They say that three time’s the charm. Well, my third trip to Taiwan was definitely charming. My friend Aye Reece and I were only there for three days but it was fun-filled. For the first part of this series, I’ll be sharing the places we visited on our first day 🙂
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
For first time visitors like my friend, this one is on the must-visit list. It is after all, a great way to get acquainted with Taiwan. Inside, you can explore the museum on the lower level for free (yey!)
Here are some of the things you can see inside…
Aside from the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, the compound is also home to the National Theater and the Memorial Gates. All of which serve as great backdrops for your souvenir photos. (True enough, a group of Korean tourists were doing jumpshots when we were there)
We arrived in NTU (National Taiwan University) right before lunch to meet a couple of Filipino friends. This place is nostalgic to me as brings back happy memories of meeting new friends, eating budget food at the cafeteria, and strolling around the campus.
One of the things you shouldn’t miss when you’re in NTU is their waffle. It is delicious!!! To get this yummy treat, look for the little wood cabin in front of the park beside the Life Sciences Building. It’s not hard to find, just follow the sweet aroma of freshly made waffles. You’ll usually see a line of hungry students but don’t give up, it’s worth it. I highly recommend the chocolate banana waffle (I get hungry just thinking about it now…)
Gongguan, the area where NTU is located, has a lot of budget-friendly food stalls nearby. There are also fashion shops and bubble milk tea stalls in almost every corner. Plus, there’s a bank and a post office nearby as well.
After a few more minutes of catching up with our friends, Aye and I headed to Maokong. To get there, take the MRT line going to Taipei Zoo. Actually, if you have the time you can visit the zoo first before going up to Maokong (they have penguins, pandas and koalas!). The MRT station is quite a long walk to the gondola station so make sure to wear ultra comfy shoes.
The gondola ride which will take you up to Maokong gives scenic view of downtown Taipei. Word of caution though: if you’re scared of heights, this might not be the ideal ride for you. But worry not, there are other ways to reach it (bus, taxi, or car). Maokong is a mountainous area known for its tea houses. So if you’re a fan of tea, you’ll definitely have a grand time here.
We got there when the sun was at its peak and we were melting and sweating. Good thing we found this air conditioned café so we can sit down and rest for a while. Apparently, this café is known for serving tea-flavored ice cream. They also have savory meals available for those who are bit more hungry.
Here a couple of interesting finds we saw in Maokong…
Shilin Night Market
After Maokong, we decided to cap off our first day in Taiwan in Shilin Night Market. Here, you’ll find stall after stall of merchandise that will bring out the shopaholic in you. But if you’re not the shopping type, you can still enjoy Shilin with its variety of street food such as chicken chops, fresh fruits, juices, squid balls, grilled sausages, and more.
And that was our first day! Look out for the second installment of out three-day trippin in Taiwan 🙂