Our 2nd day is a special day: it is our 10th!
We were able to finally sleep well from the night before. But before hitting the sack, I gave Mon a simple keepsake to commemorate our 10th year. I initially had no idea what to give him. However, I eventually realized that it was fitting to give him a ring.
On our first year where we celebrated in Baguio, we had this simple silver ring bought from Cubao. It only makes sense to have another one in gold.
After our usual breakfast from 7/11, we then prepared for the day ahead.
We topped our Easy Cards again with another NTD 100. To go to Longshan Temple, we took the train from Ximen Station to Longshan Station. I sort of regret wearing this PLAY T-shirt. It was hot, hot, hot outside.
It was obviously a busy day, and tourists flocked the temple from all corners. We had an amazing taking loads of photos. Sometimes I just thought that onlookers would have wanted to take our photos instead. However, I had a greater chance of getting the photos we wanted using the camera’s timer and tripod.
The temple is rich with details, with several vendors selling incense and stuff. There were also groups of tourists from Japan, which make timer-photos harder to take.
Outside the temple, there was also a man-made waterfall, which provided a perfect backdrop for this photo. I tried to squeeze in among groups of kids who wanted to have their photos taken as well at the same spot.
We spent around 45 minutes at Longshan Temple, before we went to Old Bopilao Street. The historical block was only about 5-minute walk from Longshan Temple. This is an Instagram-worthy place, which looked rustic and misplaced in Taipei City.
Fortunately, there were not a lot of tourists in this area when we went there. It was nearly noon, and we bet others were already having their lunch.
At this point, you may see that my shirt has been already drenched with sweat. I already anticipated this, as I brought another shirt with me. I did not want pneumonia as souvenir from this trip.
From Bopiliao Old Street, we went back to Longshan Station to go to Taipei Main Station and eventually look for a place to have lunch. We got a little bit lost here. It was a complicated network underground, and we did not manage to find right away the mall.
I was also getting a couple of Whatsapp messages from work for a project I had to leave because of our vacation. I can tell that Mon was slightly annoyed by my constant fiddling of my phone.
When we finally managed to find a place, the closest thing to a keto lunch was this set meal with rice. I never wanted to wasted food, so I minimized wastage by eating half the bowl of rice. =( I hoped I could just walk off the added carbs. It was obvious that getting our keto meals would be a challenge. Everything is served with noodle and rice. Not to mention, things are costlier if we get the à la carte meals.
I also changed my shirt from one of the rest rooms in the mall. This was one of my souvenir shirts from Chatuchak Market in Bangkok from 2016.
After lunch, we dropped by another creative and cultural park: Huashan 1914 Creative Park. At this point, you can tell that we shy away from spending too much on tickets. We could have dropped by museums, but I was not in the mood to visit one.
I normally love visiting museums, especially war museums. There was the R.O.C Armed Forces Museum near the Presidential Office Building, which we saw the day before. However, I just did not want to spend too much on entrance fees. LOL
An interactive mechanical exhibitWe just whiled our time away at the creative park, as we waited for our travel to Tamsui later in the day. We visited one exhibit after the other, took photos, and tinkered with those we can play with.
There was supposed to be an upside down house at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. This was the reason why Mon wanted to visit in the first place. Without even attempting to ask for directions, we just walked around looking for it. It will surely not be easy to miss, we thought. However, it appeared to be already dismantled. So no more upside down house for us.
From here we went back to Taipei Main Station, to go finally go to Tamsui. At this point, I was already too sleepy that I had to buy a cup of coffee from 7/11 (NTD 35). After this, it will be a long train going to Tamsui.
Despite the coffee, we still fell asleep. I mean I normally do not get sleepy during travel, but this lulled me hard. From Taipei Main Station, we transferred to Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station. From there, we had to make another transfer to Minguan W. Rd. Station. Our last transfer should be the line going to Tamsui.
This is where we slept HARD. From time to time, I would check on the map to see where we were at. I did not know what happened. We were under the impression that we had to wait it out until Tamsui Station.
