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Night Markets: A tourism hotspot!

sunny

I spend all of the morning just resting at the hostel and just relaxing. Yes, I was practically lazing around in Taiwan. In the past, whenever I do adventure trips, by the time I am back home, I am truly seeking to get my vacation from my vacation. This time around, I am glad that I am pacing things out.

So here is my opinion of Taiwan. I just love it.... definitely a place I would consider coming back to again. I personally feel it is a lot more inviting and friendlier than Japan. The people actually show emotions unlike the Japanese, where the people (especially the elders) seem to come across as being emotionless. I am in no way saying they aren't just less expressive and will likely do awesome in Poker!

I relaxed in the morning reading about things to do in Taiwan as well as watching a movie on Netflix called the "Princess Switch". We are more than a month away from Christmas and that seems to be the only shows/movies popping up and this Christmas is going to be an interesting one for sure. Just intending to go with the flow and seeing how things fall in place.

At 1230, I decided to head out and grab some food and explore Taipei 101. As I strolled along the road towards the bus stop, I saw a small stall with a lady pan frying pork dumplings. She was quick and although she didn't speak English, it was very easy to communicate with her. She even allowed me to take pictures and a video. I know a lot of people back in Edmonton love this dish and so this is very much for all you dumpling lovers there :)

Taipei 101 building
I then took the bus to the Taipei 101 building. It was a quick 20 minute ride and surprisingly traffic just kept flowing. The combination of google maps, the display in the bus and the English voice on the com, it was very easy to get to my location without a glitch. The Taipei 101 building was just an amazing architectural wonder. Here are a few quick facts about the building:

  • It is the tallest green building in the world!
  • It spans 101 stories above the ground at 508 metres and the building was designed as a symbol of technology's evolution fused with Asian tradition.
  • The building features many pan-Chinese and Asian elements mixed with a postmodern style, and is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes common in Taiwan making it an engineering and architectural marvel.
  • The base of the building houses a multi-level shopping mall, food court, various restaurants and stores and an international grocery store.
  • The double-deck elevators installed in Taipei 101 set a record in 2004 by travelling 60.6 km/h, lifting visitors to the observation deck at the top in only 37 seconds.

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I then decided that I should probably try the braised beef noodle soup and then proceed to some site seeing and then eventually hangout at a night market before heading back to the hostel to call it a night. I tried the spicy broth (not the mala spicy broth) and if this is how spicy the normal broth can be, I might reconsider doing the mala. Wowzie.... this was spicy indeed!!!

I then took to visiting the CKS Memorial Hall or the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. This is the most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan and was erected in honor and memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China.

  • It was opened in 1980 as part of a national park and gathering area.
  • The name of the square is officially Liberty Square as seen above the front gate, however the name change was politically motivated and most people in practice still refer to the entire complex as CKS Memorial Hall.
  • The octagon-shaped white building rises 76 meters and is covered with blue tiles and red accents, echoing the flag of the Republic of China.
  • The eight sides represent the Chinese cultural symbolism of the number eight which is traditionally associated with fortune and wealth.
  • The two sets of 89 steps represent Chiang's age of death and lead up to main hall housing a large bronze statue of Chiang protected by military personnel which change hourly.
  • The characters behind Chiang's statue read "Ethics", "Democracy", and "Science", and the inscriptions on the side read "The purpose of life is to improve the general life of humanity" and "The meaning of life is to create and sustain subsequent lives in the universe".
  • Below the hall is a museum documenting Chiang's life and career, as well as exhibits about Taiwan's history, pan-Chinese culture and history, and the ROC's development after moving to Taiwan.
  • Besides the main hall, the large complex includes the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, National Concert Hall , and the National Theater.

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Following that, I decided to take in the Shilin Night Market which happens to be the biggest night market in Taiwan.

  • The Shilin Night Market in Taipei is one of the largest, most popular night markets in Taiwan with regard to food, and also one of the most popular points of Taipei's night life among visitors.
  • Located in Taipei’s Shilin District, a mere 70 metres from MRT Jiantan Station between Dadong Rd, Danan Rd, Wenlin Rd, and Jihe Rd.
  • The maze of alleyways is filled with a variety of local, traditional, and international merchandise that attract locals and foreigners alike.
  • The night market consists of two major elements: general merchandise and local cuisine.
  • Along the western edge of the market is the Shilin Night Market Food Court, an underground food paradise.
  • Many of Taiwan’s traditional foods can be found and bought for reasonable prices from the friendly locals who are eager to let you taste the unique flavours of their traditional recipes such as Giant Fried Chicken Steak, Tempura, Bubble Tea, Oyster Vermicelli Oyster Omelet, Fried Buns and of course, the most notorious Taiwanese goodie, Stinky Tofu.

I took this as an opportunity to try out a few things as well as getting my camera out and taking some pics. I ran into Anna and Christian, a couple visiting from Germany and it was Anna standing in a line up to try the Octopus and Cheese delicacy that got me talking with them. I ended up trying the delicacy myself and it was so tasty. The vendor actually gave me two types of sauces, the traditional soy based sauced and the Japanese Fish roe sauce (which by far was the better one)

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What an experience in the night market. I also got a chance to try out the famous Brown Sugar Boba Milk tea... and wow, unlike in Canada, where you don't taste the tea, you actually get to taste the tea and it is such an amazing taste. Truly, the home of the bubble tea.

Around 930pm, I made myself back to the hostel after a long day. Interestingly, I don't feel much pressure on my ankle and I really had a nice day just exploring and seeing Taiwan. And for once, I really didn't do much thinking and kept my mind free. Tomorrow is another day!

Posted by soulsearch295 17:00 Archived in Taiwan Tagged sky memorial chiang shilin hall taipei 101 kai-shek

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