Exploring Taipei

The upside of working overseas is my accommodation, flight, food, etc is paid for; the downside is I have to actually work Monday to Friday and every evening this week I have been finishing at 8pm. Boooo!!!  I’m not sure if the late hours is part of the Taiwan culture or just this project :o(  However, the good news it’s now the weekend and I have a new city to explore.

Shilin Station

Shilin Station

What surprises me the most about Taipei, is how beautiful it is.  The city has typical Asian tower blocks and undecipherable signs everywhere, but it is set in the foot hills of some gorgeous mountains, covered in lushest forest and Taipei itself is very green with trees everywhere.  I love the harsh contrast between the urban city and the natural world.

View of Taipei from Fort Santo Domingo

View of Taipei from Fort Santo Domingo

Beautiful Taipei

Beautiful Taipei – I walk through here every day on my way to the office

Being summer it is very hot (saw a sizzling 36c today) and humid here.  This year I seem to be making a habit of travelling everywhere out of season. :oS  To escape the heat my colleague aka personal translator and I (plus, I think the rest of Taipei) went to the National Palace Museum to see its collection of ancient Chinese artifacts.  An interesting fact, the collection is so large, that only 1% of it is on display at any one time.

Exploring Tamsui

Exploring Tamsui

Tamsui

Tamsui

Afterwards we headed to Tamsui, another popular weekend haunt for the locals or is there just a lot of people living in this city?  It’s an Asian seaside resort with lots of amusements and food stalls.  It was a fun way to spend the rest of the day.

Jumbo Ice Cream in Tamsui

Jumbo Ice Cream

Interesting pet store - hermit crabs

Interesting pet store – hermit crabs

A local colleague joined us for dinner and kindly took us to one of her favourite restaurants.  Another food first tonight.  It was either starve or adapt. :oS  I ate my first ever mussel.  I was pleasantly surprised with how good they tasted – mind they had a bit of kick and so being a chilli fiend it helped.  I even went back for two more. :o)  It was the yummiest  meal I have eaten so far in Taipei.  Maybe I will survive the food :o)

Yummy ginger chicken, chilli mussels, green veg and baby bamboo shoots

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