Tag Archives: Raohe

Taipei All Over (Day 2: Addiction Aquatic Development, Maokong Gondola, Raohe Night Market)

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After a much needed rest, Day 2 might be the best and most memorable day of our trip. We started our day by doing some creative shots along the hallway of Swiio Hotel. There was a cleaning service on our hallway so we had to move to another floor to take some post worthy shots.

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For lunch, we headed to Addiction Aquatic Development. I was lucky to stumble on this place just a few days before our trip. They said that this was somewhat like the Tsukiji Market of Taipei. I have been to the latter as well so that information might be misleading. Nonetheless, we really enjoyed our time in Aquatic and would definitely recommend that you visit this place!

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When you enter, you are first greeted by the huge open tanks filled with all sorts of seafood. Majority of them contained huge king crabs as well as other shellfish. Here, you can buy live seafood on a wholesale level.

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As we moved further, we are greeted by a supermarket type section filled with all sorts of dried and fresh seafood. Likewise, their supermarket area also sell some meat, vegetables and other gourmet food.

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The middle section is where all the action takes place. The outer area contains the seafood bar while the middle area is where the sushi bar is located. We had to queue and our number was around 160+. Also worth mentioning is the hotpot area located on the upper floor and an outdoor BBQ area when you exit.

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We decided to try their bar section while waiting which offered wine and sake. You can also order some fresh oysters which we did not get and opted for the cheese platter instead. My girlfriend ordered some white wine while I had some cold sake.

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After more than an hour of waiting, it was sushi time for us! A bit unusual but both the seafood and sushi area are both standing areas only. They probably configured it this way to maximize space.

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We tried several dishes such as monk fish liver which is said to be the foie gras of the sea. It was delicate and creamy but I was not very fond of this dish. Also, on our table were some green sea urchin, both local Taiwanese and Japanese fatty tuna, clam soup and a sushi platter.

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My favorite were both the Japanese fatty tuna and the sushi platter. Both were yummy! Too bad the more premium Taiwanese toro was not available at that time so it was hard for me to compare both cuts.

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Lastly, we also tried some grilled king crab legs which we squeezed some lime on top. I would definitely come back for more of this! Definitely a great and memorable food experience during our visit at Aquatic. I can attest to what people say that the best Japanese food outside of Japan is here in Taiwan.

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After our sumptuous meal, we headed to take the Maokong Gondola. We decided to head to the last station which was aptly called Maokong Station.

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Here, you can see great views of Taipei from a mountainous location. We did not really have a plan when we arrived at the last stop so we ended up walking a bit before ending up in a tea place. We ordered some local tea served in a traditional way.

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We spent more than an hour just serving each other some tea. We probably had 12-14 tea cups each before we headed back to look for some premium Taiwanese tea to bring home.

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We ended up in a tea shop which prides themselves as being a distributor and direct from source shop, we did not expect to have another round of tea drinking before we purchased some High Mountain and Dong Ding tea. Definitely better than the one we tried before and we were given some tea 101 by the son of a tea master. At this point, we had so much tea in our system that it was already time to return to the city.

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It was already sundown when we rode the cable car back to the city. My night shots were horrendous as the cable car was constantly moving. One big reason why I will do Elephant Mountain for my next Taipei trip.

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For dinner, we headed to our favorite night market – Raohe Night Market. It was the same great night market that we visited last March which we really enjoyed. We tried several dishes that we did not eat before like the grilled abalone, grilled corn, matsusaka pork and boiled clams.

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The matsusaka pork was very tasty but my favorite find is the grilled corn which had some sweet coating on the outside.

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With our tummies full from another great Raohe Night Market experience, we decided to visit the Rainbow Bridge. I was quite disappointed to see that the bridge was not lit up. I just ended up taking photos of an unknown bridge on the opposite side.

