Monday, January 30, 2017

taipie odds and ends

Taipei is just a quick jump from Tokyo and was the perfect spot for our 2016 SPring Break Adventure!!

Asia is always a crapshoot when it comes to rain- and we always choose sites during their driest season- yet somehow still seem to always get some rain.  Taipei was no exception!

We started our trip at the palace to watch the changing of the guards. Most of our kiddos loved it.  One in particular got a little bored and decided to liven things up by chucking his binky straight into the path of the marching guards. Luckily- they aren't easily distracted and pretended like nothing happened.  We couldn't retrieve the bink until after the whole event came to an end.  Mack is such a rascal.  Travelling with a young toddler is always difficult and usually worth it. 
the palace was HUGE.  and the stairs were STEEP.  I'm pretty sure my dad traveled to taiwan for work when I was younger.  I have always known that there is a complicated history with China- but otherwise had NO expectations or ideas of the place.
these two are so incredibly lucky to have each other.  And I love how close they are in age.  They drive me bonkers with their bickering and playing and nonsense- but I'm so glad they have each other.

these guards are like those at buckingham palace. Not a flinch or a blink or anything.  And Zeb and Ike tried to get them to crack a smile.
Here's our little blue eyed monster.  loving the loud echo chamber and marble floors.  The perfect place to throw things and scream to hear himself.

This binky was thrown while the soldiers were marching right past us.  Directly under their feet!!!  It was within the barriers set up- so we couldn't grab it until after the changing!!  kids are so embarrassing!!

This picture truly embodies taipei.  A brightly lit temple at night with delicious street food.  This is the famous peppered pork bun of Rahoe market.  Possibly my favorite street food ever.  
look how cool this is!!!  this is how they are baked! attached (only due to the stickiness of the dough) the side of a hot stone oven and pried off. They were SO HOT!!! I ate two.  and had to wait in line in pouring rain to get them!!!
This temple at the pork bun market was my favorite night temple.  it was astounding.

Taipei is also famous for 'Taipei 101"- the second tallest building int eh world when it was built.  There are currently several other buildings under construction that plan to surpass it.We've been to the tops of a lot of expensive tall buildings in Asia and Taipei 101 was one of the most expensive (20 plus dollars per person!!).  I did my research and found a trick!  You could make reservations at Starbucks on an upper floor and simply buy a drink and snack and get the views for FREE!  We had a city info booth cal and help with reservations- and on our last morning in Taiwan- made the elevator trip up!
the building itself didn't seem especially tall to me- but I've been around a lot of tall buildings lately!!
The views were pretty great- but not much different from all of these big cities.  Lots of concrete and lots of people!!
One thing that is SO incredible to me is that EVERY single place we've visited in Asia- We've found fellow military families.  and they stick out sorely :)  These kids were from Okinawa and were very happy to find some playmates who spoke english and were more interested in Uno than another lame view!!
I'm surprised this is my only picture of this spot- but it's the only one necessary to know exactly where it is.  Ike and his texas roadhouse rolls.  I was shocked to find out that Taipei had TWP texas roadhouses!!!  Ike is just like me.  A lover or barbecue and carbs!  the food was so delicious.  and Kent got the jukebox to play dixie chicks.  It was perfect.

I think we visited four different night markets in Taiwan.  It's one of the highlights of the metro areas in the country.  Each market specializes in different types of food.   I am very not adventurous when it comes to eating.  I'm happy to take pictures- but I'm very picky when it comes to what I'll try!!!

we did eat lots and lots of different types of fruits and smoothies at the markets!!  I love asian fruit.

Our poor kids were exhausted on this trip. Big cities are full of streets that need to be walked and stairs to climb and transportation to jump on and off.  And even tougher- all of the great markets are at night :)
I am an insane traveler and we see everything.  I LOVE lantern lit temples at night.  There is nothing more 'east asian'.

this picture isn't actually stinky tofu- but it reminds me of it.  Stinky tofu is likely the most foul smelling food on the earth.  The smell carries entire lengths of streets.  The steam coming off the pots assaults your nostrils.  Taipei has SO MUCH STINKY TOFU.  Fermented pots of liquid and tofu that is supposed to be eaten.  I literally dry heaved whenever we'd walk past.   I canNOT believe humans eat it. Kent wouldn't even try it.

Another INCREDIBLE food in taipei is fruit shavings from 'Ice Monster'.  this humongous (the size of a small basketball) delicious mango ice cream/pudding/sherbet/fresh fruit was DIVINE.  every bite was pure heaven.  it was pretty cheap at only 6 dollars considering the ice monster in Tokyo sells them for 15!!!   we ALL loved it.

Another food wonder (taiwan really is a food mecca) is a restaurant called Din Tai Fung. It's michelin star rated- but cheap enough for us to eat!!  They sell famous chinese dumplings and the food did not disappoint.  Honestly- a lot of Asian food is difficult for me.  This place was incredibly tasty!!

They've got pictures all over of the famous people who eat here!  Tom Cruise is their favorite.  I'm pretty sure one of the mission impossible movies takes place near taipei 101 and the restaurant.

No comments: