Taipei Time!: Day 1 – Arrival

Seeing how I’ve only been in Taipei for just over five hours, this is going to be a pretty short post about my first evening… after having travelled for 18 hours and am having to adjust to a +8 hour time difference. I managed to get 4-5 hours of broken sleep on the way so I hope the jetlag monster will be lenient with me.

I guess that this really is the time for some first impressions of Taipei. Firstly, this is a city that has the ability to look really good at night. Our train ride from the airport to Taipei’s central station afforded me some great views, although I wasn’t able to find Taipei 101 which I can only assume looks pretty spectacular.

Speaking of transport, I might eat my words here later in the week but I am impressed so far. Especially with the level of cleanliness and punctuality. The Central Taipei station is also something to behold, including the large shopping streets that lay beneath it.

Finally, I know I am going to enjoy my time sampling street food at the many different night markets. Good thing too, as many of them are currently in the itinerary.

We paid a visit to Ningxia night market, which is our local one, and am feeling super keen to see just how much bigger and better these can get. The number of people and the choice of food on offer have already astounded me – as has the smell of stinky tofu… which is revolting and is now making me nervous to try it.

Between the two of us we got things from 5 different stalls and paid the equivalent of £9 for a fair amount of food. This included some seasoned steak cubes, spicy chicken, a plate of steamed pork dumplings, two rice bun hot dogs (called small intestine in a large intestine) and two servings of papaya milk.

Some of the queues are insane, and many of the stalls are completely in Chinese, which makes ordering somewhat interesting. There are a lot of things I’m hoping to find in future night markets, like oyster pancakes and some big Chinese pork buns, as well as the spectre of stinky tofu for the 1001 list.

On a final note before I head to bed, I really do know just how lucky I am when it comes to my many trips out of the country. Especially as I have one more short break in the cards before the year is out. Next year is likely to be different, so I’m going to appreciate this whilst I can.

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