A good long sleep was the answer for the whole-day walking yesterday. We left the hostel at 10 o’clock and went to look for breakfast. I had been buying fruits the night before to have them for breakfast. But my friends prefer bread from the bakery shop.
Itinerary for the day: Hot Spring Museum, Geothermal Valley, National Palace Museum and Shilin (again!)
It was the first morning since we were here where the temperature in the morning was 22 degree and sunny! So instead of going to the hot spring first thing in the morning, we decided to go up to the Taipei 101 observatory. We took the MRT to Taipei 101 station. The tiket to go up to the observatory was NT500 per person, NT1000 if you want to beat the queue. But the queue didn’t take that long even when the line was quite long when we were there.
The view from the 89th floor was spectacular. Taipei is blessed with the nearby green mountains. It was really nice to see tall buildings at the valleys of those mountains. There are many facts about the building: it is the tallest green structure on earth, the elevator is the fastest in the world and it has the biggest damper in the world (and I think the prettiest too). Damper is to stabilize the building against earthquakes and strong winds. There is open air observatory at the 91st floor, which only open during clear weather. After we satisfy ourselves with all the things we don’t see every day, we left for Xinbeitou at 1235hrs.
The trip to Xinbeitou was not as long as I thought it would take. It was like taking train from Jurong East to the Bugis in Singapore.
We reached Xinbeitou station at 1325hrs. Take the red line MRT to Beitou and transfer train towards Xinbeitou. It is uphill walk towards the hotspring museum at Zhongshan street and further is the geothermal valley. I was sweating by the time we reached and it was pretty cold, actually. The geothermal valley was awesome. The bluish green, extremely hot water was evaporating in front of our eyes. The view was perfect with the forest settings around it.
We paid around NT900 per person to enjoy the open air hotspring at an inn nearby. They provided each of us with a water bottle and a towel. That also includes a large swimming trunk for me. Smaller one costs less. Better slim down before buying a swimming trunk here. We spent 30 minutes soaking ourselves in the hotspring. It was kind of dirty. I was not expecting it to be clean myself, but after soaking that long I felt my skin slippery. So I knew that was enough. We showered and walked back to the MRT station. It was an easy walk down hill, unlike the hike uphill to the hot spring. We left Xinbeitou at 1630hrs.
The next place we went to was the National Palace Museum. We took bus no.30 from the stop right outside Shilin MRT station. We came too late for the free tour at 1500hrs. And the Museum was closing in 30 minutes at 1700hrs. We just took some pictures of the beautiful architecture and left the place for Shilin Night Market at 1800.
Shilin is an endless shopping district and food paradise in Taipei. On our last day in Taipei, everything I saw suddenly looked either delicious or good enough for souvenir. We also visit the famous Eslite bookstore and bought books which were much cheaper compared to those in Singapore.
We ate at Bull Deman.King (I think it was supposed to be “demon”). They have the best steak with a choice of mushroom or black pepper sauce. After filling our stomach with tasty dinner and snacks we finally felt the phrase “shop till you drop”. I was carrying 5 different paper bags back to the hostel. We left Shilin at 2150hrs.
Of course by the time we reach Tonghua Night Market near the hostel, the shopping continued. I bought another two shirts for myself. Packing was one important (and tiring) thing we need to do at the hostel. We slept so late, I knew it’d be difficult to wake up the next day.
That was the last night in Taiwan. I would have liked to try the night life of Taipei, but there wasn’t anytime for that in this short vacation.