Taipei, Taiwan from Maokong Gondola
Taipei, Taiwan from Maokong Gondola

Taipei, Taiwan, 2019

April 29th – May 2nd, 2019

This is the first in a new travel post series all about Taiwan. While in Taiwan, we stayed in Taipei, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Juafien, and back to Taipei again.

Our first stop in Taiwan was Taipei. Highlights included hiking Elephant mountain, the Taipei zoo, eating scallion pancakes from Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake, eating soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung, eating traditional Taiwanese breakfast at Yong He Soy Milk King and one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life thus far: the Maokong gondola line.

Hello from Taipei, Taiwan

Hiking Elephant Mountain

Elephant mountain is a broadly appealing must-experience attraction in Taipei. Not only does it offer exceptional views of Taipei but it does so from multiple vantage points in a choose-your-own-adventure type of hiking experience. There are levels of staircases to work your way up to the top of the mountain. Each level offers some type of opportunity to rest and appreciate the view. While many people choose to stop climbing the mountain at around the halfway point, it is worth the effort to ascend all the way to the top.

Elephant mountain staircase entrance – Taipei, Taiwan
Flowers along the hike up Elephant Mountain – Taipei, Taiwan
Flowers along the hike up Elephant Mountain – Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei 101 as viewed from Elephant mountain
Taipei 101 as viewed from Elephant mountain
Climbing Elephant mountain’s stairs to the next viewing platform
Taipei skyline as viewed from Elephant mountain
Taipei 101 as viewed from Elephant mountain
Taipei 101 and Taipei skyline as viewed from Elephant mountain
Taipei skyline as viewed from Elephant mountain
Taipei 101 as viewed from Elephant mountain – through trees
Taipei 101 when viewed from the street.
Taipei 101 reflected in happy face reflective ball
Love artwork signage on the street in front of Taipei 101.

Taipei 101

Japanese baked goods inside Taipei 101 Mall – Taipei, Taiwan
Japanese baked goods inside Taipei 101 Mall – Taipei, Taiwan
Din Tai Fung Taipei 101 location – Taipei, Taiwan

Boa’an Temple

The Boa’an temple is the first temple we experienced in Taipei. The ornateness and overall presence feel significant — bordering on overwhelming.

Boa’an Temple details- Taipei, Taiwan
Boa’an Temple Lanterns & details- Taipei, Taiwan
Boa’an Temple Lanterns & details- Taipei, Taiwan
Birds in flight above Boa’an Temple – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: bike and coffee – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: temple & prayer – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: food market stalls – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: layers of people – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: dumpling stall – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: corner market fruit – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: market food stall – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: market food stall – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: Shilin night market entrance – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: morning time – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views: motorist & lantern – Taipei, Taiwan
All the meats. Hanging in a storefront window. Walking around Taipei, Taiwan.
Orchids in Taipei, Taiwan

Yong He Soy Milk King

Soy Milk King, eh? The Taiwanese are serious about their breakfasts. We enjoyed warm soy milk with all the fixings: egg, pork floss, and fried dough.

Rolling out and frying dough. Yong He Soy Milk King – Taipei, Taiwan.
Rolling out and frying the dough. Yong He Soy Milk King – Taipei, Taiwan.
Taking orders. Rolling out and frying the dough. Yong He Soy Milk King – Taipei, Taiwan.
Warm soy milk with egg and pork floss. Yong He Soy Milk King – Taipei, Taiwan.
All mixed together – Warm soy milk with egg and pork floss. Yong He Soy Milk King – Taipei, Taiwan.
Flaky flatbread fried Chinese cruller, sou bing you tiao, Yong He Soy Milk King – Taipei, Taiwan.

This was all a hearty and heavy meal to prepare us for a long day at the Taipei Zoo and hiking around the Maokong Tea Village.


Taipei Zoo

I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited zoos around the world — mostly around the United States, but of all of those I have visited, Taipei has one of the best. Not only is it expansive, but it’s also diverse in its animals — to my knowledge not many zoos have both Asian and African elephants. Orangutans are a species I have not been seen in person until Taipei — what beautiful, quirky, muppet-like creatures they are. Below are some of my favorite captures from the zoo.

