Taipei Day 1 | Taipei Zoo

July 22, 2013

Reached Taipei airport at a ungodly hour, 5.40am. Didn't have a good sleep on the plane because I was too cold and my legs felt like they were about to cramp up any time. Lesson learnt, don't wear shorts on a plane if you're planning to sleep, especially if it night flights. Somehow I find the night flights colder than the day ones. Was hyped about the fact that we were actually in Taipei! Then comes complications...

So because our flight was at an odd timing, we couldn't buy the data plan from the counter of 台湾大哥大 (their local phone company), and we couldn't get hold of our apartment host. The smartest thing was actually, all the information we had, was inside my phone, which I needed internet access to view. THUMBS UP MAD. When we eventually found the number(s), they were all wrong. Yes, the website and all actually gave us wrong number. I forgot to mention, we were so desperate we tried a pay phone at the airport. 

Then I gave up and told my boyfriend we should just head up to the apartment itself. We met a really nice private taxi at the airport and he brought us to the apartment. And by really nice I meant, nice car (Mercs), and he helped us try contact the host, which then some uncle was annoyed because it was 5.40am in the morning and we got the wrong number. I think the cab fare was 1400NT flat, which is about 60SGD, staying in Shilin meant that the cab ride from the airport to the apartment was about an hour long. It's expensive, but worth it when you're really tired and have tons of luggage. 

The outside of our apartment building.
The garden and the sofa
The lobby area with the super friendly security guards

The complications were as such, we were there early, and the people renting the apartment has not checked out. So, we had to wait there for about 4 hours before they checked out. Boyfriend and I decided to drop our luggages there and go find some breakfast. Walked out and explored the closed Shilin street, bought some breakfast and ate it at the lobby. What we did after is hobo-ism at it's highest level. We just knocked out on the couch at the lobby, we slept for about 3 hours before we both woke up. The funniest thing, we both woke up perspiring like mad, but we still slept. The securities were super nice though, I suspect they set up a fan in front of us while we were both sleeping.

That's it about complications, we finally checked in, washed up, cleaned up the apartment (boyfriend did that) and was ready to explore Taipei! Yes, best house husband ever. He cleaned up the whole apartment while I was bathing, and he was done when I finished bathing.


Our first destination was the Taipei Zoo. We reached Taipei on a Saturday so I was kind of expecting a crowd if we went to the zoo. I read up that the zoo was a pretty nice place to go. And here's what I think...

Some sort of donkey at the zoo!

If you're there in the summer, DO NOT GO TO THE ZOO. Unless you're pretty much prepared to walk under sweltering heat, even though I was pretty prepared to walk, this was very much unexpected. Another noteworthy thing, the animal exclosures were REALLY far apart, the walking actually takes more time than appreciating the animals. I guess if you're a family and have kids it's always a fun place to be, considering the tickets were so cheap, 180NT, which is 7SGD. It was so hot there that when we had a chance to exit the zoo, we took it, we went to find a tram that would take us to the Maokong Gondola, which was at the south entrance of the zoo.

I was THAT excited about leaving

Some pointers for the gondola, when it rains or when weather is bad, the gondola services stops. When we were about to board the train, the person actually informed us that the gondola might stop it's services because it was about to rain. Lucky us, we managed to take the gondola! You can actually get updates or information about the Maokong Gondola HERE, you can thank me for the link later. We took the gondola up to the Maokong Mountain Station, and decided to drop off for some high tea, literally(in the mountains.. if you get what I mean).

High tea (no idea what's up with boyfriend's face)

Photos taken by Nigel Ng 

The Maokong Mountain is famous for their tea, so they actually have many tea houses, just find one that you think is worth visiting and settle down! The food there is good, as usual, but I had some fruit tea, which I disliked. It's suppose to be healthy and all, but it's sour! I always regret trying something new.

Took the glassed-bottom gondola back down to the Taipei Zoo Station, MRT. It was actually pretty much the same, anyway when you look down through the glass all you can see is the top of the trees and a forest of that. Our night ended at Shilin Nightmarket.

Photos taken by Nigel Ng

Yes, shopping makes me happy.

Just in case you're interested in reading my planning for this trip, where I got my deals for apartments and all, HERE'S a link to my previous post about the planning!

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