Taiwan Day Eight: Returning to Taipei

Coming back to where we started, Taipei awaited us for the last few days of our trip. I won’t lie, due to the comprehensive travel schedule, we all were feeling a bit knackered at this point. Hence, we decided to take it a bit easier especially since we’d done quite a bit in the city already. Working in our favor was the fact that the train from Tainan took three hours, combined with going back to our favorite apartment, meant that it was close lunchtime when we settled down. Being adventurous, we decided to head back to Din Tai Fung to treat ourselves. However, we ended up not going to the original one since there’s apparently three, but irregardless they all have the same top-notch quality. The one we went to was about a fifteen minute walk from the Central Station, but that enabled us to further build up our appetites. As with the first time we had to wait for an extended period of time, but instead of 50 minutes it was only about 35 or so. There happened to be a little courtyard of benches adjacent to the restaurant which facilitated potential customers. At any rate, we thoroughly stuffed ourselves for a second time, but we knew going in what we’d want to have. Hence this time was arguably better!

After enjoying yet another blissful dining experience, we headed back to the Airbnb to slow things down for a while. Several hours passed when we decided to get off our butts and trek out to the ubiquitous Taipei 101 tower. While debating whether it was best to get a taxi or take the MRT and hoof it from there, our wonderful host Mr. Hong offered to drive us the 15 minutes. As we were arriving he mentioned that we had to check out this super ornate French-style mall (which was unsurprisingly prohibitively expensive for most shoppers). We didn’t have any idea of where to go, as the space was pretty wide open, therefore we decided to look around. We didn’t really find a lot that appealed to us, but before going we decided to check out the tower; it would be a shame to come here and miss out on sniffing around. Taipei 101 is a mix of offices, businesses, and shopping, and the way it works is that certain floors are open to these specific types of businesses. When we got food, it was at the bottom of the tower, but I’m sure there’s more spread around. And speaking about the place, it was really touristy, aka overpriced and ultra crowded. Ultimately we found a decent ramen place, but the cost was a bit higher than what you normally would find in the rest of the city. Sure, we didn’t try too hard to find places so admittedly I could be wrong, but generally speaking we did kind of come away with a less than stellar impression of Taipei 101. I’d like to be proven wrong by coming back a second time, though.

All in all we had an easy day, but again, we needed one like this. With only one day left in the trip, we were now starting to figure out the last few things we wanted to accomplish. Stay tuned!

Taipei 101 as seen from the street.
You’ve got to love the random signs you see, eh? Though with this one, it’s a bit more belligerent.
Better look at how massive Taipei 101 is!
Saw this in the local 7/11. It’s one of the reminders of how lovably quirky Taiwan is!

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