After spending the day scootering and exploring dreamland beach in Bali, we flew 5 hours for an extended layover in Taipei.
Shilin Night Market
Immediately upon arriving, our female taxi driver raced us to Shilin Night Market as it neared midnight. We toured the food stalls, pointed at delicious looking items and held out our hands with coins for the vendors to select the right amount. We tried fried chicken, oyster omelette, waffle bites and various buns. It was heaven. We bumped into some teenagers who were tickled yet very nervous to speak to us. We reached our hotel, fully stuffed, at 1:30am.
We woke up at 6:30 the next morning to hike Elephant Mountain with sprawling views of the city. The rival view of Taipei involves taking the elevator up Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper, but instead we chose the natural route.
While climbing the mountain, we passed several workout stations where the older generations get their daily exercise. We stumbled upon a group of distinguished gentlemen playing badminton. Dave told them that he was a professional badminton player in the US and they welcomed him to join the game.
Din Tai Fung
We timed our hike to end right as Din Tai Fung opened because we knew there was a high demand for their world famous dim sum. We hopped on the pleasant and easily navigable metro to the head of the line before the restaurant even opened and the line behind us grew longer and denser as opening time approached. As soon as the barrier was slid open, the crowd dashed madly down the stairs and into awaiting seats. We savoured Xao Long Bao, shumai and truffle buns amongst other tasty treats. After lunch, we took the train back to our hotel. Inside the train station we noticed an entire store devoted to Hello Kitty items as well as a Mr. Donut.
As we hailed the taxi to take us to the airport, Dave asked the driver to pause for a moment so he could scoot across the street to grab a few more buns for the ride. Pulsating massage chairs kept us busy while we waited for our flight to board.