Weekend in Taiwan (Day 2)

 

Before we went out, I took some photos of our hotel, Queen Hotel II. I am very fascinated by it because it’s on the 4th floor of an old building. If you see the building, all of the expectations of a nice and clean hotel will vanish. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a relatively new facility!

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We actually had different plans for today. But, since we weren’t able to visit this district last time, we decided to go to it today.

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We’re going to Tamsui (淡水) today!

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Upon exiting the station, it isn’t hard to find the riviera and Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街). And, across the river is Mount Guanyin (觀音山).

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Since it was a Sunday, we thought that it may be a little less crowded. Oh, how wrong we were. A lot of people in Taipei may be enjoying the weekend in Tamsui too.

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On the street parallel to the waterfront is the old street itself.

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Nestled on the hills behind the waterfront is the Tamsui Church. It was used, then, to look over the neighborhood.

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And along the streets are tons of art.

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A short walk towards the mouth of the river will bring you to Fort Santo Domingo (紅毛城). For NTD 80, you can enter the fort itself and the old residence of the British consul to Taiwan. Since it is a fort, it’s placed on high ground. The steps aren’t steep but you should be aware.

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And across the fort is the British consul’s residence.

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We had to go back to the streets to find lunch.

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It was a bit hard to find a place to eat because there were a lot of people that day. But, fortunately, we found a place called Dark Palace. It was neither dark nor was it a palace. There’s a little bit of wait until we are seated.

I had noodles with pork chops! Serving size is humongous!

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And, now, it’s time to go back to Taipei.

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We got off at Ximending (西門町) but before everything else, we have to visit Carrefour for food items we will bring back home. I got good deals on tea! For NTD 79, I bought 100 bags of oolong tea!

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And, in Ximending, we only had one thing to do – misua (麵線). There’s one shop in Ximending that locals line up for.

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After a quick bite, we went back to our hotel for an afternoon nap. We also had to pack our things and prepare to leave. I actually wasn’t able to clean up my stuff. It was now time to visit another night market, Ningxia Night Market (宁夏夜市).

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Ningxia is less commercial than Shilin. The food is not catered to tourist but locals seeking comfort in the middle of the night. There were a lot of people because of the weekend! It was hard to choose what to eat.

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I actually had noodles in chili oil for dinner but I forgot to take a photo. So, here’s a photo of my dessert. It’s mango snowflake shaved ice with panna cotta!

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After dessert, we made our way back to the hotel, took our showers, and packed our bags. We rushed to Taipei Main Station and was fortunate enough to take the last ride to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport via the airport MRT.

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I had one crazy weekend. It was crazy but it was also satisfying.

 

 

 

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Weekend in Taiwan (Day 1)

 

 

Spring in Seoul v.3 (Day 3)

Spring in Seoul v.3 (Day 4)We made our way to Anguk station. We rented hanboks today through One Day Hanbok (here). You can reserve a slot via email and you have to be there within 10 minutes of your reserved slot. You have four (4) hours to walk around in your rented hanbok. You may extend that if you pay a little more Korean won. They also have accessories for rent like hats, headbands, and bags.

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After a few minutes of going through all of their available hanboks, we were ready to conquer the city in our traditional attire.

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I intially wanted to be a prince but all the blue hanboks are gone. There must have been a lot of princes that day. But, hello! We’re all noblemen and we decided to coordinate the colors of our hanboks.

The hanbok rental is in Samcheongdong which isn’t a long way from Gyeongbokgung. Since we were in traditional attire, the entrance fee for the palace is waived. Thank you, Korea, for promoting your beautiful culture.

Then, there was this very beautiful cherry blossom tree.

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And we proceeded to the same thing in almost every corner of the palace.

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What I like about this architecture is that it looks simple but the design is very intricate. You’d have to look at it up close to see how complex the design is.

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Our favorite spot was the pillars. We also had a lot of requests to take photos with tourists.

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It was fun seeing people of different nationalities wearing the hanbok. Whenever there’s a person wearing the king’s and queen’s robe, we immediately bow down to them.

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See, the pillars are our favorite. We look like we’re promoting a Korean drama!

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It was a little gloomy that day and the rain started to pour down on us.

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We hurriedly made our way back to the hanbok store because the rain was really heavy. Since it was already lunch time, we decided to take shelter in a nearby ramen store named Lamen’s.

I ordered the ttok ttok cheese maze which has gorgonzola and mozarella cheese sauce, pollock roe, hash browns, and arugula. Delicious! Although, it may be too creamy for some.

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We proceeded to Insadong for some souvenir shopping.

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Then, proceeded to DDP to see the LED Roses. But, unfortunately, they were removed last March 21, 2017.

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In the end, we decided to go back to Myeongdong and look for food. It was Good Friday. With so many Korean barbecue places around, it was very hard to find food without meat.

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We settled for a seafood pancake and authentic japchae! What a find. It’s my fourth time in Korea and it’s the first time that I have tried japchae.

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It was a little melancholic that we have reached the last night in this beautiful city. We dropped by a grocery store to buy local food and souvenir. I almost had to buy another luggage!

Good night, Myeongdong.

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Others in this series:

Spring in Seoul v.3 Day 1

Spring in Seoul v.3 Day 2

Spring in Seoul v.3 Day 4

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Taken at: Gyeongbokgung in Seoul City, Philippines

It was nice trying on a hanbok today. It’s like your being transported to another world. One funny thing is that we bow down whenever someone in king’s / queen’s costume pass by.