Jan 26, 2010

Taiwan 1 | Footprints 5 | Taipei's Best

Last day of the guided tour was the best Taipei City can put forward.

First stop was the toilet stop, and I spotted the first malay word in Taiwan.

Outskirts of Taipei, we had our morning stroll down Sen Kang Old Street, home and origins of the famous smelly tofu. Basically, this is another food stop.

I could totally imagine my BMI going skyrocket. Well, at this stage, who cares, anyway, right?

Here’s the wonderful smelly Tofu. Never did think I can put the word ‘wonderful’ and ‘smelly’ right next to one another. I used to think that only happens in dirty porn literature.

And it was so nice that my dearest decided to take over the stall. Wouldn’t be a bad idea, but probably should consider selling those lovelies beside a durian stall.

Then we’re off to the most posh (or is poshest a valid term?) and also the tallest building in Taipei, which is the Taipei 101. Yes, it is definitely a must go place, just to tell people that you had been there and done that, plus to be able to go all out to take the whole building with you in it. Retrospectively thinking, probably I could have Photoshop it later.

And I also decided to take some jingle balls, err.. I mean bells photos.

101 - gesturized...

The ticket to observatory was just too overpriced, and we decided to enjoy the view, the Picaso’s way.

Yes, I can be pretty cheap skate sometimes.

But this stop is plain boring, mainly because the items there are mostly, if not all, carrying a grand price tag. I actually had a chance to see a few trivial items on sale which with the same amount of bucks back in my homeland can buy me a motorcycle. No, I am not bullshitting. But then again, only one thing we found that was worthy of purchase is their Japanese steamboat set lunch which was totally economical. But at that point, we’re almost time for lunch and we didn’t settle for any.

After our midday appetizer, we left to see the changing of guard at the Zhong Zhen memorial.

It’s a two-hourly affair, in which the guard in two hours must stay completed dead stiff, almost a manikin. There were few things that Fen told us not to do to the guard. First, not to touch them. Second, not to make them laugh, no jokes. I think the most important should be, not to fart near them.

After that, it was another purchase stop for Jade. We didn’t buy any, mainly because we don’t really need it, plus my really really really absolute basic understanding of the ‘Elements’ revealed that one of the ‘master’ is bullshitting me into buying a jade.

Before we were being dropped off to Shiling Market, concluding the trip, we’re being introduced to the supposedly finest pineapple biscuit in Taiwan – Vigor Kobo’s with President Ma’s endorsement. But seriously, I still think the one I tried at JiuFen rocks and definitely tops this vigor any time of the day.

At last, Shiling Market!!

OK. Where to start? Well, it is the biggest and trendiest and probably the most happening place in the whole Taiwan. We tagged along with our newfound couple friend, Darren & Shirli for the dinner, which was basically stall to stall hopping for the best of food there. The first thing we had was the BIG BIG CIPAI (chicken ribs) – which was awesome food, not because of its size. More in my later entry on the Taiwan’s finest food.

Then we crossed the busy street to the shopping area and in the midst of shopping, we lost Darren & Shirli. With such a big crowd, all the great bargains, all the great trendy clothes and apparels and of course, with neither of us having any handphones, surely any ladies would have lost themselves in the shopping madness.

And just we thought we’re coming to the end of the row of shopping stalls, there were more. Plus, there were food stalls with long queues that actually went out to the street and took out half of the street, partially turning a small part of the road into a one way street. Wow. I was like going ‘where is the traffic police?’. I wasn’t sure this is actually legal in Taiwan.

Back to the hotel, all tired, save for my curiosity about the long queue of young adults lining up beside the hotel. Each of them was holding like a bouquet of dashing flowers, like the one you see during Valentine’s date.

I followed the beeline and I reached a temple with Four-faced God, and learnt later, that it was the God’s birthday that day. I guess even praying were much livelier and trendy here.

Prior to dreamtime, we packed for our own journey the next 2 days.

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