We left our house at about 4:00am after a few hours of broken sleep. The drive to the airport took about an hour as usual. Nothing weird happened going through security (we actually didn’t get the bonus security checks like we usually do!) We had no problem printing our boarding passes OR boarding the flight!! Huzzah! After our last Air China flight experience from the end of our Japan trip, this was amazing! The flight to Vancouver was a little over four hours and uneventful!
We arrived in Vancouver and had a hour and a half layover. We got two breakfast sandwiches to tide us over, and then we boarded the flight to Taipei. The flight to Taipei wasn’t anything unusual either… I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m getting older, but all flights are kind of miserable now, even when everything goes perfectly. The food was certainly horrible, but that’s par for the course. I watched two movies, some Keira Knightly thing and a J Edger Hover film with Leo in it.
The second flight was just under 13 hours, and we landed in Taipei at 4:30pm. Customs took about an hour, and then we headed to the MRT and purchased a ticket for 150NTD each to take the “new” to me Airport Express to Taipei Main Station (back when I travelled to Taiwan by myself in 2013, your only airport transportation was a bus). From Taipei Main Station we took the red line seven stops to Taipei 101. All of this took until 7pm.
We exited the metro and saw a giant towering Taipei 101, hidden among the clouds. So beautiful! The walk to our hostel, Formosa 101, took 10 minutes and we checked in (1200NTD!!) This price included a basic breakfast of toast and coffee.
We then walked a few minutes to a record store/ cafe called “Vinyl Decision”. This place was lined with lots of records and you could order food or beer (which we clearly did) while you shop! They were playing amazing old jazz. Jives looked around but didn’t get anything.
From the record shop, we walked to Lingjiang St. Night Market, right across the road from our hostel. We wandered the stalls in search of vegetarian food. I got a pair of totoro earrings! We then ordered two fresh mystery buns (with my basic ability to read Japanese Kanji coming into some use). One of the buns was stuffed with buttery green onion, and the other was like a apple strudel with sesame seeds on it, but both were vegetarian!
A lot of places were selling gatcha pong (our favourite Japan souvenir). After our wander in the nightmarket, we stopped at 711 to grab a beer and a rice ball to eat back in our room, before having a long awaited hot shower and a sleep!