Maokong, Taiwan


My husband took me to Maokong, which is a mountain area in Taipei. PS: He was just my acquaintance from school at that moment. He took me here with an excuse to teach me how to shoot a good photo. (Ps: We were both into photography at that time and had our own SLR camera.) Anyway, I believe it was just his excuse to take me on a date since I thought my other friend was coming too. And turned out it was only the two of us! In the end of the story, I even ended up taking all pictures by myself. I think he really forgot what we initially agreed on. Ha!

In order to get to Maokong mountain area, we had to ride a Gondola or simply called as a cable car. The cost of the Gondola ride surprisingly wasn't too expensive. The ticket was valid for one round trip. It was about NT$50 ($1.5USD on weekdays) for the 4.03 km long and took us about 25 minutes each way. We could also use our EasyCard to pay for the ride. It was very convenient!


Eyes of Maokong Gondola Crystal Cabin


FYI, there are two types of Gondola cabin in the Eyes of Maokong, the basic and crystal. They are basically the same kind of Gondola. The difference is only located on its floor, on the crystal one the floor was made by glass, so I could see the bottom scenery. Actually, both hubby and I have Acrophobia, however, we still managed to take a ride on the Crystal cabin. As you can see from my picture above, I accidentally stepped on my husband's shoe because I was too afraid of the height at that time. Thanks God, he did not notice until this picture showed us!


Our First Maokong Gondola Ride


Overall, the Gondola ride was very exciting! We rode the Gondola with three other people. We knew these three guys once we got in the Gondola station and then decided to go on a ride together. All of us really enjoyed our thrilling ride on the Crystal cabin as we glided over Taipei and up high into the beautiful mountain forests of Maokong.


An Open Sky


FYI, Maokong is a suburb of Taipei. It sits on the edge of Taipei Basin; the entire city of Taipei can be seen from this mountain, especially on a cloudless day. The area used to be the biggest tea growing area in Taipei. There are many intertwining footpaths which have been used to transport the tea. As for now, Maokong is a popular place for tea culture and viewing the night scenery of Taipei City.


Sakura


After we arrived in the mountain area, we walked out from the Gondola station and climbed a little bit in order to reach the tea place. 


Maokong Tea


“A cup of tea would restore my normality."

― Douglas Adams


Danshui, Taiwan


Danshui is a sea-side district in New Taipei City in Northern Taiwan. It is named after Tamsui river. Tamsui (or Danshui in Chinese) means "fresh water". The town is popular as a site for viewing the gorgeous sun setting into the Taiwan Strait. But not only the sunset is interesting over here, you can also find a wide variety of local delicacies especially seafood. In addition, you can also find numerous craft and souvenir shops, talented buskers, and many more.

Seafood Skewers
Corn Dogs
Fragrant Toasted Tofus
Poached Quail Eggs
Fried Baby Crabs

Delicious Taiwanese Sandwich

I found several worth tasting foods among the diverse snacks available here, such as corn dogs, fried baby crabs, and chewy quail eggs in bamboo sticks. They were all very tasty, especially the chewy and flavorful quail eggs. Danshui is surely a hidden gem of Taiwanese snacks. This town was not only a place where I could satisfy my taste buds, but also an amazing place to escape from the busy life of Taipei city.


Enjoying my Corn Dogs on the Street
By Tamsui River

FYI, Danshui is always packed with Taipei citizens and tourists from all over places, as you can see from my picture below. It was very crowded with people that time and also a little hard to walk in this area. 




I saw some people fishing over here, as you can see from my picture above.
It was pretty interesting! Maybe I can try it next time (;


The Romantic Sunset


After having enough good foods, I strolled around to explore more of the town. Because I did not want to miss the gorgeous sunset moment in Danshui, I decided to walk by the water to see the sunset from this spot, as you can see from my pictures above. Lovely enough?


Danshui, Taipei 2011

"Have a good night and see you in my next post!"


National Taiwan University (Táidà)


After several considerations, I decided to enroll in Mandarin-immersion program at National Taiwan University or simply called NTU. National Taiwan University (Táidà, in Chinese) is the most prestigious university in Taiwan. It is known as the biggest university by scale in Taiwan. Its 1,086,167 m2 main campus is located in Taipei's Da'an District. The University consists of 11 colleges, 54 departments, 103 graduate institutes and 4 research centers.


