Note: We used a Japan visa to enter Taiwan, you just need to apply for an entry pass which you need to present at the Taiwanese immigration upon arrival.
We started our first day in Taiwan a bit late, since we arrived during the wee hours in the morning. Our apartment (which we rented via Airbnb) is strategically located in Da'an District, exactly a 2.5 km walk to Taipei 101.
A 21-degree outdoors was so inviting (and significantly a lot cooler than Manila summer) that we decided to ditch the trains and walk all the way to Taipei 101.
1. Taipei 101
Taipei 101, the most famous landmark in Taiwan, used to be recognized as the world's tallest skyscraper until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was built. This tower is designed to withstand earthquakes by using a 660-ton steel pendulum.
You may enter the Taipei 101 Observatory for NT$500 (Php 725) for adults and NT$450 (Php 652) for children under 12 yo.
We decided not to climb up to the observatory and just went to Din Tai Fung for lunch.
2. Taipei City Hall
A few blocks away from the Taipei 101 is the Taipei City Hall, located at the end of Renai Road. Not only it is strategically located, but it also serves as a venue for art exhibitions.
3. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
On our way back home, we stopped by the Sun Yan-set Memorial Hall or SYS Memorial Hall, located along Renai Road. It has a statue of Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China. Like the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, there is a formal changing of guards every hour.
4. Shi Lin Night Market
After a quick break at home, we headed to Shi Lin Night Market [MRT station: Jian Tan] for some Taiwanese street food.
Shi Lin Night Market is the largest and most popular night market in Taipei.
First stop: Fried Milk for NT$20 (Php 29) a stick!
My friend Niki wasn't into dairy so she gave me her share. Yay! She also bought Grilled Chicken Sausage.
|Grilled Chicken Sausage (and the friendly vendor)|
We went down to B1 Food Court, an airconditioned basement food court also located in Shi Lin Night Market.
Hurray for Hot-Star's Grilled Chicken Steak! (NT$70 or Php 101.50). It tastes very similar to ones I had in Manila, but the Taiwanese just eat it as is (no rice and no gravy), which helps if you really want to pig out in Shi Lin.
Though I was quite nervous on trying this popular delicacy, our visit to Taipei wouldn't be complete if I wouldn't try the Stinky Tofu (NT$55 or Php 79).
The smell wasn't as bad as I expected and the taste was actually impressive. For me, stinky tofu is a bit sweeter compared to the normal tofu, but it could be just the sauce. Anyway, I recommend that you try this when you visit Taipei.
And because I wouldn't leave without having dessert, my friends pointed me to this friendly Turkish guy for some ice cream (NT$50 or Php 72.50).
|Turkish Ice Cream|
There so many types of street food you can try at Shi Lin Night Market that you should go with an empty stomach or visit more than once.
Overall, it was a productive first day in Taipei. At the end of the end, our legs were aching from a lot of walking but it was seriously worth it.
Note: NT$1 = Php 1.45