Danshui + Shilin Night Market with Guigui

Today my cousin-in-law Guigui came up to Taipei from Taoyuan to hang out with me for the day. First we browsed the shops in the Taipei Main Station underground mall, had lunch (I had a beef kimchi don that had a lot of rice and very little beef and kimchi, but I can’t complain because it was only 100NTD = 3.33CAD), then headed to Danshui for more shopping and street food.

It was a beautiful day today, so Danshui was packed with people. Guigui got a non-permanent tattoo drawn on her hand, and we had ice-cream and bubble tea, and walked around the old street. A Japanese man in his 50s came up to us at one point and took pictures with us, because apparently he was collecting the photos of 100,000 girls, and so far he already has over 10,000 (taken over the period of 13 years!)… He even showed us a couple of photo albums! It was an interesting experience. I guess hobbies really can be anything; to each their own!

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Our last stop of the day was to Shilin night market for dinner and more shopping. I got one of favourite dishes: oyster pancake. It’s too bad that the best things in Taiwan cannot be mailed! You guys will just have to visit in person!

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My feet are so sore now, so I think it’s time that I got some much needed rest. A holiday from work is simply awesome! It’s going to be another fun day tomorrow. :)

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Yuanshan (圓山) hike + chocolates

This past weekend, I met up with a few friends (including Jun Jun, who came back from the States for a visit). We decided to go for a hike up Yuanshan, because it was convenient to get to by MRT (less than a 10 minute walk from Jiantan stn), and it was a relatively easy hike. It was a nice day for a hike, not too hot and not too cold. We got lost a few times along the way, but there were nice people who stopped to help us out! Too bad it was foggy that day, so the view wasn’t as nice as it could’ve been. That’s okay though, because I plan to go back during the Chinese New Year holiday (which starts tomorrow!), and take mom and dad this time.

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After the 2 hour hike, we had lunch, then visited a chocolate store near Yuanshan Stn, called “Is Taiwan Is Chocolates”. The chocolates were so cute, but so expensive! They had exquisite chocolate pieces that were molded to look like cups, and there were apple chocolates and strawberry chocolates, with the price ranging from NTD30 to NTD88 (1CAD to 3CAD). Their coffee uses coffee beans from Taiwan. Hazelnut, who knows a lot about coffee and loves coffee like there’s no tomorrow, said that Taiwan coffee beans don’t produce good quality coffee, and described it as being bland. I ordered a dark chocolate mocha, and it tasted alright, but less flavourful than other mochas that I’ve had. Their chocolates were good (we tried the passion fruit and lavender), but with their price comparable to Godiva, I’d still go for Godiva.

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All in all, it was a fun day, and it was really nice to catch up with all my friends and hear their stories. Now I’m off to work for one last day before my 6-day break for the Chinese New Year holidays. It’ll be the first time that I’ll be spending CNY in Taiwan in 10 years!

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone~