Saturday, 1 June 2013

Taiwan Day 21: Presidential Building, Goodbye, Food Tour

Day Twenty One

We started off the morning early by going to the Presidential Office Building in Taipei. On the first Saturday of every month, it is open 8am-4pm. More rooms are open than the typical weekday tours. Only Hui Chee and I went in because Darm wasn't allowed to enter with his flip flops so be sure to wear shoes and proper attire!

Although the first Saturday tour is considered a "complete open house" already, there are still few levels open. We were only allowed to walk around level one and three of which many were exhibitions. There were cardboard figures of the president and the vice president for tourists to take photos with.

Exhibitions at Presidential Office Buildling
The Presidential Office Building is about a 5 minute walk from the Ximen MRT Station, so we walked back to the station by 10am to meet with Huang Laoshi (Teacher Huang). He is very knowledgeable about Monga (Japanese name of Wanhua), so we invited him to an interview and also to learn more from him. We went to Zhongshan Hall which was the place that the Japanese colonizers and KMT negotiated during the turnover of Taiwan leadership. Today it acts more like an auditorium for concerts and other art performances.

Darm, Hui Chee, Huang Laoshi
We went back to our homestay by noon because the host parents wanted to treat us to lunch as a farewell for Darm. The food we had was delicious!

Xiaolongbao (Steam pork dumpling)

Fried shrimp
At 4pm we went to Taipei Main Station with Darm to send him off on the bus to the airport. Although we've only known each other a few weeks, it was still sad to first see Olivia off then Darm off within three days. He even got teary eyed when waving bye to us behind the gate! When you really try, a language barrier doesn't hinder one from becoming friends.

By 6pm we headed back to Longshan MRT Station to meet for the Monga local food tour led by Huang Laoshi. He led us to places along Guiyang Street including a temple and a rice store. At the end we went to Huaxi Night Market to eat various foods.

Huaxi Night Market
We had fresh broiled squid, oysters and bamboo shoot. I don't think I've had plain bamboo shoot before and it tasted fresh and slightly sweet.

Next was a large rice flour ball (tang yuan) covered in ground up peanut and sesame. I enjoyed this very much with its chewy texture and aromatic taste.

This night market has the nickname of Snake Alley because it once used to be filled with shops that sold snake soup.

Snake in cage
Snake soup just tasted like normal Chinese soup. The snake pieces had a lot of bones and the texture was like chicken.

Snake soup
For our last stop after eating, we went to this hostel that became famous after it was featured in a movie called Miss Kicki. The room that the main character stayed in was 210 and we went inside to have a look. One night stay here is NT1000. I've never heard of this movie before but now I'm curious to watch it.

Room 210

Ate a lot of good food today! :)

Take care,

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  1. Viv, a lot of good food to eat. You will gain weight when you return to Canada