Panda eating bamboo at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Panda eating bamboo at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Asian elephants at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Asian elephant at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Leopard at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Leopard at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Orangutan at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan — looks like a muppet
Orangutan at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Orangutan at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Chimpanzee at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Chimpanzee at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Chimpanzee at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Koala at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
Koala at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan
African elephant at Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan

Maokong tea village

The gondola ride from the Taipei Zoo to Maokong is incredible and one of the most breathtaking and amazing experiences I’ve had. The sun was just starting to set as we made our way back to Taipei from Maokong. The mixture of light and fog was absolutely perfect.

Maokong tea village, Taiwan
Taipei 101 viewed from Maokong, Taiwan
Taipei 101 viewed from Maokong, Taiwan
Tea farmers in Makong, Taiwan
Tea farmer in Makong, Taiwan
Tea farmers in Makong, Taiwan
Maokong tea village, Taiwan
Maokong tea village, Taiwan
Tea farmers in Makong, Taiwan
Tea farmer in Makong, Taiwan
Lanterns outside Yao-Yue tea in Makong, Taiwan
Exploring Makong, Taiwan
Hiking in Makong, Taiwan
Bird on a wire in Makong, Taiwan
Taipei grand trail hiking in Makong, Taiwan
Flower pedaled stairs hiking in Makong, Taiwan
Views from Maokong gondola line, Maokong -> Taipei, Taiwan
Views from Maokong gondola line, Maokong -> Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei 101 views from Maokong gondola line, Maokong -> Taipei, Taiwan
Views from Maokong gondola line, Maokong -> Taipei, Taiwan
Views from Maokong gondola line, Maokong -> Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei night walking tour

We found some well-reviewed free walking tours in Taipei by a company called TourMeAway. We joined the Longshan Temple Tour. Overall, it was well worth the ~3 hours. Below are some captures from our experience.

Medicine market, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Longshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Lantern inside Longshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Lantern inside Longshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Taipei Tourist night market, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Taipei Tourist night market, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Lanterns outside the oldest hotel in the red light district in Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Lanterns outside the oldest hotel in the red light district in Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Lanterns outside the oldest hotel in the red light district in Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Taipei Tourist night market, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Taipei Tourist night market, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours
Taipei Tourist night market, Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei Walking Tours

Exploring Taipei

Exploring Taipei – walking from the National Palace Museum to our hotel. Taipei, Taiwan
Temple on the side of a busy road Exploring Taipei, Taiwan
Exploring Taipei – walking from the National Palace Museum to our hotel. Taipei, Taiwan
Flowers dripping with rain, Taipei, Taiwan
Exploring Taipei – walking from the National Palace Museum to our hotel. Taipei, Taiwan

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall & Square

Chiang Kai-shek memorial hall honors Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China. The entire venue houses the Memorial Hall, Memorial Square, National Theater, and National Concert Hall.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial & Square, Taipei, Taiwan
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial exterior, Taipei, Taiwan
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial interior, Taipei, Taiwan
Chiang Kai-shek memorial square, National Theater, Taipei, Taiwan
Chiang Kai-shek memorial square, Taipei, Taiwan
Topiary tree at Chiang Kai-shek memorial, Taipei, Taiwan

Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes)

These scallion pancakes are absolutely delicious. While in Taipei we enjoyed variations on their scallion pancakes several times — with egg and cheese, with egg only, and plain. Each was delicious, cost-effective, and they filled us up. The cooking and crafting process is fascinating in its rhythmic and well-honed workflow.

Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes) Taipei, Taiwan
Making pancakes at Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes) Taipei, Taiwan
Making pancakes at Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes) Taipei, Taiwan
Making pancakes at Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes) Taipei, Taiwan
Making pancakes at Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes) Taipei, Taiwan
Bagging pancakes at Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes) Taipei, Taiwan
Pancakes are served at Tianjing Chong Zhua Pancake (scallion pancakes) Taipei, Taiwan

Exploring Taipei at night

Illuminated lanterns & street views – Taipei, Taiwan
Illuminated lanterns & street views – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views – Taipei, Taiwan
Neon vibes, bubble tea in hand, Taipei, Taiwan
Street views – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views & chickens in the window – Taipei, Taiwan
Street views, lanterns, and bears, oh my! – Taipei, Taiwan
Illuminated lantern street views – Taipei, Taiwan
Illuminated lantern street views – Taipei, Taiwan
Making dumplings – Taipei, Taiwan
Making dumplings – Taipei, Taiwan
Making dumplings – Taipei, Taiwan
Making dumplings – Taipei, Taiwan

May 8th – May 11th, 2019

We ended our trip by going back to Taipei for three nights before flying back to Minneapolis.

To be continued… (as soon as I finish editing photos)