美麗 New Taipei City

Last May, my wife and son and I had the opportunity to experience the beauty of New Taipei City, also known as Xinbei. While Taipei is modern akin to Tokyo, New Taipei City is scenic akin to Kyoto.

We toured New Taipei City via MyTaiwanTour with Gordon as our tour guide.

First, we saw the Golden Waterfall near the Gold Ecological Park. As explained by our tour guide, the water used to be of beautiful gold color as a result of combination of regular rainfall in the area and the abundance of gold deposited in the river bed. Then, we went to view the Gorilla Mountain and Yin Yang Sea, s strange patch of water said to resemble the symbol of the Chinese principle of Yin and Yang.

Afterwards, we went the old seaside village of Juifen. The village was the inspiration for the setting in Hayao Miyazaki’s animated movie “Spirited Away”. The views of the mountains and the sea and the iconic red lanterns really were really charming. We also had taro balls and various other street food along the Juifen Old Street, although somewhat unique, the food was not really that spectacular.

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We then had lunch at the Skyline Tea House were I ate authentic Taiwanese beef noodles.美味!

We then went to Shifen Waterfall, the widest water fall in Taiwan. The water fall by itself was impressive, but the walk to and from thereto was also a worth while experience because of the surrounding trees and lush greenery and the cute pathways.

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Next, we went old and magical village of Pinxi. There, we watched the old rail line and the beautiful scenery. We also released sky lanterns into the heavens, which was really a wonderful experience especially for my son.

Afterwards, we went to the equally magical  Jing Tong Train Station. Hanging bamboo rolls can be seen all around the pathways, and the surrounding mountains were very scenic as well.

All in all, the tour was truly remarkable and we had a wonderful time.

Thank you for reading and I hope you like this space!

Ni Hao Taipei! What a Wonderful Surpise!

Last month, I celebrated my thirty-sixth birthday at Taipei. We chose Taipei because it was a place my wife and I have never been to before. Going there was also relatively cheap and, most importantly, our son, who is have a hard time learning Mandarin, will have the opportunity to practice and learn there.

On our first day, we arrived at the Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan City. We then rode by bus to our hotel, Forward Hotel Taipei, at Taipei City. Very tired from the trip, we settled for a restaurant near our hotel for dinner. The restaurant, Cash City Shabu,was a shabu-shabu restaurant and was our first meal in Taiwan. Nothing spectacular but it was a place where the locals go and it was a nice dining experience.

On our second day, we went to the National Palace Musem after eating breakfast at the hotel. The sweeping upward curves of the roof of the National Palace Museum reminded me a lot of the Forbidden Palace at Beijing. The National Palace Museum also had Imperial guardian lions like the Forbidden Palace.

The Museum was huge and there were a lot of Chinese artifacts. Too bad, we were not able to see the Jadeite Cabbage, which was at the Southern Branch of the National Palace Musem in Taibao City at that time.

We had beef noodle soup for lunch at a nearby Taiwanese food court.

We then went to Mengjia Longhsan Temple. Watching the worshipers there was really an unforgettable experience. Thereafter, we went to Taipei 101, the landmark supertall syscraper.

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Our son who loved elevators had a really great time at the Taipei 101. We went to the Taipei 101 Observatory at the 88th floor, 89th floor, and 91st floors. Having been to the Tokyo Sky Tree two years ago, I was not impressed as much.The tuned mass damper and the display of the red coral statues were however a welcome surprise. In fact, I was more awed at the red coral carvings there than the artworks at the National Palace Museum.

Afterwards we went to the basement of Taipei 101 and had around six different kinds of xiao long bao for dinner at Din Tai Fung. YUMMYYYYYYY!

On our third day, after eating breakfast, we went to mass at the Holy Family Catholic  Church near Daan Forest Park. Afterwards, we went to Taipei Zoo. We have been riding mostly by taxi up to this day and we decided to try the Taipei Metro going to the Taipei Zoo. We were sure glad that we did. Not only was it cheaper, it was also very efficient and comfortable. The zoo had pandas, lions, and chimpanzees. We ate at McDonald’s for lunch and a Japanese restaurant for dinner (the restaurant did not have an English name).

On our fourth day, we went to New Taipei City. The details of this trip will be discussed in another post. Suffice it to say, that this was the highlight of our Taiwan Tour. After the tour, we wen to Alibaba’s Indian Kitchen. One of our best meals during the entire Taiwan trip. Truly delicious!!!!

On our fifth day, we went to Huashan 1914 Creative Park. There, we went to the Upside-Down House. Our son really had a great time there. He also ha a great time at the open spaces in the park. We then went to Eslite Bookstore, one of the largest retail bookstore chains in Taiwan, and had lunch at McDonald’s. Afterwards, we went to Taipei 101 Mall and ate chocolate cake at Agnes B. Cafe.

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We then went to Raohe Street Night Market where we ate cheap and delicious street food such as okonomiyaki, braised pork rice, and shaved ice dessert.

On our last day, we went by bus to the Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan City. Surprisingly, one of my best meals during the trip was at the airport at Tokyo Curry. The Katsu Curry was really delicious!

All in all, the trip was very memorable and we had a great time.

Thank you for reading and I hope you like this space!