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That being said, we did not spend a lot of time here and just decided to head back to our hotel. It was already past midnight when we returned. We still have a half day ahead of us but we were already sentimental about going back home from our quick Taipei trip…

 

 

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Taiwan (Day 3: Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Huashan Creative Park, Raohe Night Market)

We continued to travel outside Taipei on our 3rd day in Taiwan. Today, we headed up north to visit Yehliu Geopark. Ever since I saw photos of these geological formations on social media, I have been planning to visit this place when I get to return to Taiwan.

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The geopark is located along the northern tip of Taiwan and you can definitely see the coastline as you head here. Along the way, there was also a fish market and some restaurants nearby. I would have wanted to try these places out if we had the time.

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I initially thought that this place would be along a sandy beach where you could see the rock formations scattered everywhere. It was quite the opposite as access to the site is well organized. Once you enter, you just follow the footpath that will present you the different types of shapes these geological formations have created.

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Among them is the famous Queen’s Head which is probably the most popular rock formation here. There is a line if you wanted a photo op with the queen and the security was quite strict giving a time limit for each visitor.

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Likewise, they prohibit you to trespass the boundary lines around the geopark. We wanted to take some shots along the rocky areas near the shore but be warned or you would get whistled by the guards.

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Amidst the crowd, I can just imagine how beautiful this place would have been if it was left more raw and untouched.

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Our next stop is Jiufen Walking Street located in a mountain town in the Ruifang District of New Taipei City. It is said that this place was the inspiration to the anime movie called Spirited Away. I am not a big anime fan but this movie was a huge blockbuster worldwide. Might be interesting to watch this movie one time.

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The plan was to visit this walking street but I was surprised that this was only part of many other different attractions around the area. You can see waterfalls, hike mountains and visit a gold mine just to name a few.

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It was already late in the afternoon when we reached the foot of the walking street. We decided to grab some food first before we went around

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The highest point we reached was the viewing area to catch the sunset along the mountain coastline.

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Personally, I really like the old-feel of this place. Although most of it is already manufactured to cater to tourists. I would have wanted to explore more but we did not have much time. We needed to head back before sunset as we were travelling back to Taipei. Traffic was a bit of a problem during this trip since it was the high season in Taiwan during this time of the year.

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If you are the artsy type, you should visit Huashan 1914 Creative Park located near Guang Hua Digital Plaza which is a must-visit if you are a techy person. For the latter, I would recommend that you buy memory cards here as they are very cheap. I was able to buy a branded UHC-3 SD card for almost the price of a UHS-1 here in the Philippines. The challenge here is to find the cheapest priced store.

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Huashan 1914 Creative Park is a huge lot that feature multiple buildings that housed various shops selling indie brands, a warehouse theatre of some sort and several hip restaurants. From hand-made trinkets to vintage second hand items, they all have it here. They also have an outdoor auditorium which was showing a local film when we visited.

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If you do not intend to purchase anything during your visit, there is still something for you here. This place is also great for your own photo-op. Once can find your own corner or alley to take creative shots. My personal favorite are the hallways that looked like school corridors. It reminded me very much of the time when I was still an undergrad.

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Another great spot to take photos would be the separate building near the parking lot that is made of red bricks. It had this old school gritty feel that I really like.

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From Zhongzheng District, our last stop for the night was Raohe Night Market. We have been visiting night markets every single day to cap our evening. I would also recommend checking Shilin Night Market as this is the undoubtedly the most popular night market for tourists.

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I must say, this one is our favorite among the bunch! The night market is literally just one long street where all the food stalls are lined-up in the middle up to the end of the street. If all you want is food and no other distractions at sight, then this is the night market for you.

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Up until this point, I can say that bad food in a night market is probably an anomaly. We have not had any unappetizing food so far. Taipei is definitely the place to be if you would like to try some clean and tasty street food. Street food 101!

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Just like every other night, we find ourselves in the night market until its closing hours before heading back…Good night!

Taiwan (Day 4: Du Xiao Yue, Chia Te, Ximending)

– The Tourist Pao