Since two of our close family friends were visiting Taiwan for the first time, my mom had an exciting itinerary laid out for all of us; most were sights that I had not even had the chance to see yet! We began our trip with two luxurious nights at the Grand Formosa Regent, 台北晶華酒店 [‘tai bei jing hua jiu dian’], one of the high-end hotels in the center of Taipei. (Traveler tip: 酒店 means ‘hotel’). The rooms were so big! Two queen-sized beds for my mom and I each. 🙂
While the hotel had many comforts to enjoy, it was too beautiful of a day to stay inside. So, we group of four decided to spend most of the day at the National Palace Museum, 台北故宮 [‘tai bei gu gong’]. (故宮 means ‘ancient palace’). The National Palace Museum is one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks: spanning 10,000 years of Chinese history! Unfortunately, we arrived too late in the day after sleeping in and the museum was closed. Still, the grounds were as grand as you would imagine a place with the title “National Palace Museum” would be.
This was not too much of a setback for us; we took a taxi into the city and then the MRT subway out all the way to Tamsui (淡水 read as ‘dan shui’). Nothing but a short, 45-minute ride. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Tamsui is the 漁人碼頭 [‘yu ren ma tou’], translating quite literally as “Fisherman’s Wharf”. Lots of great food vendors, shops, and beautiful sunsets to be had here.
I could not have been more excited about the grilled stinky tofu! I do admit it’s an acquired taste, but when you love it, you looove it. There is no more magical pairing than deep fried, grilled tofu, still tender on the inside, and paired with cold, pickled and crunchy Taiwanese cabbage.
Our evening was spent feasting with our eyes, noses, and ears on all the deliciousness Taiwan has to offer. And although my mom and I could not taste the famous seafood our family friends ordered for dinner, it was equally satisfying seeing their faces in ecstasy from sucking on freshly-steamed mussels.