After Beitou Station, I thought we still had 6 stops before the Tamsui. So I slept again. When I woke up, we were already at Mingde Station, 4 stations back from Beitou. LOL What a waste of time!
I was extra attentive. We lost so much time going back and forth. When we reached Beitou, we had to transfer to another train to the one going to Tamsui. This was where we did not pay any attention. From that point on, it was smooth sailing ahead to the end of the line. The fare from Zhongxiao Xinsheng to Tamsui cost us NTD 40 each.
When we reached Tamsui, we had to get coffee again. There was a convenience store selling cold coffee. To my horror, it was a pre-packaged instant coffee, which is definitely not keto approved. But we had no time to change orders, as the NTD 85 was enough for 2 persons.
It took a 40-minute bus ride from Tamsui Station to the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf. There were a couple of stops, and we were not sure where we had to disembark. Just wait for the sea and a bridge, and look out for tourists.
When we eventually got there, one could see a couple of tour buses, and like a plaza-like structure where people drop off.
We could not have asked for a better weather when we reached Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf. It was relaxing, with the familiar smell of seawater in the air. It was also almost near the golden hour, which made picture taking better.
The Lovers’ Bridge is obviously a popular choice among the guests. Although there were a lot of people, they usually just filter away after getting a couple of snaps. We just waited from a large group of Japanese tourist to finish their time at the bridge, before finally deciding to go there and have our photos taken.
I am in love with the bridge! And using our tripod, we also managed to get this dramatic silhouetted-against-the-sunset photo. It also drizzled for about 5 minutes, before the wind blew off the rain clouds.
After we managed to cross the bridge, the other side has this theme park vibe to it.
We spent a good 45-minute sitting here, watching the sun set. I was also asked by a Japanese tourist grandma to take lots of photos of her, which she sent to her family. As the sun hits the horizon, we knew we have to go back to the bus stop and travel back to Taipei.
We already arrived at nearly 8:00 pm in Taipei. We decided to try another popular night market for dinner: Shilin Night Market. As compared to Ximending Night Market, Shilin Night Market is less boutique-type. I’d compare Ximending to Myeongdong, while Shilin to Chatuchak.
Shilin Night Market obviously has better street food choices compared to Ximending Night Market. The biggest problem, however, was where to eat dinner. Given it was our 10th year, I thought that perhaps a fancy dinner would be better. But we ended up in the market food court, pointing at menu photos.
Mon managed to find this stall that sells avocado shakes. It was no longer avocado season in the Philippines, and we were happy to taste avocado again. The seller, however, was weirded out when Mon asked not to put sugar nor milk. What was the point of an avocado shake without those two? =D
We settled at this market food court
We spent a total of NTD 420 for our dinner, which is a far cry from the NTD 650/head buffet I had in mind prior to going to Taipei. This left us more money to sample the street food, which was a better deal.
Mon was at the point of buying souvenirs from here. I, however, dissuaded him from doing so, because it means carrying stuff from there to the inn. It is also worth noting that the nearest station to Shilin Night Market is Jiantian Station, and NOT Shilin Station, despite the name.
It took us around 30-minute travel from Jiantian Station to Ximen Station. By the time we reached Ximending Night Market, we were craving for coffee again! This was my fourth cup of coffee for the day. I normally can run on one morning cup of coffee when in Manila, but I cannot survive with such given that I had been eating more carbs than usual throughout the day. I already noticed that I get sleep when I have too much carbs already.
However, the carb-loading did not stop there. As soon as we reached this tiny cafe in Ximending, to the right of Hot-Star Chicken, we ordered matcha waffles to eat along with our glitter-filled coffee.
We spent the next hour chatting and planning for how we would go about our souvenir shopping. I think I have mentioned this somewhere before, but this is my least favorite part.
At around 10:00 pm, we went back to the the inn and rest for the trip we booked the next day. We had loads of fun on our special day.