Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Taipei, Taiwan, Part 2: Good-bye, Asia!

My last day in Taiwan marked the end of the most incredible, (low-cost), beautiful, (low-cost), and greatest Asia trip ever.  I had to head back home for a couple weeks for wedding season, so this was the final hurrah.

Cliffnotes of the Day:
  • Upon our arrival back from Hualien back to Taipei, we checked into our hotel and went to the night market.  
The baller pool at the W. I'm leaving my slum life behind.
  • There are a ton of night markets in Taipei; the one we went to used to be one of the largest and craziest - called Shilin Night Market.  When I went to camp in Taipei during my high school summer, we basically lived at this market - there are cheap eats, ridiculous things to buy, and it used to be such a scene. We used to go nuts for these really ridic-looking socks with adorable Asian things printed on them that were 6 for 100NT (which is $3, basically making each pair 50 cents).  
You know what, Asia? I love you too
The vending machines in Taiwan all have personal helpers that basically give you advice on exactly what to do every time. And I mean that for serious; I wasn't just referring to my mom and Sherm.
  • One of my mom's cousins (I still can't figure out what to call him) is the manager of a golf course, and given Sherm's obsession with golf, he took him out for a game early the next morning.  My mom, Irene and I joined them later for lunch at the club.
And we got a tour of the club by golf cart!  I love golf carts. I will definitely have a golf cart one day to zoom around my giant mansion grounds
The golf caddies are always ladies, and they wear all khaki jumpsuits and powder-blue head visors 
And the course was beautiful
And they let stray (beautiful) dogs run around too!
Do you have food? 
  • Sherm also mentioned the golf snacks were a little different - they had buns and green bean soup instead of hot dogs and cokes.
Do Taiwanese golf courses look like regular golf courses?  I have no idea, because I don't play golf
  • We had a relaxing afternoon of more Taiwanese pampering (seriously, I would never do my own hair if I lived here because I would just get it done every day for $6. That's like half the price of the cab I used to take to work when I wanted to sleep in 5 minutes and would miss the train. Mind. Blowing).  Then headed to Taipei 101, that super-tall, super-expensive building I was telling you about in a previous post. 
Taipei 101 is giant. It has very informational info inside about how it stays earthquake-proof
  • But really our mission for going to Taipei 101 was to eat at the world's most delicious soup dumpling restaurant, Din Tai Fung. These things are ridiculous and money. SOUP DUMPLINGS NOM.  There's a couple locations and always a wait, but it wasn't too bad for a late Wednesday night. 
Soup dumpling assembly line
They even have a photo spot where you should stand to take a photo with the assembly line. So efficient.

Mom and I in the midst of devouring trays of soup dumplings
Another one of my favorite parts of Asia? They have mascots for EVERYTHING and they are usually adorable. This is the Din Tai Fung dumpling man <3
  • As a last stopover for the night, my mom and I stopped by my grandma's house and her old neighborhood to say good-bye to my grandma and wander around for a bit. I have such fond memories of my grandma's house - which isn't what you would normally think of as a "grandma's house", because it's the 2nd/3rd floor of a busy downtown building.  The first floor used to be a photo store, but has changed a bunch over the years. I have the best memories of visiting and living in this house all the times I would visit Taiwan as a kid. And to be honest, I never would have recognized it if my mom hadn't pointed it out.
My grandma's house is the 2nd/3rd floor of the middle grayish building. This is where my mom grew up!
  • And then I capped off my Taiwan trip by visiting a bunch of stores and buying the cutesiest/useless things ever. Nobody does cute like Taiwan.
  • The next morning, I got on a flight to San Francisco - back to the States for a bit!  

Funnest fact is, I have no idea where I'm going next - I am currently evaluating options on the cheapest one-way flights, so I don't even know what continent I'll be on next. But stay tuned - it will be an adventure for all!


  1. Great to see the Wanganator and rob her of her sweet severance. Anyone she stays w/ make sure she pays her way....heeyyyyyyy Wall St severance

    So much severance

    Don't get all hippy on me looking at the Universe for answers

    Micheladas as re pretty much the best thing you have told me about