at Krispy Kreme. I just can't seem to look away. They put them together so fast, you wouldn't believe it!

Black sesame dumpling. Don't knock it until you try it- amazing!

Love this baby's cheeks!

Mom- do these smiley face cookies remind you of anything?! I had to buy one!

Stopping off for some bubble milk tea.

This was my one of my favorite parts of the trip, Longshan Temple. It was built in 1738 by settlers from China and has had to undergo several restoration and renovation projects. Major damages were endured during World War II, while other damages were caused by earthquakes and fires over the years.

I am still not sure what was going on the day that we were there, but it was definitely a special day for praying. The whole place was chanting and I was quite moved.

Like most temples in Taiwan, the Temple worships a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist, and folk deities such as Matsu.

What happened next can't really be explained. This guy came running up to us saying he needed "HELP!". After realizing that by help he meant he needed us for "models" to make a heart on the ground, we all said why not. Somehow I became the director of this event despite our language difference. I will still never know why we had to do this. Scavenger hunt perhaps? I guess I will just chalk it up to one of those "only in Asia" experiences.

3 hearts. By the end, quite a crowd had gathered and the police told us to move along.

How cute!

If you ever make it to Taipei and you visit the Longshan, a short walking distance a way is snake alley. Now, let me make this clear, I had no desire to go here, but the boys insisted. When I say snake alley, I am referencing a place to go to eat snakes and drink their blood. I had to be a little sneaky for these pictures as there were "No photo" signs posted every where.

The amuse-bouche to the snakes blood, BBQ snake.

Yes, this is blood.

Where was I while all of this was going on? Pampering myself with a Shanghai pedicure. Look it up. Amazing!

More delicacies

Back to the hotel roof for some night photos. Just slightly windy.

Complete with heated pool.

I didn't take my camera out to dinner or the club that night for fear of leaving it, and this puppy doesn't come close to fitting in a clutch, so fast forward to the next morning heading out to the Hot Springs.

We all loved the cross walk guys. Complete with count down and animation. When there was 10 seconds left he would start sprinting. Something that is just better in person I guess.

Most of the hot springs are located in New Beitou. You can take an hour train ride out (better views of the city) or about a 30 minute taxi (which we opted for on the way back). Multiple hot springs to choose from in the area.
New Beitou just outside the subway stop
Natural Hot Springs

Japanese greeters outside the spa

That's it for spa pics since it isn't really a place to photograph (Japanese Hot springs are nude and separated by gender in case you didn't know).

For all quick travel abroad, check out the NY Times "36 hour" write ups. We referenced it a lot for this trip. I remember sitting in my NY apartment reading the NY Times travel section on Sundays wondering when I would ever have 36 hours in an Asian country. Now here I am and loving it.


  1. That's my home country. I am reminded how much I miss it and need to go back. Great write up Jess.


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