My friend made it the next day which made my whole Taipei adventure pretty much complete. But since she’s a day late, she had to catch up and I played tour guide for the Jiufen/Pingxi District route which I already did the day before. Nevertheless, we decided to stick with the “chill lang” kind of itinerary while still being able to make the most out of the remaining two days.
Yangmingshan Park. From Taipei Main Station, we took the train to JianTan Station (same stop going to Shilin Market) and rode the bus to Yangmingshan Park. We got off the Lengshuikeng Visitor Center which thankfully had a restaurant where we got hot coffee. With that very cold weather then, it was something we needed. *arte lang* Yangmingshan is also a famous hiking site but we can’t afford to hike that time (sayang sa time) so we just had some serious walking adventure. We were able to see the Lengshuikeng Ecological Pond and Jingshan Suspension Bridge to name a few.
We left Yangminshan past 1pm and was back at Taipei Main Station by around 2PM. We were already starving then so we gave way to our hungry stomach than making the most of the day. It took a while (plus we had to look for some power outlets to charge our phones) so we restarted the long walking tour again by 4:30.
Pingxi District. We decided to take the rest of the afternoon to see Spirited Away’s Jiufen Old Street and fly lantern in Pingxi District. The initial plan didn’t work as it was already late when we arrived at Pingxi Station. The train rides to these places do take time so I would suggest to really allot one day to get the whole experience.
One thing I was not able to do on Day 1 was to fly the lantern coz doing it alone didn’t really feel right #char. Anyways, I thought flying lanterns is very romantic because it’s like pouring all your heart’s desire and letting the wind take it to the heavens. It took us long to write our prayers. It was not easy coz I wanted it to be artsy looking naman sana. In the end, our lantern looked like a grade I student drew a few trees, stars and sun on it…but of course, it’s not really the intent – sabi ko nga, it’s the thought that counts! It was a meaningful experience for me since it was just days before that trip that my father was hospitalized. So then, I had to re-prioritize my prayers, of course…so alam na, walang lovelife muna this year!, hahahah!
Ningxia Night Market. After a tiring day, we decided not to just go to the nearest night market from our hotel. Taiwan has a lot more famous night markets and this can be one of my main agenda if I ever go back (definitely will!) Anyways, I think Ningxia Night market is more or less the same since they also have a variety of local street food and all. I’m not really that adventurous when it comes to food so I only tried a few safe ones, hehehe! This trip was probably where I ate a lot of squid! 😜 (where are the pictures though?)
We started a little early on our last day for more chances of winning. Little early was like 9am-ish hahaha! It was our last day to do the must-see-places in the city – Longshan Temple, Chang Kai Shek and Taipei 101. I was quite proud we made it to all these places, plus we still were able to squeeze in a few hours to see Jiufen and meet friends for dinner! #achieve
Longshan Temple. From Taipei Main Station, we took the Bannan line to Longshan station. Longshan/Lungshan is a buddhist temple and is probably the most popular of all the places of worship in Taiwan. There is actually no entrance fee but they do accept donations.
Jiufen Old Streets. After paying respect, we headed to Wanhua station for the most anticipated-fairly-delayed Spirited Away encounter. We got off Ruifang station by 11am and took brunch in one cozy cafe outside the station and by 12nn, we were wandering the Jiufen Old Streets (me, again).
I had more appreciation of Jiufen that time because I did not have to worry about my friend anymore, hehehe!
By 3pm, we were back in the city to resume the city tour.
Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is probably one of the most accessible of the tourist sites as it’s just right outside the C.K.S. Station. The grand hall is located at the end of the park or a beautiful garden square with the National Theater and National Concert Hall almost framing it in the sides. We witnessed the actual changing of guard then which was quite nice.
Taipei 101 was our last important stop. This is also a no-miss, of course, because it’s one of the famous landmarks in Taiwan. After all, it did become the tallest building in the world, before Burj Khalifa was completed. It’s quite a struggle getting a good view of the building if you’re just in the area. It’s probably easy to get a good view from afar. From the observatory, we did get a good view of the city just before the sunset.
After Taipei 101, it was time to meet with friends…and dinner! I could not believe we went to almost every place we wanted to go to in that short amount of time without really rushing it. But I think it’s all thanks to google map, google search, unlimited data plan, and of course, Taiwan’s very convenient transportation facilities.
I will definitely be back! 😘