 

Brief story, National Taiwan University was Taihoku (Taipei) Imperial University (TIU), founded by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government in 1928 as a member of the imperial university system administered by the Empire of Japan. The university was intended mainly for Japanese nationals; few Taiwanese students were admitted. Interesting, huh? I have always been interested in Japanese culture (but not Japanese movies tho) and beautiful buildings with amazing structure, that was why I finally decided to enter this amazing university.


Former NTU Students

On the first orientation day at National Taiwan University (NTU), I met with many new friends who came from different backgrounds and nationalities across the continent. FYI, the picture above was my good friends, they were the first people I knew when I entered the campus. Although at that time, my good friends and I were located at different classes but it did not change our friendship. In fact, we have been maintaining our friendship until now.




It was fall at the time I entered the campus, a great weather with beautiful scenery. As you can see from my pictures, National Taiwan University looked so charming and gorgeous. Also, the other good thing about this university is that there are several restaurants, stores, and supermarkets that you can easily find in the campus. You just need to put a little effort to walk or bike to reach each destination. In addition, you will also find many beautiful dogs owned by students walking around you or maybe sitting right next to you (: 




After the orientation on the campus, I went to have a lunch together with some of the new students at a restaurant nearby. The restaurant was called Sababa Pita Bar. It was a healthy and authentic Middle Eastern restaurant. The restaurant is located in Da'an District and only a few blocks away from NTU. Sababa Pita Bar was actually my first meeting point with my beloved husband (:


Stuffed Pitta at Sababa Pita Bar, Da'an, Taipei

"Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!"
- Joseph B. Wirthlin


Taipei, Taiwan (Throwback 2011)


"I suddenly feel like throwback!"

Since I visited Taipei a while ago, it makes me missing Taiwan more and more!!!




Today, I am going to recall some of the memories that I had left in Taiwan: the stories between my husband and I, my good friends and I, it all started from this lovely city of Taipei. It took place about four years ago when my parents sent me to Taipei for a study purpose.




That moment was my first study abroad experience and also my very first time in Taiwan. Everything seemed totally new, a new life, new weather, new home, new friends, new school and etc. However, it was wonderful! I started a new chapter in my life and finally could close my old chapter. I really love my new life journey after all! 




I was so glad that I got a chance to meet new friends who were nice, fun and also very supportive. Although I miss my old fellow friends who continued their study in Shanghai at that time, but it was totally fine because the presence of the new friends really cheered me up. FYI, I am not your typical Asian who likes to do 'Celfie' but I do like taking a lot of pictures, so you will see many pictures (with me or without me) in my blog. 


Shida Night Market


The first place I visited once I got in Taipei was 'Shida' night market. Since Shida night market was very close to the place where I lived, I decided to buy some home supplies from this market. I practically lived very close to this market, it was literally about three blocks away, only a few minutes walk from my apartment. Shida night market was my favorite night market in Taipei. There were lots of things to see in this market, not only foods but also clothings, cosmetics and many more.



Etude House in Taipei


After having some fun strolled around Shida night market for about an hour, I continued my journey by visiting the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall together with my new friends.


Priceless Shot of My Friends


Oh, by the way, most Taiwanese love dogs so you will most likely find some cute dogs on the street. But don't worry, they don't bite nor even bark, and don't ask me why because I also have no idea, haha.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall


The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a Taiwanese national monument, landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, which is a former President of the Republic of China. This memorial hall is located in Zhongzheng District in Taipei.




We only spent a short time in Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and then headed to Jiu Fen for a dinner. Jiu fen is a mountain area in the Ruifang District of New Taipei City near Keelung in Taiwan. As I remember, it was a pretty long train ride from Zhongzheng District to Jiu Fen, it took us around 45-minutes with a one-time transfer in order to reach the Ruifang District.


Waiting for our train to Keelung


After a long train ride, we finally reached Keelung and arrived at Jiu Fen. It was a cold rainy winter night and Jiu Fen was freezing that time. But it was fine because turned out this place was worth the long trip, it was a very beautiful village! Especially at night time when the lights were shimmering, this village looked so heavenly pretty.





Brief story, Jiu Fen is an isolated village during the Qing Dynasty that housed nine families inside it. This isolated village also reflected the era under Japanese colonization, with many Japanese inns surviving in Jiu Fen to this day. As you can see from my pictures, the cute retail stores similar to the ones in Japan so it is always a good idea to come here if you can not afford a trip to Japan.

 

This isolated village was very interesting to explore. You can find a lot of great food and also many great souvenirs from here.


"Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us."
 - Oscar Wilde



“People will walk in and walk out of your life, but the one whose footstep made a long lasting impression is the one you should never allow to walk out.” 
― Michael Bassey Johnson