Category Archives: Photos

Day at Yangmingshan National Park

We began our morning with an early breakfast and catching a bus behind the train stationto Yangmingshan National Park. Once you  get to the park, there are local circular buses within the park to take you around. They get very crowded. The park is large and not too far from the city. You can easily spend an entire day there wandering and hiking from one area to another. We were fortunate to have a beautiful day, only one of a few on this three-week trip.

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The famous Seven Star Mountain with Taiwan’s largest dormant volcano. Around the area are numerous hot springs and some bath houses to relax or just soak your feet after a long day’s hike.
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Panorama vista from an overlook in a short hike through bamboo.
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Milk Lake
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There are many interesting looking trees.

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Food of Taiwan

These are some of my favorite foods around Taiepei, most of which is food found around the street. You can go your entire trip in Taiwan and not even set foot in a restaurant. It’s so much fun to walk around the city feasting with your eyes at everything that is cooked and ready to eat in front of you. In fact, I think I preferred the street foods to the actual restaurants we visited.

One restaurant I can and definitely recommend is the original Ding Tai Fung on Xinyi Road in Taipei. It’s a small three story restaurant that’s always busy. Go at an off-peak hour (for a late lunch as we did) and the wait will be less. There’s always a crowd gathered outside, but the wait is worth it! There are lots of locations around town and globally, but from what we heard, this was the best.

 

Asian bakeries are second to none in presentation and taste!
Asian bakeries are second to none in presentation and taste!
Breakfast at our hotel was always healthy and different every day!
Breakfast at our hotel was always healthy and different every day!
After breakfast, sometimes you wanted something sweet like a green tea donut, only at Krispy Kreme!
After breakfast, sometimes you wanted something sweet like a green tea donut, only at Krispy Kreme!
Mister Donut also had a variety of pretty donuts.
Mister Donut also had a variety of pretty donuts.
These green onion pancakes were amazing! So hot and so tasty.
These green onion pancakes were amazing! So hot and so tasty.

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Some food carts put an emphasis on the aesthetic quality in addition to taste.
Some food carts put an emphasis on the aesthetic quality in addition to taste.

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Stinky tofu, a must try in Taiwan!!
Stinky tofu, a must try in Taiwan!!
That's one way to cook...
That’s one way to cook…

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Shaved ice with fruit is incredible! They shave the ice as smooth as snow, that it's almost like ice cream.
Shaved ice with fruit is incredible! They shave the ice as smooth as snow, that it’s almost like ice cream.
Ding Tai Fung is a must visit in Taipei. The universally famous steamed xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are amazing and so are there other steamed buns and dumplings.
Ding Tai Fung is a must visit in Taipei. The universally famous steamed xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are amazing and so are there other steamed buns and dumplings.

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Underground malls can also have tons of really good restaurants like this nice find below our hotel.
Underground malls can also have tons of really good restaurants like this nice find below our hotel.
Sushi to go is cheap and very popular!
Sushi to go is cheap and very popular!

 

 

Temples and Markets of Taipei

Many of the markets we went to in Taipei were surrounding temples which make sense as a gathering place in the city. Since it was Chinese New Year, there were lots of lanterns and decorations adorning the temples. It made for some extra colorful shots.

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He only managed to grab a couple, but it was hilarious to watch.
He only managed to grab a couple, but it was hilarious to watch.
Scooping fish with a paper net is quite a chalenge.
Scooping fish with a paper net is quite a chalenge.
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Just walking down any market is enough to make you hungry.

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Lottery scratch tickets are everywhere throughout the city.
Lottery scratch tickets are everywhere throughout the city.

Taipei at Night

Taipei is a really charming city and like many Asian cities, really comes to life after the sun goes down. There are many districts that come to life after dark and many night markets with street vendors galore.

The skyline is dominated by Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world. It’s a very unique structure and the design looks like a stack of Chinese takeout boxes stacked on top of each other.

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About half way up, the spectacular view becomes apparent and pushes you onward.
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Many of the newer buildings are quite colorful.

A must-see and do when visiting  in Taipei is to hike up Elephant Mountain (象山). The trail of stairs begins about 15 minutes just to the southeast of Xiangshan Station, the end of the #2 red line (Tamsui-Xinyi). The best time to go is around sunset for a spectacular view of the city. It’s a twenty minute strenuous hike to the top, but well worth it for the view! It’s a safe trail, well paved, and well lit. Even at night, there were plenty of people walking up and down. The views from the top are better than those from Taipei 101’s observation deck because you get to see Taipei 101 and the rest of the city. It’s also free! After you finish taking in the view, head down to Taipei 101 for dinner which is only a short walk or two MRT stations away.

Xinyi  (信義) / Taipei 101

The Xinyi district is home to Taipei 101. It’s a new neighborhood that I’m guessing got redeveloped after Taipei 101 was built. There’s many new office buildings and several western hotels including a Grand Hyatt and W. Inside and around Taipei 101 is a large shopping mall and large food court. As it was the week before Chinese New Year, it was very festive with year of the sheep decorations.

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The dream of traveling around the world just  ... don't touch.
The dream of traveling around the world just … don’t touch.

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Shilin (士林)

Jiantan Station in Shilin
Jiantan Station in Shilin

Jiantan is one of the main stations to visit. Outside the station are many shops and busy streets. This is where we spent the first half of our first day when visiting the National Palace Museum. It has a really neat design that looks like a suspension bridge. At night, the Shilin Night Market opens, and there’s many streets of different food and shops. This is a real fun place to walk around and people watch!

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Some of these cars outside the station had tickets. Most were parked so closely together that there’s no way anyone’s getting out.
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Parking outside the MRT station can be difficult.

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Xi Men Ding (西門站)

Ximending is the Times Square of Taipei. There’s many bright lights, TVs, and people walking about, especially at night. A bit of history behind the area, it was set up as an entertainment, theater,  and business district under Japanese rule. In the main area, you won’t find many street vendors as it’s mostly clothing stores and restaurants.

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