Back to my awesome solo trip. I’m on my own today! I woke up to another dreary morning today but what can I do? My days in Taipei were coming to an end and a glorious sunny day just seemed unlikely after so many days of grey and rain so I decided that I’ll take a chance and pray that the rain doesn’t come until later in the day.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
I decided today was the day I’ll go back to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall so I was up bright and early and to get there before the tourist buses. I didn’t know this but there are also two other magnificent structures on the same site – the National Concert Hall and the National Theater.
It was this very morning too that I realised the one downside of travelling on your own. You don’t get a lot of photos of yourself since there is no one to take any for you. I tried asking a couple of locals to take a photo of me but they were either afraid of me (highly unlikely coz I’m like the nicest person ever!) or my camera (but I explained in such simple terms what to do with it). I asked three locals and every single photo was either out of focus, zoomed in on my face, or a full length photo of me somehow without anything in the background. Quite funny and frustrating at the same time! The last local ended up stalking me after he figured out that I was travelling alone so I gave up asking for photos in the end. Scary!
Having access to internet while travelling is a godsend. You’re able to search for drool-worthy meals where you are with just a couple of clicks on Google. I came across this place and I thought I’d check it out as it was close to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
You know, I’ve never heard of Lu Ro Fan – Rice topped with a chunky sauce made of chopped pork belly simmered with fried shallots, soy sauce, five spice powder, and other stuff before this. The meal was delicious.
Location: Jin Feng Lu Rou Fan (金峰魯肉飯): No. 10, Section 1, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Long Shan Temple
Now that the belly was full, it was time to head to Long Shan Temple. When I was researching the various tourist attractions to see in Taiwan, I realised that there were a lot of temples dotted around the island with the same name, namely Long Shan Temples. It really got me confused when you think you’ve already read about one Long Shan Temple, you turn the page and there is another description on another Long Shan Temple and it’s like, “Hang on a minute. Didn’t I just read about Long Shan in Taipei just then?? Which one is this now??” Lolz…
I thought it was going to be a tad quiet when I visited seeing as the weather was so horrible but it was crowded with tourists as well as worshippers coming to pray. If it is already this crowded on such a grey and dismal day, imagine what it’s like on a good sunshiney day! I finally finally got a decent picture of myself taken at the temple. I figured two young girls with cameras must know how to operate my camera. And the picture turned out fabulous!! So after 4 days in Taipei, I finally got a picture of myself. Happy days!!! 🙂
The clouds began to open up as I left the temple. Oh no, not now!!! I have to say that my iphone has been another godsend on this trip. It’s difficult juggling a heavy camera and umbrella at the same time and the risk of either dropping my gear or getting it soaking wet was high so I’ve been using my iphone whenever the weather decided to work against me. I rushed towards Ximending, the trendy end of town and quickly looked for the Red House.
The Red House is a Western-style red-brick octagonal structure that was built in 1908. It is Taiwan’s first public market and the most well preserved class three historical site. It acts as a creative space today promoting cultural events and creative exhibitions.
The heart of Ximending taken from the upper floors of Watsons where I took refuge from the rain. I needed to get laundry powder too! 🙂
I expected that this part of the city would be quite alive at night. Kinda like Hong Kong or Shanghai with the colourful lights and tv adverts!!
A lone man braving the rain and the wind. The rest of us were undercover waiting for the rain to calm down. Something new I learnt – that typhoons strike in summer! I had prepared myself for hot humid days on the islands, both in Taiwan and Hong Kong but didn’t know that they get typhoon storms in summer. They weren’t too bad, kinda like our winter months when we get rain and strong winds too except their winds were at least bearable for me as they weren’t chilling cold winds.