I overestimated myself. I thought I would be able to post on here while I was in Taiwan but I was too exhausted after every adventure. Well now I am back in Osaka, although today I traveled to Tokyo for work for the week, I will now post about my trip in pictures. If you followed me on IG or Snapchat then you’ve already seen these, but if not, enjoy!
I went to Taipei 101 to go up to the top and see the city. When walking to the building the sun was out for a bit but when I got to the top they said the visibility was poor. The start of my cloudy weekend started then. I enjoyed the view but didn’t capture any internet worthy pictures to share. Just know, I was really high. This building used to be the tallest building of the world at some point. It does have a cool round golden damper in the middle of it. One thing I would like to see in person, is the fireworks they have for New Years. I saw a video in the theater room and it looked amazing.
I ate my first Taiwanese meal at Taipei101’s food court. Boy, was that food court crowded. As you can see in the picture, the size was huge. I ordered two cheap things and got this. That’s when I realized I assumed Japanese servings. Totally different. I did eat it all, though. I’m a big girl.
After my big lunch I burned it off with a nice hike up Elephant mountain. The entrance was about a 10-15 minute walk from Taipei101. Glad Maps GPS dot moves around even offline. It helped me lots during this trip.
This is the most popular area where everyone climbs up these huge rocks and takes a pic of Taipei101. I did not want to bust my arse so I stepped on the smallest most accessible one. Although I wished for sun, the clouds looked cool around the building.
I saw some cool writings on some of the rocks. I walked across the mountain while most people walked back down the same way the came up after the 6 rocks area. The other side of the mountain had less people and was even a little spooky. I definitely enjoyed the peacefulness and tried my best to just soak it all in.
Afterwards, I met up with these folks. My friend here in Japan linked me with the girl in the middle and she brought her crew around. It was very interesting to here their experiences in Taiwan. Very similar to foreigners in Japan.
I ended my first full day in Taiwan was laughs and new friends. I didn’t feel so alone after this night.
So this day. This day this day. This day. Let me just tell you, I was not suppose to be at this station. This was not my plan. I had made a mistake.
As you can see on the map, the red line marks the route I mistakenly took. I got on a super express train thinking it was a regular express that stops at that orange dot before the waterfall. The English for the train was not English at all so I decided to decipher the kanji from my Japanese knowledge. And as you can see the result, I was wrong. It was an hour long ride with no seats. I stood and watched outside and actually got to see the shore. That was a plus. When I got to Yilan, the first station master tried to get me to pay $30 for the ride. He didn’t speak English so I was like no, I made a mistake. He flagged down someone who could in his grumpy old man grunts. The other station master was kinder and told me I had an hour to wait for the next train. He kindly said go out and get something to eat. So I did and checked around the area close to the station.
I didn’t buy any souvenirs from Yilan but I was facisnated by what they had in their stores. I heard Yilan is where people go to the beach, so next time I go to Yilan it’ll be on purpose.
So I finally made it to Shifen after a 2 hour local train trip. I had limited time so I couldn’t wait another hour for the express train. The waterfall I intended to see closed for visitors at 4:30pm. I got to Shifen station at 3:45pm and still had to walk up the mountain to see the waterfall. In this picture above you can see how crowded it is. I had to get through that crowd not knowing if I’d make it or not. Luckily it wasn’t as far as I thought it would be.
The waterfall was even more amazing than the pictures I saw in my guidebook. I did my best to capture the moment but seeing it in person is way better. It’s an impressive waterfall. Although small compared to Niagra Falls, the shape of it makes it look majestic. I was glad I didn’t miss it and was able to forgive myself for my 3 hour mishap.
After the waterfall I walked around the village and was happy to see some cats. The floating lanterns were entertaining and a lot better when it got darker.
If you see closely, the lanterns are floating up or falling down in the sky. I was also able to see some workers picking up the laterns after they’ve fallen on the ground, tracks and/or roofs.
Around 6pm is when I got mentally and physically exhausted but once I returned to my area I felt this was the time to check the night market. Since it was on the way to my hostel I figured why not. If I had known how long it would take to walk through, I would have gone back to the hostel to rest a bit first. Then again, once I got out an hour later I just collapsed in my bed and called it a night. My day was definitely adventure filled.
For my last full day I decided to stay in the city of Taipei to avoid any train mishaps again. The subway was way easier to navigate. I got to see this amazing building and finally took a proper solo trip selfie.
As you can see, it’s another cloudy day. The temperature was decent but the skies gray. Despite that, I still enjoyed everything.
On my way to Longshan Temple, I passed through this cultural area that also had a student art show. Since it was free and I like art, I peeped inside a bit. Some things were creepy and interesting, while some were really thought provoking. Since these students were learning through a European art school, all the descriptions were in English. And yes, that is a piece of art of Tronald Drumpft. I refuse to write his name correctly in my blog. That painting is suppose to depict his childishness.
Longshan Temple was my last major site for the trip. I wanted to visit more but grew really tired. I still hadn’t recovered from the day before. My back was starting to hurt again from walking so much. I felt old.
After all that walking, I met up with the girls one last time. I needed it. As much as I liked traveling and sightseeing solo, I wanted to share it verbally as soon as I could. I even told them about this old man who stopped me to practice his English. I had him help me order some food at a street market in Chinese then he talked my ear off while I ate. When he started getting inappropriate with his comments, is when I politely excused myself without looking like I was rushing to leave. I was annoyed but glad I got food.
Overall, the trip was a success. No accidents, no sickness, and no real incidents from strangers to me. I wasn’t really approached from anyone but that one dude. I did get help by kind souls when needed and bought some cool things for myself and my friends. Would I go back to Taiwan again?…I’d say yes but with friends. Now that I know I can handle another Asian country on my own, I think I should start planning for next year’s international solo trip.