Thursday, April 23

Taiwan - Day 2!

This post is delayed, sorry. But here's day 2 of my trip!

Early morning. We traveled to Yanmingshan National Park by MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and bus, in the hopes of seeing Cherry Blossoms. Epic fail. My mom thought that they were still in bloom, and I didn't bother checking they were before we left. When we got there, we had to hike 1km going up the top of the mountain to go to our first stop, the Visitor's Center. We had no idea we had to hike to get there, and I was wearing this:

Hiking in a skirt and flip flops. Not cool.

We finally reached the top, only to find out that in order to get around the park, we had to ride another bus and it would be a 2 hour trip. The Cherry Blossoms are gone, we were a week late! And our last hope was the Flower Clock – but they told us that the flowers aren’t in bloom too. That sucked. I wanted to go to the Calla Lily fields and pick some flowers, also the Volcanic reserve and hot springs, but that would mean taking the 2 hour trip and it would take us the whole day. So we decided to skip it. We walked around the area, took pictures then hiked down the mountain. I only picked some to post cos there are too many.

We went back to Shilin station where we ate lunch. We were all so hungry from the hike and everyone was irritable because we couldn’t decide where to eat. I was so picky because the food stalls along the roads looked really messy and I didn’t like what the food looked like. There weren’t any food stalls/restos like the ones we ate at the day before. I voted for Pizza Hut even though I didn’t really wanted to eat there, but it was the only one familiar to us, but we found out that the shop is only for takeout and delivery. Great. More walking and walking and everyone was really irritated at me, lol. I finally decided on this Italian café even if everyone wanted Chinese/Taiwanese cuisine. Good thing they had some Chinese/Taiwanese dishes. I ordered grilled pork and rice. The food was good except for the soup which was really bland.

After lunch, we rode the MRT again and got off at Zhongshan Fuxing station. That was where the huge electronics shop was, forgot what it was called. I failed in my search of a cheap camera! They were even more pricey than here in the Philippines. Boo. We went to Shinkong Mitsukoshi afterwards, a really posh department store. We ate dinner there, a Kopibun for me – it’s a coffee flavored bun with melted butter inside. Heaven. We also sampled this Taiwanese stone cooking cuisine. We ordered some beef dish which was soooo good!

On our way back to the MRT station, I saw a Coldstone shop again! Woooo! This time I ordered Mud Pie Mojo – coffee ice cream with fudge, peanut butter and Oreo cookies smooshed in it. Again, heaven. I’m such a happy girl.

Went to a different night market this time – Huixa Tourist Night Market. This was where all kinds of street and exotic foods were to be found. We didn’t really sample the stuff because we were too full from dinner. And there was stinky tofu smell all over the place! Ugh, we all hated that smell. From its name, it is stinky tofu. According to wiki it’s fermented tofu, marinated in some mixture of milk, veggies and meat, or with dried shrimp, some greens, bamboo shoots, and Chinese herbs. UGH. No way we we’re trying that.

Anyway, we sampled some dried and grilled squid and cuttlefish this time. I did better with my broken Mandarin this time, yay! She asked if we wanted hot sauce with the squid and cuttlefish and we said yes. Big mistake! We did want it spicy, but we had no idea how deadly hot it was. When she let us taste the squid, we immediately told her to hold back on the sauce for the cuttlefish. My mom who has the least tolerance with spicy food gave up with only one bite of the squid. She didn’t even finish a strip. I laughed at her, teasing her how weak she was, but I soon ate my words and gave up after eating around 7 strips of the squid. I just ate the cuttlefish instead. Everyone was so thirsty afterwards, we finished up two cartons of black bubble tea and two bottles of water, and we still wanted more, so we bought bubble milk tea with boba. Yumyum.

We walked around some more, and we saw more exotic food. Snakes and other reptiles! There was this whole row of restaurants on one street and they had snake shows staged. Taking pictures weren’t allowed but I managed to sneak in some shots.

ignore the unknown couple and see the snake instead :p

After much walking, everyone was so tired and we went back to the hotel. My brother and I stopped at the grocery just across and bought some dessert, beer and vodka. We were both too tired to drink when we got back to our room, he slept right away and I just ate dessert before sleeping. Yummy custard! But there weren’t any teaspoons in the room. I was too tired and lazy to ask for one from room service so I just managed to eat it with a stirrer. Lol!

And that ends Day 2.