We didn't see a lot of temples and museums, which are the tourist sites of Taipei, but at this point of our trip, we really didn't mind because a lot of cities have exhibits of their cultural artifacts. Not that we don't appreciate them, but we were more interested to see and feel the city.
Our last host, Travis, took us prawn-fishing one night. As you can see from the pictures in my last post, it wasn't an authentic "in the wild" experience, (I think their business would not thrive if that were the case) but it was fun no less. Apparently, I'm terrible at reeling 'em in, so after 2 hours, Steph was the one to fish all... 5 prawns out of the "pond" for us. Boo. Meanwhile, Travis and his friend Luke came out with around 20 prawns. None of us were game enough to dehook the prawns or remove their claws, so we contributed more in cleaning and salting the prawns to grill. Delish!
Taipei is quite a large city and quite different from Mainland China; the people have their own distinct fashion trends and beauty standards. As in many of the other Asian countries we've visited, Taiwanese girls are very hip to whitening their skin. Like paper white. Coming from California, it's the norm to want a tan, but growing up, I also remember my mom wearing hats and sunblock every day to keep her skin clear and light. I was realy glad to have experienced Taipei firsthand and feel that I have a better understanding of my mom as a result of having visited.
Taipei's Subway system is quite efficient for transport; most people do not have cars and so taking the MRT is the common way to get around.
Taipei is known best for their nightmarkets; every night, there are vendors setting up stands, selling a plethora of clothes, trinkets, and especially street food. I loved having such local foods as Salty fried chicken, beancurd noodles, brasied pork trotters over rice, shaved ice, soybean pudding and milk tea daily. You couldn't get me to touch the stinky tofu with a 10-foot pole though. I know it's a "delicacy", but... ugh, STANK! However, we discovered the best baos (stuffed buns) around the National University campus; we stood in line many a night to get our Bao fix. Oh, and we made sure to play some of the carni-games that the nightmarket had to offer, as well :)