That’s the brief visit to Hualien done. So after a bit of breakfast and packing, I hopped on the train back to Taipei. I had booked back in at JV’s Hostel, mainly because Rice is just so lovely. I got to the hostel to find it locked and no one there, luckily just a few moments later, Rice came running round the corner to let me having remembered what time my train was due into Taipei. Bless.
Taipei was really hazy and smoggy and after a shower and a catch up with Rice, I headed out to walk up Elephant Mountain. This was not a good idea to do after having a shower and before going out for a meal with everyone at the hostel. It was only a 15 minute walk from the hostel to the mountain, but climbing up the stairs in the humidity was a bit more of a sweaty challenge. It is only 1,000ft to the peak up the, what feels like, never ending stairs. Sadly, the view wasn’t at its best because of the smog/haze. But you can see how the Taipei 101 tower dominates the skyline of Taipei, with no other buildings coming close to it in height. Apparently, as I was dashing back down the mountain, I met an Aussie randomer struggling to get up the hill and was telling that the difference in height between the Taipei 101 building and Taipei’s next tallest building is the biggest difference in the world.
But time to rush back and get ready for the night out with the hostel, Alex the random I met on the street during the ‘raid’ also joined us. Rice took us to a nice little Japanese place where I had my beloved okonomiyaki, yum yum. The meal was nice and a nice social night out. After the meal, as a few of us hadn’t been to the main night market – Shilin – we stopped off there on the way back to the hostel to sample a few more things. The market was massive covering several small lanes and we went in search of some of the food stalls we’d been recommended including stinky tofu (which wasn’t that bad), mulberry flavoured willy ice lolly and we went in search of fried milk, but when we found her, she had sold out. Gutted. But we did find a dog with stick on eye brows! Naturally.
A good end to my visit of Taiwan, the following morning I grabbed the bus direct to the international airport and hopped on the plane to go visit my mate, Natalie, in Singapore.