I remember it too well; getting to the airport half-asleep, overbooked flights, a mad scramble at check-in counters. It used to be part of our holiday tradition to fly off somewhere Christmas Day and come back before New Year. It was good good crazy fun but as my family's number almost doubled (not to mention holiday travelers have quadrupled!) through the years, (plus that we are all getting old) we have moved this cherished tradition to sembreak. We all found it to be a more relaxed time to travel as a big group. Last October we went to Taipei.
I have heard it too many times. There is nothing to do in Taipei. When H went to Taipei with his high school buddies though, he came home with loads of fun stories. I believe it helped that one of his friends was actually living there with his wife and then 2 small kids. H and his pals saw Taipei through the eyes of almost a local.
My family and I were in Taipei in late October this year and sure enough, we did love the place. Whoever coined the term 'a better China' for it could not have said it better. The first things we noticed, a clean city and not at all the typical rude folk. I was surprised to hear an 'Excuse me/' when I blocked some one's way on the sidewalk.
I have loads of pictures from the trip but I want to narrow the trip down to a Top 10 list.
Food in Taipei is in a level all by itself. You can actually taste not just culinary genius of the Chinese but also the freshest ingredients. Taipei after all has its own farms and livestock.
These are just a part of the lauriat dinner we enjoyed at the Shnagri-La Leisure Farming in Yilan. Taiwan. These were delicious but not as oily as typical Chinese food can be sometimes.
|Happy hungry smiles!|
Taipei seems to take street food to another level as well. I am not afraid of eating street food. My mom who is doctor had no qualms about us eating street food growing up.
Street food in Taipei is so much a part of its cuisine as the highest price meal you can get there. Okay, that is a hyperbole. I'm just saying. The over all winner for me is still grilled sausage either in pancake or bed of rice which H made us try near the giant electronics building. I died and went to street food heaven!!!!
|OH, my gosh! Look at these babies!!!!|
GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!!!!
Just look at these oink-oinks! This was not OA it was this good!
3. Our Hotel: The Royal Palace Hotel
No matter how many times you try to convince yourself that the hotel is just a place to sleep in, I am a firm believer that your hotel can make or break a trip. Since H was happy with the hotel he stayed in with his friends, we did not bother looking any further and we loved it as well.
This was the facade of our quaint
but very well-appointed hotel.
The quiet neighborhood in the early hours of the morning.
|The only restaurant was a Japanese restaurant which offered a yummy Japanese breakfast buffet for 300 pesos. Not bad!Their ice-cream in the afternoons were also sooo good!|
|The rooms were also not big but hey we had everything; comfy beds, those Japanese thermo toilet seats....Loved it!|
...and we were next door neighbors with my favorite cat.
Sorry, not Garfield!
4. Taipei 101
Once the tallest building in the world, visiting Taipei 101 was one f the highlights of this trip for me.
|Now to go up there.....|
Views of Taipei from the top of Taipei101
Billie was able to send a postcard to her grandmother
in San Francisco from the top.
Isn't that cool?
If you are a big shopper which I am n not
there is a mall on the lower floors.
Cool sidewalk lighting....
The little light show on the elevator going up. You won't notice the distance you've traveled.
Sorry about the comments. Of course my dad had to say Star Trek!
Warning! This is JIANGOO HOLIDAY MARLET PORN! Enjoy!
|My mom loves plants and flowers so just seeing her enjoy this is fun enough for me.|
6. The Pacific Ocean
I really enjoyed our tour to the coastal towns of Taipei facing the Pacific Ocean. Last summer my high school friend, Gina took my family and I to Monterey and the ocean captivated me. Same thing from the other side of the same ocean. It was beautiful and breath taking.
It was amazing to learn too that the islands of Taiwan were created by two tectonic plates pushing each other. Thus the beautiful scenery. If you travel here, please breath this in and don't miss it.
7. Shangri-la Leisure Farms
My cousin, Carla booked this tour for us and it was fun. It was a farm located on top of a mountain and aside from the farm tour there was also arts and crafts, a cultural show and lots of food. The kids especially enjoyed this.
Get to know more about it here.
8. We flew our first ever paper Lantern
First we wrote our wishes on the lantern, lit it and let it go....
Enough said! We, Filipinos are deprived of Ikea so any chance we get we....IKEA!
10. Pineapple Tarts from Chia Te Bakery
This is our ultimate Taipei take home even for friends. My son Blue did his share of hoarding since it is his favorite
Come early before the lines swell.
At the Taipei Airport on our departure day back to Manila, you must stop and ...not smell the flowers but look at the vertical gardens and eat more food, last chance. haha!
I end this post with our Taipei family postcard.
It was a good and fun trip!...
Taipei would not have been as fun if my cousin Carla did not join us. She was our interpreter, tour guide and foodie conspirator! Thanks, Caloy!!!