Taiwan Day Two

For the rest of our China Trip:
1. China Part One - Meizhou
2. China Part Two - Guangzhou (Destinations)
3. China Part Three - Guangzhou (Eats)
4. Macau - Destinations
5.Taiwan Day One
6. Din Tai Fung - Taipei 101, Taipei
7. Taiwan Day Three
8. Taiwan Day Four and Five Part 1
9. Taiwan Day Four and Five Part 2


After a restful night sleep, my family and I were ready to head out and explore Taipei. We quickly ate breakfast at the hotel and headed out to the nearest MRT station, conveniently only a two minute walk from the hotel. With itinerary in one hand and 3-day MRT pass in another we were going to pain Taipei red! FYI, the 3-day MRT pass cost NT$440 and allows you to ride the MRT and metro buses as many times as you like for three days.

The first tourist destination we went to was the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. It was only two stations away from Ximen station, where we departed from. This place was absolutely majestic. Two performing arts buildings surround the memorial hall itself, and on that Saturday morning it was absolutely alive with activities. So many teenagers were practicing dancing, singing and even fitness outside the performing arts buildings. There were also many elderly people enjoying their daily dose of Tai Chi. 


Performing Arts Centre
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai Shek Monument
View from the top of the memorial hall

As you can see, the are has been very well kept and well decorated. I've never seen such a popular tourist site kept so clean! When we came, the memorial hall was absolutely packed with tourists as well as the locals.

We then hopped on the MRT again and headed to Taipei 101. Taipei 101 was previously known as Taipei World Financial Centre. The building comprises of 106 floors, 101 being above ground and 5 being underground. Like other super tall skyscrapers in the world, the top floors are observation decks where people can visit to get 360 view of Taipei. 


View of the 4th floor mall inside Taipei 101
Taipei 101 as seen from Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

The highlight of visiting Taipei 101 was dining at Din Tai Fung. But, that's for another blog post.

After Taipei 101 we visited the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. This one was not as majestic as the Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall as it is older, but it was still very well kept and buzzing with activities by tourists and locals alike. 


Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Monument

We were fortunate enough to have come at the right time to watch the changing of the guards as well, which is a whole show in itself. The changing of the guards took around 15 to 20 minutes and I believe takes place every two hours (don't quote me on this). If you want to watch the changing of the guards in its entirety comfortably then I suggest coming early and grabbing a comfortable spot, as it gets very crowded.




As we were exiting Sun Yat Set Memorial Hall and heading back to the MRT station, we saw a lady with a small card selling rice cake (mochi). Since I love mochi I couldn't resist but purchase some. They come in two portion sizes, small (NT$35) or large (NT$55). Of course I ordered the large! It was so enjoyable to eat. The rice cake was soft and not too chewy. The crushed peanut topping was not too sweet and the perfect texture.




Later that night, we decided to check out Raohe night market, which was listed as the number one night market in Taipei by various blogs and even the MRT guide book.




As you might be able to tell from the photo, the market was packed! Our visit here was disappointing. It was so busy to the point it became difficult to walk and see what the stalls were selling. There was also a funny sewer smell that wafted in certain spots. We didn't spend that much time here. In hindsight, we should've avoided such a popular market on a Saturday night.

That concludes our first day in Taipei. I quickly fell in love hard with Taipei. The locals and tourists alike were friendly, there was so much to see and the public transport was so easy to use. Also, after the horror of dirty public toilets in China, Taiwan's cleanliness was such a welcomed and appreciated change!

 Information

Metro stations and ticketing
Website: Taipei Metro (English)

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
21 Chung-Shan S Road
Zhongsheng District
Taipei
Website: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Taipei 101
45 Shifu Road
Xinyi District
Taipei
Website: Taipei 101

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
505, Sec 4 Ren'ai Road
Sungshung District
Taipei
Website: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Street
Songshan District
Taipei
Website: Raohe Night Market

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