Visiting Taiwan has been on my bucket list for years. I was so glad when Emirates announced that they would begin flying to the capital – Taipei. I never did manage to swap onto the flight as it is so popular with the crew but by chance I was rostered it this month and I was over the moon!
We woke up bright and early ready to tackle the Elephant Mountain trail that I was told was a must do while in Taipei. Luckily enough I was warned that it was quite strenuous and I should bring a long a little towel from the hotel as there would be a lot of sweating involved in the hike.
I absolutely love the public transport system in Taipei. It is so easy to use and extremely clean. We easily figured out which stop we needed and what line we needed to change at. The start of the trail is only about a 10 minute walk from the station. Remember to buy a bottle of water at the beginning of the trail, you will need it during the hike!
The very first set of stairs looked daunting enough. So steep! Really they were nothing compared to what was to come! I should have realised what type of hike it was when I saw people using trekking poles to make their way up what seemed like the never ending stairs.
Nearly there! The first pit stop presents a pretty neat view of the city and the 101 building. The 101 was actually classified as the tallest building in the world in 2004, that is until the Burj Khalifa was finished in 2010!
Thankfully there were a lot of benches and rest stops along the way which we took full advantage of otherwise I think I may have passed out. If I ever do conquer the trail again I will make sure it’s not 35 degrees out! That little towel came in handy as a shield for the sun and I returned to the hotel with a nice little singlet tan as well – so glamorous right?hahah
If you follow me over on Snapchat you would know my obsession with Din Tai Fung. I couldn’t get enough of it over in Sydney, always visit when I am in Hong Kong and became a regular at the Dubai branch when it opened up earlier this year. Finally I was able to visit the place where it all began – Taiwan! We decided to head to the Tapei 101 branch as we had worked up quite the appetite after that hike. The line was HUGE!
If you ever do visit make sure you put aside plenty of time for lunch because we had to wait 90 minutes before we were seated – it is that popular! Very much worth it though in my opinion so we shopped our hearts out until our table was ready. The meal was beyond amazing and in typical fashion I finished off the meal by ordering their signature red bean steamed buns. If you are yet to try red bean, you are missing out!
Our last stop of the day was the Upside down house at the Huashan Creative Park. It is an entire three story house with absolutely everything upside down. Take a peek into the garage, you can even see that the car is upside down! There is an admission fee of 199 New Taiwan dollars which is about 6 US dollars if you would like some trippy photos standing on the roof of all the rooms.
I would happily visit Taipei once a month if I could so I have the opportunity to explore more of the city and maybe even fit in a visit to the hot springs. Fingers crossed I magically get it somehow on my next roster!