Boiling in hot weather? Sign us up!
04/08/2016 - 04/08/2016
Pro tip: Taipei Main Station has a million malls adjacent to it. Literally any direction you take will lead you to a mall.
Observation of the day: For some reason, a lot of Taiwanese people wear shoes that are way too big for them leaving this huge gap by their heels. Also, found out today that there was an in n out pop up yesterday in Taipei! How weird it would've been to have in n out in Taipei!
Today, we started out breakfast with some tea eggs. (Pro tip: get one cracked because then it's saltier).
Look at the K underground mall!
We then headed on the Red Line straight for Beitou. You have to take the train to Xinbeitou when you get there. We went to the Hot Springs Museum which you have to wear their slippers and it was informative and very interesting. I learned a lot about the hot springs and the huge Japanese influence. The Taipei Main Library there was also really pretty and I wish we had had more time to visit.
The OG public hot spring at the museum
The things actresses have to go through.....
I wish I could study at this library!
We then went to the Millennium Hot Springs (public hot springs NT40) to experience all the hullabaloo. Let me tell you....the public one is all old timers enjoying the hot water and yelling at us tourist for being dumb and doing dumb things like not tying my hair high enough. There are 3 hot pools with the least hot at the bottom. It goes 30C-35C, 40-43C, 43-45C. We went sequentially up the mountain. The lowest one was luke warm and pretty tolerable but you start to get light headed so be sure to drink water and bring some! the seoncd was bearable and I did 2 dips in it but my head started to sweat from the heat. We then went to a cooling pool which the water is frigid! Then we decided to finish with trying the hottest pool. If you don't move, the heat isn't that bad but the second, someone shifts the water the more you feel the heat!!! You aren't allowed to take pictures but i snuck some in.
After we boiled off our dead skin cells, my skin actually did feel smoother and I did feel more refreshed but mostly I felt dehydrated and a little light headed....whoops. We headed to the Thermal Valley which is really close by and it reminded me of Yellowstone only a lot less grand. It was also a lot less stinky surprisingly despite also having sulfur bubbling through the water. Mm mm rotten eggs!
We then headed back home to shower, but not before making a pit stop for the number 1 priority: food again. We stopped at Taipei Main Station and Julia wanted specifically a lunch in a paper box so we went to Breeze Station. It's a lot like Grand Central Station in NYC only with a TON more food!!! I highly recommend exploring it! We went to TRA No. 1 Bento Boxes at West 3 entrance and I highly recommend getting your bento meal here for your next future train ride. It was only NT60 for a porkchop, bean curd, egg, preserved veggies, and rice!!! (There were more expensive options but I'm not sure why they were more expensive). It was pretty delicious for $2 USD. I devoured it and was on to my next mission of finding better boba.
I got a milk tea tapioca at Chatime. And it was a much better experience than Orange Tea. The tapioca was the perfect chewy consistency! And I got less sugar and it was perfect for washing down my porkchop.
Julia really wanted to try this Uncle Tetsu's Cheesecake that had a huge line and it was a deliciously fluffy cake!
We left Breeze station and headed home to rinse off all the minerals. After getting so fresh and so clean, we headed to eat more at FUDA Shandong!!! This place is a tiny hole in the wall and I love it not only for the food but because they write your order on POST ITS! Haha anyways, we got the house made steamed dumplings (NT85) and hot and sour soup (NT35). Dumplings were full of soup and you get to dip them in hot sauce! Yummmm. The hot and sour soup was also delicious and could give my Dad's soup a run for its money (don't tell him that though.) A successful $4 USD meal!
We left and headed to Tonghua Night Market which is a lot smaller than most of the other night markets and less crowded so if you wanted a small example of Taiwanese night markets, I'd recommend starting here off of Xinyi Anhe station. It's funny because every night market has a different flavor to it even though for the most part they are all selling the same things. Julia tried a red bean cake and she said it was just alright but it sure was freshly made! I also picked up some sunglasses for next week festivities.
We left and headed straight for Ounce or rather Relax Cafe....Ounce is a speakeasy based off of another speakeasy in NYC. Both places you need to figure out how to get in but Ounce doesn't require reservations just a log waiting list because they don't limit your time inside. I recommend starting at the left wall and figuring it out! The "bouncer" will eventually open the door. We waited for about 1.25 hours in the cafe and headed inside to share a table with some Seattle strangers. The best thing about Ounce is they have no menu and tailor drinks based on whatever tastes you like!!! So I asked for sour, spicy kick, and gin and got a not tasty sounding drink: el guapo - cucumber, lime, sriracha, Worcestershire, and gin. It was frigging delicious and spicy all the way down. I slurped it up. My second drink I asked for a fruity whiskey sour - I got a passion fruit whiskey sour with honey. Also equally tasty. I could sit there and drink cocktails all day! But it was late and the pours are pretty heavy so we headed to the MRT with a little jolt in my step and to home for a deep deep sleep.