A Week in Taiwan: Interesting Buildings, Interesting Food (Day 2)

Beitou Park

Day Two. 


After about a 30-min train ride from our hotel and one quick transfer, we arrived at our first stop for the day—Beitou, a mountainous district north of Taipei, famous for its hot springs. 

We particularly wanted to visit the Thermal Valley, but to our surprise, a lot of business establishments in Taipei were closed on Mondays. Lesson learned: Don't forget to research opening hours next time!

Old Xinbeitou train station built in 1916 (renovated)

Although we were not able to go to Thermal Valley that day, we were still able to walk around, take some photos, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of Beitou Park.

Don't worry, we made sure to come back to Beitou a few days later to see the Thermal Valley. I'll tell you more about it in another post :)

After our quick trip to Beitou, we went back to the city for lunch, and after that, we just walked around to take pictures of some more interesting landmarks and buildings.

Taipei 101 is probably the most famous Taipei landmark. It's one of the tallest buildings in the world! The 10th, to be exact, as of writing, but it was actually the tallest building for six years 'til the completion of Dubai's Burj Khalifa.

Taipei 101

We were supposed to go up to the Taipei 101 Observatory to get a full view of the city, but it was so cloudy that day, we decided to save the Observatory visit for another day and just walked around the vicinity.

Just a few blocks away was one of the buildings in our itinerary—Tao Zhu Yin Yuan, a "carbon-absorbing green tower" with a double-helix architectural design.  

No. Trickery. Here. The building really is shaped like that! Definitely adding this to the list of the coolest-looking buildings I've ever seen. [Said list includes the Mahanakhon Tower in Bangkok, with its pixelated design.]

I think we took photos at every angle possible (haha). I mean, how can you not?! And this shot, with Taipei 101 in the background is just... <3

Next stop was the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, a memorial dedicated to the founder of the Republic of China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

We arrived in time to catch the hourly changing of the guards. Got a good spot to watch the whole thing, too!

There's a large garden right outside the building, with a good view of Taipei 101.

Perfect spot to take portrait shots! ;)

As one of our goals for this trip was to visit Instagrammable spots, we also stopped by Huashan 1914 Creative Park. Some have described this place as very hipster, and I quite agree.

Honestly, at this point, I was already so tired to take more photos :(  

We mostly just used this time to rest before going to our next stop (which would involve more, more walking). 

Ximending (shopping district)

For our second night, instead of eating in a sit-down restaurant for dinner, we walked along the streets of Ximending and tried some of the street food we'd been hearing about!

Got our first (and definitely not the last) taste of the famous Hot-Star fried chicken! <3

I'm not really the adventurous type when it comes to food, but that day I felt brave enough to try the stinky tofu with my mom :/

It was stinky, yes, but surprisingly, it did not taste as bad as I expected. Wouldn't necessarily buy it again for the sake of eating it, but it wasn't that bad. It certainly tasted... interesting.

While my mom and I were waiting in line for the stinky tofu, my dad and my sister were in another line to try the also-famous-and-recommended Ay-Chung flour-rice noodles. 

I'm honestly not the biggest fan of hot noodle soup dishes in general (I prefer dry noodle recipes), but this was ok. 

I did like these sweet potato balls, though! 

They have quite an interesting texture—these are deep fried, so the outside is a bit crispy but the inside is chewy and airy. Reminds me of the Mister Donut Pon de Rings!

We couldn't call it a day without getting our milk tea fix, of course. 

I like sweets, so brown sugar milk tea is always a YES for me! A good end to our second day of touring Taipei City!

Stay tuned for Day 3 of our 7-day stay in Taipei! In the meantime, you may watch our travel vlog below.