Taipei adventure ~ day 1

i'm back from my asia getaway. i apologize for the lack of post, but i'm trying to play catch up(if i'm not too distracted from diablo 3. any gamers out there?).

travel date: apr 19th 2012

as always the journey from central texas to asia is excruciating long. i'm forever grateful to in-flight entertainment. after several movies, meals and naps, we finally landed in taoyuan international airport.

we boarded the kuokuang bus to taipei main station as there were no buses to ximen early in the morning. the ticket cost NT120 and it was a fairly comfortable ride. once arrived at taipei main station, we looked for the MRT station and bought the easycard. it easy to travel with easycard as you just swipe the card at the entrance and exit. it requires NT100 deposit and can be reloaded at any station.

we left our luggage at the hotel lobby and head out to hunt for food. ximen is pretty much empty before noon on a weekday. most shops were close and we were getting desperate for food. we stumbled upon a small shop  where an "ah yee" is frying lou bak gao (turnip cake). we finally settled on a corner table waiting for our food. the food was delicious, but mr. adventure prefers more "rou" in the "lu rou fan"(stew pork over rice).

after re-fueling our stomach, we decided to make a stop at chiang kai-sek memorial since i was too tired to even shop(omg, never thought i'll say that). we were amazed by the huge buildings and the huge gate.

cloudy sky == bad photos :(

next stop, longshan temple as we had time to kill before the check-in time at 3pm. we felt weird walking towards the temple from the station as we passed by a park filled with retirees playing "chess". all eyes were on us as we were the only "20-something" there. they were probably thinking, "why aren't you at work?"

people from all ages, all walks of lives pray in this ornate temple. devotees were seen chanting, praying, giving offerings and worshiping.

upon exiting the temple, we spotted ten ren. i read about it from several bloggers and definitely want to try. the milk tea is so so refreshing in hot summer weather. drinks from ten ren is quite a bit more expensive than others ~NT70-NT150.

our dinner at shilin night market was quite an adventure as we tried to figure out the best stall. the indoor basement night market is probably where you want to be since it has all the local delicacies under one roof. i don't understand why they have several stalls selling the same type of food though. i think they're the same owner since the sign looks exactly the same. anyway, we had so much food. each item ranges from NT20-NT100.

my tiny haul of the day.
t-shirts:2 for NT350
flats: NT200 (USD6.8. you can't never find a cute flats for that price anywhere else)
scrunchie:  NT50
amulet from longshan temple: NT30

i'm still working on filtering thousands of photos for day 2, but i hope to post it in the next few days.

ps: USD1 is equivalent to ~NT29.6


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