Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Shida Night Market
04/09/2016 - 04/10/2016
Thought of the day: if I haven't had anymore new bug bites, does that mean I ate the creature biting me?!??!
Today was the last full day in Taipei and per usual fashion, it was super hot and super humid. (I gave up on jeans when I thought 70s would be ok.) We headed to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. This metro station is really huge and well decorated! We headed to the main plaza and I have to say it was really gorgeous and I could definitely see why so many natives were outdoors enjoying the scenery. The only thing damper to the scenery was this huge Frozen abominable tent in the middle!!!! Way to ruin my pictures, Frozen! Sheesh. Anyways, locals were dancing, practicing martial arts, and enjoying the outdoors. We got lucky and happened to time our arrival 15 min prior to the changing of the guard which is every hour. We got our spots right in front which if you want to watch be sure to stand on the outside of the red ribbons!! I have no idea how they stand there for an hour straight...There is also an expansive art gallery to view and lots about Taiwanese history.
Look at the monstrosity in the middle!
We left the memorial in search of braised pork rice....we went to Jinfeng Braised Pork, which is literally a 5 minute walk away.
It was pretty crowded but the line moved quickly. I got a medium bowl and Julia got a small bowl. We also got some sautéed veggies, fried tofu, tea eggs, and Julia had chicken herbal soup. All of it was really delicious. I think next time I'd want to try the braised pork rice cause the ground rice was super tasty but not super meaty. Such a simple dish with a punch of flavor. I think we spent 200NT total. We then went to this random market right next store and Julia picked up some Chinese preserved fruits and whatnots.
We still had a lot of shopping to do for family and friends so we headed back to Taipei Main Station. I was thirsty and so we stopped by 50 Lan and had some boba. The tapioca was perfect consistency and the milk tea wasn't too overpowering but they give you a lot.
We bought most things at Breeze but there is the K underground mall which is Eslite based (like Asian Barnes and noble), there is Zhongshan and Taipei Main Mall which are like night markets but with less cool things, and then there is Breeze which is basically a food mecca. I highly recommend going to the second floor and finding Popcorn Planet to try and buy their super delicious Kimchi Popcorn!!! We gathered our goodies and headed home to clean up and pack before our last night market!
Cool. Craving. Content.
We decided to go to Shida Night Market because it was highly recommended and although I really wanted to see Shilin again, we felt like we should see more. So like I said before, the night markets all have different flavors and for the most part sell similar things BUT Shida is the exception! Shida is very popular among the university crowd because of all the shopping (mostly clothes and accessories) you can do here and because of that population base, everything is super cheap (jewelry for 100NT and clothes for 100-500NT). If you were looking to stock your closet or get new accessories including sunglasses, Shida is the one to visit!! First thing we did off the MRT was eating fresh and hot Mantou (plain buns) from Yong Fung Sheng. I had a brown sugar one and it was delicious and super hot! We also went to IJY Sheng bakery and acquired buns for the airplane ride back to the states. There was also this cool middle area of the night market lit up with blue lights that had local vendors selling their crafts and Julia bought a reusable metal straw! We then stumbled upon this massive stationary store next to the crepes place and blue lights. This place was AMAZING. Literally, any kind of writing utensil you could want. My favorite are the frixion pens that erase with friction! All the pens are super cheap too!!! We got multicolored pens for less that $1 USD! I high to recommend stocking up on school supplies or craft goods here.
This night market is known for the 2 lantern choose your food and they'll cook it stand. We decided to each get our own but wow it was a lot of food! Don't do that if you are going to brave this place cause it's too much food. It was 200 NT. It was pretty tasty for essentially hot pot but the chicken heart I had tasted funny and I felt not well for the rest of the night. I washed it down with the fresh watermelon juice I ordered (if you want to sit down, you each have to order a drink). We took one last look around the shops and headed home.
IJY Sheng Bakery
The 2 red lanterns place
Just a ridiculous amount of food. looks good if your stomach can handle it.
Not enough pens.
Taoyuan International Airport is ginormous and well stocked. If you didn't get enough shopping done, you can shop some more as you wait for your flight. There is a Sunny Hills store here but it is OUTSIDE OF SECURITY. I am super sad I didn't get to try it. Maybe next time. My last meal of the trip was a ton of food!!! The main chicken was alright but all the side dishes were delicious and kept me happily full for my United flight of gross airplane food.