I guess Taipei isn't really a huge tourist destination - I mean it has it's temples, parks, night markets and shopping districts but if you're not really into touristy stuff and are more into just experiencing the life and people of another city, then Taipei is definitely worth checking out! We spent most of our time around ShiDa, weaving around the little back lanes and also a bit of time in Ximin, Zhongxiao Dunhua and Xinyi. It's quite amazing how certain parts of Taipei reminded us so much of Tokyo. ShiDa was a bit like the Harajuku of Tokyo and Ximin a bit like Shibuya. Here's a few snapshots from around the streets of Taipei. Definitely a place we would like to go back to!
Down the narrow lanes around ShiDa. At about 3pm every day it starts to get busy when all the shops start to open. I was really surprised that some stores didn't open up shop until around 5 or 6pm.
There were these little container-like cubicles set up along one of the streets.
Lots of crazy shop names!
This is in Ximin where we stayed for the first 2 nights. Coming out of the station, it looks a bit like Shibuya especially at night with all the people and lights.
Cute sleepy dogs everywhere!
I had a couple of days on my own while James had to work so I went to check out Longshan Temple. I'm not really into temples and things like that but it was something to do and kind of cool to look at. It was actually quite busy, lots of locals lighting candles, burning incense, saying their prayers, and whatever else they do at temples.
Taipei 101 which was, until last year, the tallest skyscraper in the world. We went up 382 metres to check out the view.
A back lane in Gongguan where I got lost trying to hunt down a bubble tea shop. This was at about 3pm and nothing was really open yet so the streets were pretty dead.
I saw the temperature reach 40 degrees one day when we were out in ShiDa. It was pretty hot every day, hotter than Singapore but there just wasn't the humidity.
Everybody rode scooters and bicycles around the city. A good, cheap and easy way of transport and they even have their own waiting bay at the traffic lights! You'd sometimes see three people squeezed onto the one scooter. I kept thinking that one was gonna run me over.
Bikes parked along the pavement as far as you can see.
I finally found this bubble tea shop in Gongguan that I had read about on someone's blog. It apparently has the best pearl milk tea in Taipei and I really wanted to try it but it was shut! It was 3:30pm so I'm not sure if they just hadn't opened yet or had shut down completely. It was a good thing that I had recognised the shop from the picture I had seen on the net otherwise I would have never known that this was the bubble tea shop called "Chen San Ding". I wonder what all that writing says on the sign.
And lastly, we went to check out the Shilin night markets. It was ok but we didn't buy anything or eat anything there and some parts were clearly just set up for tourists. I think we enjoy more just sitting around in cafes, living the life that the locals live, doing the things that the locals do.
Sorry bout the longish post but there was too much that I wanted to share! Just looking at these photos makes me wanna go back there. Taipei Eats still to come!