On my fourth day in Taipei, I have half-day free time to explore the city. So, along with Vinayak my colleague from Acer India, we asked recommendation from our local colleague. As we like places with natural view, so our colleague recommended us to go to Jiufen or Yehliu Geopark. Both are quite far from Taipei downtown but they offer stunning natural view. Since Jiufen is further from the city then we won’t make it to go back before sundown, we decided to go to Yehliu Geopark in Xinbei.
First thing to do is to find how to get there. If we were going from downtown, it would be easier to take MRT or join a tour bus. But we were in our headquarter office in New Taipei City that is quite far from downtown so it would be more efficient if we go straight to Yehliu by…. taxi. We called a taxi and found that only few taxi drivers would drive that far. The driver charged us flat fee 1000 New Taiwan Dollar (NTD) for one way trip. Gulp. Yes, it was THAT far and remote.
We headed southeast toward away from city and watched how the scenery changed from office complex to residential area. Many campaign posters and billboards everywhere as they were having major election. It looked very different with the downtown as we didn’t see many campaign posters there.
So what’s so special in Yehliu that made us want to go there? Yehliu is noted for its peculiar rocks. We can see naturally-formed rocks in very odd shapes at the beach. Witnessing the rocks formation yourself, you might be imagining that you were in different part of the world or other planet in the universe. I was imagining myself to be on Mars or Moon surface.
So, I’ve seen this thing before as souvenir from a friend. A unique, memorable, edible souvenir that can be found only at Shilin Night Market: the penis cake. Yes, you read that correctly.
But we’ll get to it later. I’ll tell you how Shilin night market was and how I enjoyed my visit there. Shilin Night Market was more than I imagined about a night market in Taipei. I thought it was only about food, food and souvenirs. But you can also find clothes (most of them are imported from China), cosmetics, gadgets, games (gambling too) and shrimping game.
Wait, what? Shrimping? Lol.
Shrimping is one of local popular activities in Taiwan that precisely what it sounds like, fish a shrimp! The actual shrimping activities are located inside building with a large pool filled with live shrimps. It’s kind of popular late night activity for Taiwanese. Here in Shilin night market, you can find and experience mini shrimping game. For around 100 NT (I forgot!), you’ll get 7 hooks to catch some shrimps and put them into a bucket provided.
Shilin Night Market is often mentioned as one of must-visit-places while you’re in Taipei. Yes, I heard about it as well from my friends who have visited the place. So, I put Shilin on my itinerary with a mission to accomplish: find a memorable-digestible-souvenir for my colleague.
Yes, Shilin Night Market was on my Taipei checklist event it’s kinda mainstream whilst my colleague recommended us to check Raohe Street night market instead. Actually Raohe was closer to our hotel but instead we headed to Shilin because you haven’t been to Taipei yet if you skip Shilin night market.
It’s the biggest night market in Taipei where you can find local foods, souvenirs (even though I was pretty sure most of the products are imported from China mainland), attractions (ever heard about “shrimping?”) and so on.
Been working for a multinational company for almost 3 years, I finally got an opportunity to attend a regional meeting in Taiwan. Last month, I finally visited Acer HQ in Taipei, our mother ship.
It was a very short visit, only 5 days and 4 nights with 2 days spent only for the overseas trip. With two-full-days meeting in between, I had only approximately 1 day to explore Taipei and its surrounding area. I had no particular plan in mind thought except to visit Taipei 101 building (once was the tallest building in the world) and to find penis cake at Shilin Night Market hahaha. On top of it, I was totally available and open for any spontaneous and unplanned trip, and lucky me I had pleasant days while in Taiwan.