The last day of our trip was the most flexible, mainly because we had no clear-cut itinerary. The only concrete part of the plan was to meet with one of my Taiwanese friends by late afternoon. After a few recommendations and internet searches, we decided to head out to Tamsui.
Din Tai Fung
We were on our way to Zhongshan station (the MRT station nearest to our hostel) when I realized it was already 11am. I probably had a silly grin on my face as I turned to my friend so she immediately figured out what I was thinking—Din Tai Fung!😁 A little back story: we actually went here the night before to have dinner but it was jam packed and the waiting line was really long, so we opted to eat somewhere else. But before leaving, I asked one of the staff what time they open and she said 11 am. So now that it’s 11am, we shall have our xiaolongbao cravings fulfilled! Good thing we got there a few minutes after they opened because there was no line yet, yey! Plus, we even got to watch how they made their dimsums through their gallery-like kitchen.
Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf
After that sumptuous meal, we went to the Fisherman’s Wharf in Tamsui (or Danshui in other maps). Tamsui, the last station in MRT’s red line, is where we had a nice stroll along the wharf lined with numerous shops for food, clothes, and souvenirs.
When we got tired of walking, we sat in one of the benches under the tree to hyrdate and rest our feet. While sitting under the shade, we also saw a couple of people riding bikes. (Bikes are ubiquitous in Taipei. If you’re up for it you can rent ÜBike using Yoyo card, they’re mostly located near MRT stations–look for bikes with bright yellow and orange paint.)
And since we got hungry, so…
After a few more walks and a bit of window shopping around the old street, we left Tamsui and went to Main Station. While Aye went around the mall to look for some pineapple cake, I sat down to figure out how to contact my friend Weber. With a little help from Taipei’s free wifi, I finally got to contact him and find out where we’ll be meeting. (Note: Free wifi only works within MRT stations and government offices. To connect, go to the Tourist Information Center at Main Station and present your passport. The friendly staff will then log you in and give you your username and password.)
Smoothie House and Daan Park
We met Weber at Dongmen station which is just a few steps away from Smoothie House. Apparently, this is the current craze in Taipei. True enough, lots of people were there to enjoy Smoothie House’s signature snowflake ice which is shaved ice with fruit toppings. We tried their Super Mango Snowflake Ice with Sorbet and Litchi Snowflake Ice with Osmanthus.
Surprisingly, we liked the litchi (or lychee) with ostmanthus more than the mango. Maybe because the super mango had nothing but mangoes in it, which can be a bit overwhelming. Oh and by the way, we were already halfway with our snowflake ice and we still couldn’t figure out where the osmanthus was 😆 Still, anything with ice was great on such a hot day.
A couple of minutes and catching up conversations later, we found our way to Daan Park. However, it was already dark when we got there so we just strolled for a while. Good thing we tumbled upon a free concert in the park featuring an orchestra. But time was running out, Aye and I had be back at the hostel to pick up our bags before going to the airport. And so we said our goodbyes and went our way.
As we waited in the lounge near the airport’s boarding area, I can’t believe our three days are up and now we’re going back to Manila. The past three days have been great: I got to revisit memorable places in the city, see new sites, get lost, experience new things, eat yummy treats, meet up with friends.
Time does fly when you’re having fun. Thanks Taiwan, you’ve been good to me!😊