Taipei 101 & Yehliu

March 14, 2014

This was the last full day I was going to get to spend with my dad and my sister before they flew back to America. Although it was very bittersweet, I was exhausted! We had walked around and seen so many things. It was a packed trip indeed. I made sure that the last day was a chill day with no rush to get to and from places.
We got up in the morning and made our way to Taipei 101. What used to be the giant in the world is now only giant building number three, but since I live in Taiwan it felt only right to go to the top of Taipei 101 at least once. Tickets cost 500NT (15USD) to go to the top. We purchased our tickets and got in line. The elevator ride to the top was only a minute or less. It is best to go to the top of Taipei 101 on a clear day, but even if it is clear you are still going to deal with smog and light population. I am afraid of heights so walking around the Taipei 101 view deck is only a cool experience, not a fun one. I got to see the whole city, but every time I went to the very edge of a corner of the building I swear I felt the building sway. In the middle of Taipei 101 there is a huge concrete ball that keeps the building from swaying at exceptional forces. That was a surprise. I guess I had never thought about how a building keeps from staying so solid in its’ foundation. There is also a section of the top of Taipei 101 that allows you to go outside and observe from that point. I got to the very edge and then had to back up. It freaked me out way too much. We finally decided to leave and go back to the bottom. I was very grateful to have both my feet back on solid ground. We enjoyed a small meal at McDonald’s, which I was less than enthused about, but my sister wanted to “see if it tasted different in Taiwan”.

After Taipei 101 we went to Taipei Main Station where we boarded a bus for Yehliu. The bus ride was about an hour and took us along a very windy road. Once you get off the bus you just have to walk down the road to the entrance of Yehliu Geopark. There is a small entrance fee, then you are free to roam around the cool mushroom looking rocks and observe the ocean and wildlife that is in that area. We walked the whole stretch of the narrow strip of land that is the Geopark. My sister made sure to touch the ocean before we left the park. There was also an aquatic marine center next to the geopark but we had no interest in it.

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We got back on the bus that was headed for Taipei and got off at an MRT stop. I was going to take them to Din Tai Fung for dinner. Din is famous for its’ xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). I thought this would give them a great last taste of Taiwanese food. The problem is because the food is so good and the place is so popular there is a long wait time for a table. We waited almost 80 minutes for a table. The wait for Din is so long that people cheer when their number finally shows up on the number board. FINALLY, we were seated and got our food. I thought it was well worth the wait. We paid our bill and left, but the eating wasn’t done. I then took them to a place that serves Mango Shaved Ice. We all three shared the bowl of the delicious fruit and shaved ice concoction. After dessert we headed back to the hotel with full bellies. It had been a good food eating experience and a great meal to have at the end of a week long trip.

Finally using those chopsticks!

Finally using those chopsticks!

Mango Shaved Ice

Mango Shaved Ice

We went back to the hotel and packed up our things and went to bed. We had an early morning the next day.

On Sunday morning, we got up very early and checked out of the hotel. I had hired a taxi pick-up, so we hopped into the cab and the driver took us to the airport. At the airport we got in line so they could pick-up their tickets. Not a whole lot was said because I was so tired. Then there was a tearful exchange of goodbyes. It was great having them here and having the opportunity to show them Taiwan and show them the crazy, busy, awesome country I live in. It was also time for us to say our goodbyes and finally get some rest. I know I was exhausted and they were too.
I had done it though! I had created a week long itinerary for three people and catered them around central and northern Taiwan. We all had a good time. Now it was time to get ready for my mom’s visit.

First things first, cut my hair in preparation for the hot weather!

Short hair, don't care!

Short hair, don’t care!