What would Taiwan be without
but that's besides the point.
Batman & Robin, a.k.a (mum and I) decided to brave the Taipei streets alone without dad one morning, and we strolled into the Bangka Park (which we found out to our surprise by the hotel staff later on, that the park isn't the best place to be, due to the fair number of homeless people that take refuge there). I still liked it tho.
Lots of cute old people doing old people things, chatting, strolling, etc.
If you walk through the park, you'll see a road with little stalls on both sides. Hygiene was definitely not on the top of their list but it did add to the whole 'authentic taiwanese street stall' feel. However at that point, we just had a huge breakfast buffet at our hotel so we skipped out on most of the stalls.
I got soya bean.
I'll be honest, I am not the biggest wet market fan.
BUT, I am game to explore and to take pictures.
DO IT FOR THE GRAM! (Read: Instagram) <--- incase any of you don't know what that means *mum*
The market reminded me a lot of Japan, with the wide varieties of fresh seafood. However, it was a really interesting array of shops. Ranging from fishmongers, to goldsmiths, and even little clothing shops with air conditioning separated by plastic sheets (not sure how well that works but props to them).
We saw a group of kids heading to this cool looking building, so I decided to join them and we stumbled upon this beautiful building.
"It retains the looks from two hundred years ago because it had been set as the location for a new school in 1945. During 1999 to 2009, the Taiwan Government has repaired the buildings, built a Heritage and Culture Center of Taipei City, and invited local/foreign contemporary artists to decorate the street. Today, the Bopiliao Old Street is full of art crafts and creative wall paintings."
Apparently, this entire exhibition centre is also part of the Bopilao Old Street.
This would be the perfect place to bring children, full of interactive activities as well as information. It covered the old school education and examination systems, lots of displays of old games and what-nots.
Plus the cute little decorations!
I want it all.
Along the street corners, there were tons of artists (oil painters) exhibiting their skills. It's like the oil painters version of Urban Sketchers. I even saw a few couples taking pre-wed photos that I wanted to photobomb sooooo badly but I stopped myself.
In foreign countries, I try to be on my best behaviour.
So I posed for my own photo.
We proceeded to do a fair amount of shopping.
There are two main places I went to shop, first was Xi Men Ding (which is one stop away from where I was staying, LongShan Temple). Shopping in Taiwan takes skill and patience, ESPECIALLY with clothes.
Upon first glance I couldn't spot a single thing that I liked, but once you dig...
and I mean really dig for it.
You'll find a gem or two.
The other mad house for shopping (largely women clothes), is Wu Fen Pu.
But this one is hard to navigate because you can't try on the items and there's literally hundreds of stalls.
So it's a cardio packed outing.
Do note that service here isn't great and the people aren't as friendly as normal stalls, guess that's what you get for slashed prices. Obviously no one is paying service charge.
** I actually managed to buy quite a few items behind SOGO, (Zhong Xiao Fu Xing station). You have to exit the mall and walk towards the street stalls right behind the building.
I tried the Taiwanese famous oyster meesua and I must say I was pretty impressed. The broth is super thick and starchy, but it's also very balanced in terms of flavour (savoury with a nice light vinegar after taste) so overall I would definitely eat it again.
Then I proceeded to get a tattoo.
Unfortunately, it's a temporary one.
BUT HOW CUTE IS THAT!
There are tons of art stores that mainly promote local Taiwanese artists. I love the concept of it and the stalls are always super unique. Do bear it mind that they are also a bit on the pricier side.
I found my spirit animal.
and of course there has to be DIN TAI FUNG!
Try going during off peak hours to avoid the crazy queues.
We walked an average of 10km a day but probably ate an equivalent.
Stay tuned for the next post where we got to explore a little bit of the Japanese influences in Taiwan, by that I actually mean, SUSHI.