After a night of sleep (more or less, because of jet lag and the hard bed) we were ready to discover more.
We wanted to have a clear view on the city, and as the day was nice and sunny, we went up to the Taipei 101 tower, which has 101 floors and is 508 meters high. It has a tuned mass damper to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquake that are common in this area. It says also that it has the world’s fastest persons elevator. It might be true because my ears hurt so much, even on the way up, that it was really fast!
On the top, we enjoyed the view above the city, and quite surprisingly green with a lot of forest hills everywhere…
How the wind damper acts during a typhoon:
Afterwards, we took the metro to Danshui, an old town near the sea (Taiwan straight) and along the Tamsui River.
We were starving so we stopped in the first market’s streets in a small “restaurant”. We managed to talk with the owner and ordered something with 4 words in English (squid – soup – pork – rice) , really cheap! When I started eating the rice with the chop sticks, the owner showed me the soup spoons (actually they are like weird curved shape spoons to drink the soup) that I should use because I don’t look Asian enough… I got a bit offended, so I managed to use my chop sticks to the end. (my t-shirt still remembers it but I did use my chop sticks!) The food was nor bad nor good, but when a cockroach climbed the wall next to us and went on the table, we just finished our lunch, paid and left pretty quickly, hoping we hadn’t been food poisoned.
We walked along the river, stopped at Fort San Domingo, walked a few kilometers more and arrived at Fisherman’s wharf, a bit tired!
On the way back, we went to Yinshan temple to have a quick look at our first temple, met some fishes, ate some dumplings (of course, with chop sticks!) and ordered some tea that ended up being too sweet, cold and with some kind of thick weird jelly at the bottom of the cup that got caught in the straw… well, we tried!
We went back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and we went to meet with Colton and Jamie, our couchsurfing hosts for the rest of our stay in Taipei. They are from a town near Seattle (US) but they are living in Taipei for 3 years because they love it! They brought us to their favorite restaurant at the corner and ordered all their favorite dishes to share with us. We had about 10 plates in front of us, every kind of food. It was really good and a nice way of eating to share everything (yes, with chop sticks as well). We tried the Taiwan beer, which tastes like… nothing 🙂 but as the dishes were really tasty, it went along perfectly nicely with!
Then we could sleep a long night in their lovely apartment, on a mattress that was way softer than the one in the hotel!