Taiwan Day 1: Taipei City

I got a late night flight and arrived in Taiwan around midnight. There was a miscommunication with the AirBnB that we booked but I was lucky to find a hotel that was near our original AirBnB.

Our very first stop for the day was the Rilakkuma Cafe. I saw it on a Youtube video and thought that it’s the cutest thing ever. It was also a walking distance to our place so going there wasn’t so bad.

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The outside of the cafe is cute but not as cute as its food!
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How cute is it! He’s sleeping and the egg is the blanket.
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Cheesecake with fruit, and the topping is milk chocolate.

What’s great about the cafe is that it’s not just a visual experience, it’s a gustatory one also. Price wise, I think it’s a little steep but the serving is good for two people so it’s about fair.

After lunch we headed straight to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. It was easy to go to this place because it was just one train ride and the memorial is the same as the station stop.

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The Sun Yat Sen Memorial.
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The streets of Taipei. It’s a bright and sunny day but not humid. Perfect for walking!

We walked a bit in Taipei101 then went to the MRT station to pick up our Taipei Fun Pass and then straight to the Chiang Kai Shek Hall. The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is probably the most famous Taiwan landmark I know of based on Instagram posts that I’ve seen. It’s a vast area with three other buildings inside.

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The National Concert Hall.
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The National Theater.
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The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial. A portion of it is under construction.

We didn’t catch the changing of guards so we decided to wait until the next hour to see it.

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The inside of the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

After the changing of guards we went back to Taipei101 to go up the observatory. I’m not sure how much the entrance costs because it comes free with the fun pass. We just went up, showed our fun pass and they gave us the ticket.

The lobby area of the observatory was pretty cool. Before you head towards the elevators there are souvenir stores selling Taiwan delicacies such as pineapple cake, tea, and other cute items. The tickets to the observatory gives you 100NTD off for the stores there. Going up to the observatory is a quick ride — apparently it’s the fastest elevator in the world.

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Taipei from above. The lights were so pretty but that night was a little foggy.
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There was a part of the observatory that had an infinity mirror which had this funny sign.
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Another attraction in Taipei101 apart from the view is the damper. It’s the biggest damper in the world. It’s both amazing and a little scary to see.
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You can go outside of the observatory and view Taipei outside. At the time we went it was 23C and it was really windy, and the top was showing off bright red lights. I think it changes every now and then.

I think you can spend a good hour, maximum 90 minutes in the area. It’ll be great to go there during sunrise (if it’s already open?) or sunset as the views will be magnificent. For as long as it’s a clear day, it’s going to show a really good view. It was a little foggy when we went but the city lights were very vibrant. I think it’s a must visit if you like to see the bird’s eye view of the city, but it’s definitely a one time thing to see and I wouldn’t count on it being on top of your to do list (unless you really enjoy heights like I do).

We went down to have dinner but Din Tai Fung was still full. In fact, it seemed fuller compared to when we originally should have gone. We didn’t really want to wait so we went to the food court and looked for a place to eat. I spotted Hawker Chan so we ate there. I tried it in MOA and I really liked their chicken and the price wasn’t expensive. I’m happy to report it tastes and costs the same!

It was still early but we decided to head back to our AirBnB. We both arrived in Taiwan past midnight so we barely got any rest. I was also surprised with the number of walking we did that day! It’s almost double compared to my normal number of steps. Taipei was such a walkable place. I really loved the weather on that day.

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