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What to do in Taiwan when you don't like planning what to do in Taiwan (Part 1)

In a few days, I will be back in Taiwan! I rarely go overseas, but among the very few countries I have been to, Taiwan is probably my favorite. 

Maybe because it perfectly fits my personality as a traveller. See, I am very lazy when it comes to going around and I am perfectly fine just staying in a hotel or roaming around a mall. Yes, I am a boring tourist.

We got our tickets from a seat sale so we got a very late flight. We arrived in Taiwan past midnight, with no clear itinerary for the next days, let alone the immediate hours upon landing. Good thing we flew with our Taiwan-based friend Robert who recommended Eslite 24-hour bookstore in Taipei.

But after going through the vast collection of books, movies and music on display, we still found ourselves staring at the empty pre-dawn streets outside. We decided to juts get our very first Taiwan meal. Only convenience stores and fast food outlets were open that time so we went to, where else, but good old McDonald's.

A little disappointed that there's nothing too bizarre in the menu.

There were other people sleeping inside McDonald's (all locals) so we decided to join them.

At last, morning light came and we started our very own walking tour. We noticed that Taipei establishments open very late compared to what we have here. Maybe because it was a Saturday? The streets were still empty until about 8 in the morning.

Clean clean streets with smiling bikes.

We don'y know what this building is for but I thought it's very nice looking. 

The trains open late too. But as expected, their train system is very efficient and everything is easy to understand. Also, we noticed that most of the people are very pleasant and helpful, so we didn't have problems asking for directions.

Everything is working fine. Can't you aspire for this, Manila MRT?

Our first real destination: Elephant Mountain. Seeing that almost all who were climbing the trail that morning were elders, I thought that the climb was going to be easy. So we started the ascent despite having no sleep, being in slim jeans, and carrying our baggage. If the lolos and lolas can do it that effortlessly, it should be easy, right?

I was wrong.

But then the view at the top was worth it.

This is supposedly the side where you can see the elephant. 

Stairs, you're very beautiful but how about becoming escalators? Loljk

On the way down, one of the lolos resting in one of the sheds noticed that we were kinda lost. So he tried to give us directions but he couldn't speak English. So we relied on body language and context clues. And yes, we did find our way back to the entry point.

After the morning workout, quick Google searches told us that the Lin Family Mansion Garden is something worth looking at. So we did go there.

When will my reflection show?

Who I am inside?

Our hostel named Meander was in Ximending, and I was thrilled out find out that it's a shopping/food district. So after "checking in" (the good people of the hostel allowed us to use the bathrooms even before check in time), we immediately checked out the scene (the hostel staff was very helpful in recommending spots to check out too).

But then we had our friend Robert so we just forgot about their recommendations (but we kept the map they gave us).

Based on the clip they're showing on their TV, I think these torched meat cubes are kind of a big deal.

Organized chaos. I love it.

Definitely the best find from this trip: cheese potato.

And of course, a Taipei trip isn't complete without a pilgrimage to the milk tea shops. On Day 1 alone we saw, Come Buy, Coco, and Ten Ren. 

(To be continued)