With all our stuff packed and ready to we take our van to the airport leaving early to make sure we don't hit the rush hour traffic. As we reach the airport my body feels heavier and heavier but the thought of visiting Taipei for it's delightful foodie treats pushes my determination to fight this creeping fever and go through with the trip. After slurping down some hot porridge with a tall bottle of vitamin C whatever juice and about an hour of lying down on a terminal bench the plane is ready to board and my fever has calmed down.
Our flight for Taiwan left at around 12 midnight so our trip in the air composed of sleeping passengers and dim lights for the two hour journey. We arrive at around 2:30-3:00 AM at Taipei international airport. After going through customs and immigration we find ourselves at the arrival terminal dead at night. After weighing our options of whether to take a taxi or wade out the night at the terminal we chose the latter and began to find place to get some shut eye before we met up with the city of Taipei in the morning.
The arrival terminal in Taipei International Airport has plenty of places to lay your head down numerous couches, steel benches and wide open floor is at your disposal. Below the terminal are convenience stores open 24 hrs if you need to get a quick bite in the middle of the night there are also hot/cold water fountains around the facility. The basement is also where you will find transportation bus routes/schedules, taxi lines and all other options will be posted on the wall to help you navigate to where you need to go.
After sleeping for a few hours we decide to catch an early morning bus ride to Taipei hoping on the bus with the intent of getting off at the Grand Hyatt Hotel right next to Taipei 101 previously the highest building in the world. After a 1 hour bus ride we arrive to rainy and cloudy Taipei morning and the view of Taipei 101 right in front of us. Not really knowing where to go we walked up to the Grand Hyatt Hotel to take in shelter as the rain trickled down around us.
After about half an hour of waiting for the rain to stop our we get impatient and decide that's it was time to explore outside luckily the rain did let up and settled for a cloudy and wet morning. Our first activity was to visit Taipei 101 but after a few minutes of getting lost and walking around in he wet and chilly weather we realized how early it still was and that all the shops were still closed. Eventually we found the food court for the Taipei 101 mall which had some restaurants open for breakfast. Our breakfast included oden from a 711, a Mcdonald's tuna sandwich and a Yakiniku Burger from MOS Burger.
A few hours past by and the mall was open for business. We collected our selves from the our position in the food court and started exploring the building. We make our way through the endless high end shops and see the concierge for the Taipei 101 observatory tower. Due to the weather and how cloudy it was we opted not to take 500NT observation tower and just settle with viewing the numerous trinkets and exhibits the had throughout the building.
Content with seeing the sights at the Taipei 101 building we decide that it's time to find our lodging which was near the rainbow bridge within the Songshan District. I pull out a map of directions I made earlier during breakfast and start to navigate through the streets. A 40 minute walk through fancy buildings, bustling street food corners and residential houses we arrive at Red Orange House a homestay we found on Agoda.com. After calling the owner he instructs us on how to get in the apartment and to our amazement there was no one there. The owner after a few minutes shows up and explains to us that we were his last patrons and we had the whole apartment to ourselves he would soon be closing down his homestay and was just waiting for us his last customers. The owner was very friendly and let us know to enjoy as much as we wanted since this would be the last time the apartment would have guests.
Realizing that we hadn't eaten lunch yet my wife and I settle in our now private apartment located right next to the Raohe Night Market and head out for light snack in preparation of our night market creeping that would happen later on that night. After walking a few minutes through the side walks we munch on some tasty buns while enjoying the sights of the Raohe night market and the temple right next to it.
The night markets in Taipei don't start until 4PM it was already about 4PM and the venodrs were just starting to roll in so we walked back to our lodging and took a nap thinking that once we woke up the market would be in full sing. We were not disappointed when we woke up we could hear the market roaring through our window. Excited we immediate walk down the stairs of where we were staying up jump into the lively street for some goodies and treats.
After about a few hours of eating through the chilly and damp streets we decide we've had enough and turn in for the night.
We leisurely woke up the next morning and enjoy reading a book about Taiwan that we found in the apartment we were staying in and since we had the whole apartment to ourselves we enjoyed the peace and quiet we had in this new and exciting city in a foreign country. Fow breakfast we walk downstairs in our pajamas and scoured the side walks for some soup but as we walk around we could not find any and settled for the super tasty buns we found yesterday. Taking some long showers we get ready to leave our little peaceful apartment to start walking bank to Taipei 101 as our plane would leave 12 midnight again that day.
Walking back to Taipei 101 we were determined to find some sort of soup on our way since we were disappointed earlier that morning. After a few minutes we found what we needed and shared a bowl of soup in a shop on the side of the road. After our bowl of soup we decided to check another shop that looked like they had beef brisket soup and shared another bowl. We love that fact that there were so many places to just go and eat anywhere.
Once we made back to the metropolitan area we took some more sight of the city we missed the previous day and began to enjoy the Chinese new year decorations that were all over the sights. The time was about 4PM and our foodie bellies began to look for food again searching my phone we found a nearby night market and started to walk in that direction.
After again stuffing our faces with Tapei night market food we check the time and agree that it's time to get catch our bus journey back to the airport for the midnight plane back to Manila.