Hey everyone! It’s been almost a month since I left New Jersey for my “big solo trip” and I already have tons of photos and incredible experiences to share! So get ready for some long pic-heavy posts! Be sure to check out my Instagram for the latest stories!
My first stop was Taipei, Taiwan where I stayed in the hip, energetic neighborhood of Ximending. Following a 16-hour flight from NYC, I arrived in Taipei before 6am. It was all about trying a local breakfast of milk tea and dan bing (Taiwanese egg crepe) and walking around until I could check in.
I never drink bubble tea at home, but I had to enjoy at least one in the country that invented it! The popular choice is the brown sugar milk tea. You can even watch them make the tapioca pearls from scratch at some places.
I loved the fun, young vibe of the neighborhood. After checking into my room, it wasn’t long before I was back out just wandering the area and exploring all the street food options like massive pieces of fried chicken, torched beef, and fried squid with various seasonings.
The jetlag hit me fairly hard the first couple of days. I would suddenly become drowsy by 8pm and couldn’t stay asleep past 3am. But that’s okay, time for breakfast!
I spent most of the afternoon walking around the city to see various markets, temples, and the 228 Peace Park.
You know what else hit me hard? The humidity. I’m just not use to the humidity that lingers year round in Southeast Asia. It’s not even bad this time of the year, but it still had me sweating quite a bit after walking for a while. So it was nice and refreshing to cool down with an ice dessert of some sort, like mango shaved ice with mango ice cream topped with mango pieces. Holy mango!
So many cool little shops and capsule toy vending machines. I first fell in love with these things when I was in Japan. They’re filled with the cutest, funniest, most random toys and collectibles. Take my money!
Dinner that night was beef noodle soup. It’s considered the National Dish of Taipei. I stopped by a nice little noodle restaurant and ordered mine half meat and half tendon. Good stuff.
I stopped by a small craft beer bar and met a cool guy from Sydney. He mentioned a bar his friend told him about, so we went soon after finishing our beers. It was the most random bar…VR welcome videos, funky decor, a calligraphy lesson, and a Polaroid on the wall to remember the night. Love it! Plus, they had a solid selection of bottled local brews.
The next morning began with a couple popular dishes like braised pork rice and an oyster omelet before I met up with a local guide for a tour of Taipei.
After lunch, it was time for a city highlights tour. More pics from the tour and the next couple of nights are up next.