I’m back in Japan! I can finally catch up with my blogIt’s been a month since I returned, but I wanted to share pictures from my trip to Taiwan while it’s still summer. It was a four day trip but we saw and ate enough to fill several gb of pictures and videos.
Our airplane surprised us by being decked out in Hello Kitty. I mean everything was Hello Kitty—the plane meal, the seat cushions, the safety pamphlets and even the barf bag. I’m not a big fan of Hello Kitty, but I fully appreciate how much effort the EVA Air put in to looking cute.
Taiwan in general is full of cute things like this bear castella I ate on a day trip to Shifen.
And sometimes they’re borderline hipster too, when they put their milk tea in a lightbulb.
Aside from all that there were also lots of traditional food and desserts which I lovedI lost count of how many bowls of douhua I had—bean curd with taro balls and tapioca and shaved ice. (I liked the taro balls so much I brought a pack home, but then forgot to eat them before they expired)
We went all out at the night markets and spent whole nights eating any street food we liked the look of. So. Much. Food! Before I went I’d always wanted to try the ice cream roll with coriander and peanut shavings—it was even stranger but nicer than expected. Honestly whoever thought of this was a genius for making so many curious people want to try it.
Local breakfast every daySometimes it was egg rolls, sometimes it was noodles, sometimes it was 50-cent buns from a street vendor. And I always had cold soy milk just to treat myself in the morning.
A break from the food pictures! Taiwan is beautiful. My favourite parts were the traditional buildings and streets (which was most of it anyway). On one day we took a day trip to a small town outside the city, and it was literally called Jiufen Old Street. Kind of like going back in time, with red lanterns and old shops everywhere.
It seems to be pretty well-known, but apparently this place was the inspiration for the Ghibli movie Spirited Away. I never thought I’d find a place outside Japan that reminded me of Ghibli (just how many times have I referenced it on this blog now?), but this might’ve been the most impressive of all. Just look at that mountain!
At night everything lit up and I got my postcard shot.
It really was like getting cut and pasted into Spirited Away, completed with dark tunnels.
After appreciating nature for a day we went back to the city and did our shoppingAnd met this puppy in one of the shops. There were dogs everywhere in Taiwan.
And we carried on eating our way through the night marketsThis was the craziest—some sort of liquid nitrogen ice chips that absolutely made you smoke like a dragon when you popped it into your mouth. (It didn’t actually have any taste, we just ate it for the photos)
When I remember Taiwan I think of street food and old towns and mango juice—we might have averaged two cups a day just because they were so cheap and big and exactly what we needed during the hot summer. It wasn’t just the heat, but Taiwan reminded me of Singapore in some ways and I did kind of feel at home while I was thereWe were only there for four days, but Taiwan didn’t need long to charm the socks right off me.