First Day in Taiwan

Good morning? Afternoon? I’m not sure what time it is over in Canada, but I’m writing this from a hotel in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and it is currently 6:00 PM. And why am I writing instead of exploring? Dad and Grandpa are both sound asleep. 😴

Note to self: next time, do not travel with an overprotective, hyper-vigilant father and a 90 year-old grandfather unless you want to spend valuable daylight hours of “exploring time”, bored in the hotel room 😉

Anyways – I decided that, instead of cancelling activities or forcing myself to wake up early in order to blog, that I’d just post whenever I got the chance. Initially, I wanted to post Travel Journal entries daily, but quickly realized that would be quite a challenging feat. Hope this quick post is good!

Vancouver to Taiwan

Relaxing at YVR before the 12-hour flight.

Taipei

Arriving at TPE, the airport in Taiwan (about an hour from Taipei). Our taxi driver gave us some persimmons. Sunrise happened at about 6:30 AM, and these are some observations I made:

  • everyone wore masks to guard against the pollution
  • it was lovely to see so many Taiwanese people like myself and my family members (well, duh, we’re in Taipei, but it was interesting because most of the Asians in my area of BC are from China or Hong Kong)
  • bathrooms didn’t have toilets, but rather the traditional Chinese “hole in the ground”
  • mountains, compared to Canada, are flatter and undulate less
  • Taiwan smells just like how I remembered it – like a combination of stale cigarettes, sewage, incense, and boiled tea eggs
  • there are so many motorcycles and tall, worn buildings
  • crosswalks permit up to 80+ seconds for people to cross the street
  • many colourful billboards and banners, promoting brands like Canon, Nikon, and HuaWei, that reminded me of Kathmandu

Our hotel is called the Taipei Hero House, and many veterans live here. Dad accidentally made a $10 CAD phone call, which was pretty funny.

For breakfast, we ate at the Taipei Hero House, where I had bean curd, yellow melon, chopped radish, and tea eggs.

In the 7-11 in our hotel, there are some pretty unique drinks and snacks, like this bag of strawberry Lays.

Exploring Taipei – it’s about 20+ degrees during the day. I like the bakeries and colourful street vendors.

Subway passes and time at the bank (the most boring three hours of my life!).

Lunch at a beef noodle soup restaurant, where I had spicy beef intestines, crispy fried shrimp balls (huge, but really tasty!), tiny pork wontons in sweet and spicy sauce, tofu noodles, seaweed, and, of course, beef noodles in soup.

For dessert I had these tasty filled waffles from a street vendor. One was filled with taro, the other red bean. I liked the taro one more.

That was pretty much it for our first day, before I fell asleep at 4:30 PM 🙂

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