Our last day in Taipei was indeed bittersweet. We were scheduled to leave Taipei at around midnight so we still had 12 hours to make the most out of it. Haha! We're talking about last minute shopping at Ximending and Shilin Markets, a quick tour in one of the capital's contemporary museums, and digging ourselves with their best xiao long baos and pork buns.
Creative Parks and Museums
|Upside down, inside out.|
Taipei is surprisingly a creative city. I've never seen a plethora of creative parks and museum scattered around the capital. We first visited a creative park a few blocks away from our hotel. I'm actually amazed that the locals have a penchant for contemporary and modern arts. From where I come from, people will brand you as hipster. Sad, diba? There, we came across an upside down house. I actually had plans to explore it but the queue was quite long. We also bought some artsy postcards at their souvenir shop. Our second stop - MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Taipei, located at Datong District. This museum was built in the early 1920s as an elementary school. After the Japanese occupation, it was later given to the Republic of China and formerly hosted the City Government of Taipei. It became one of the landmarks of the city. After the local government moved to the Xinyi District, it was designated as a historical building until it reopened in May 2001 as MOCA Taipei. It showcases mainly contemporary Taiwanese art and it features international artists annually. Entrance fee's NT$50 by the way.
Xiao Long Bao Heaven
We left our luggage at the locker station in Taipei Central Station. After that, we took a train to Taipei 101 station. Final destination: Din Tai Fung which literally translates to 'Xiao Long Bao and Pork Bun Heaven'. The queue was quite long but their staff members were really nice, accommodating, and beautiful (no joke here). We only waited for five minutes before we settled inside the restaurant. They also have an open kitchen concept where guests can witness how their orders were prepared. We ordered their famous xiao long baos, pork buns, shao mais, and sticky rice. Trust me, their xiao long baos are pork buns ARE TO DIE FOR.
|Xiao Long Bao HUHUHUHU SHEREP PO|
|The queue outside.|
Also, we could've had taken lots of selfies with Taipei 101 at the background but it was raining. Still, it was an amazing experience to see one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world in person.
Last Minute Shopping
We still had a few hours to kill hence we went last minute shopping at Ximending and Shilin Night Market! It pays to have a friend who has good navigation skills because if not, we might get lost in a maze full of stores written in indecipherable characters. I bought a brand new shoes and a white long sleeved polo. I could've shopped more items but the sizes and the styles didn't fit me.
|My Taiwanese experience in one photo|
It was almost seven in the evening when we got back to Taipei Central Station to get our luggage. From there, we took a bus to the airport. I couldn't help but to feel sad because our Taiwanese adventure has finally come to an end.
I've always told my friends that Taiwan is an underrated travel destination. It's a beautiful country not because I kept my expectations low, but because it really is. Beautiful is actually an understatement. I never thought I'd enjoy my 4-day stay in Taiwan. More so, one shouldn't get overwhelmed or intimidated by their visa requirements. Trust me, it's all worth it.
Xie xie, Taiwan! I'll be back soon to explore the southern region!