Yay for Taipei!

Winter is pretty much officially here in Korea and although the single digit temperatures have only just kicked in, I am not too overjoyed by it already. So because the cold is making me long for summer again and because I have a ton of catching up to do with you, it seems about time to reminisce about some lovely, warmer times and what better way to do this by going back to my summer holiday in Taiwan!

At the end of July this year most of the hagwon teachers in Korea were given a 5 day weekend as a bit of a break for our summer holidays. As we work all year round and don't follow the public school schedule too closely, these breaks are pretty rare. A couple of friends and I decided to make the most of it and explore Taiwan!

Emma, Arazue and I flew to Taipei and caught a train and a bus to Kenting town down along the South of Taiwan. After arriving to an amazing sunset over this little beach town, where we met up with Jaylene and Hayley, we settled down and went to grab some food and explore the night markets in town. Unfortunately because of our tight schedule we only managed to squeeze in one night and one beach day in Kenting. We left our hostel in the morning with the hopes of having a beautiful beach day and getting fried in the sun but instead got drenched in the torrential downpour that decided to make its way to us. We bought some rain ponchos and got some plastic bags for our heads and headed to the beach anyway. When we arrived we were greeted by a bunch of Taiwanese ajumas and ajeossi's who 'forbid' us to go swimming and instead insisted we sit with them while they pour drinks for us and bring out a spread of local foods for us to try. We ended up eating, drinking and being merry with them for a couple of hours until the rain died down. The beach we were at was the same beach that they filmed some of the scenes in Life of Pi. They even had a big statue of a boat with Richard Parker sitting on it to commemorate it.
After a fun day at the beach, lots of swimming, very little frying (thanks rain) we headed back up to Taipei. Taipei is a really great city. It has a real laid back feel but it still feels like a big city at the same time. We stayed in Taipei for the rest of the holiday and did a couple of touristy things while experiencing everyday Taiwan too. One of the highlights was going up the Maokong Gondola which was definitely one of the best ways to see the whole of Taipei up high. We also explored the Shilin and Raohe Street night markets and tried some amazing food (mmmm the dumplings). It may have been because we only had a couple of days to find anything but it felt like nightlife wasn't so huge in Taipei. There are a lot of clubs but its a little difficult to find a bar or two. We did make our way to a club called Spark which was right underneath Taipei 101, a lot of fun. Other touristy things we squeezed in were the Chiang Kai-shek memorial and the Longshan Temple. Its always so cool to see these beautiful big structures still in tact in the middle of a bustling city, they both made for great photos too. On the last day after exploring Longshan Temple, Emma and I decided to go get a relaxing Taiwanese foot massage. We were horribly mistaken by thinking it would be relaxing. It was one of the most painful things my feet have experienced! The masseuses didn't quite understand our nervous laugh crying either haha. The last thing on our wishlist was drinking one/many many bottles of Taiwan's famous litchi beer. After searching for it the entire trip, Emma and I finally found it at the airport... on our way out of the country :| Naturally we indulged :)

Most of our Taiwan crew has left Korea already which is a bummer because we aren't able to hang out altogether anymore but I'm so glad we got to fit this trip in while they were still here :) The entire trip was fantastic, even the days where we had a ton of rain we still had so much fun and explored as much as possible. Taiwan really is a bit of a hidden travel gem, one that I'm very happy I got to marvel at.
After a bunch of fruit beer at the markets this is what we did to entertain ourselves on the subway lol
Brown to blonde in 15 seconds!
Longshan temple
So much pain selfie..

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