Photos taken by Huy Tran (Middlebury College), Student Correspondent for CET Taiwan, Spring 2023
Today was quite an eventful day for me as I arrived in Taipei after a long flight. As I made my way to the apartment, I caught a glimpse of the famous Taipei 101 tower from the taxi’s window. It was a beautiful sight, even in the pouring rain. Speaking of rain, it seems to be the usual local weather here in Taipei, as it was quite a rainy day. I can’t wait to explore more of this city and see what it has to offer.
I finally arrived at the apartment and decided to take a little exploration around the place. To be honest, the inside of the apartment was not what I expected at all. The exterior of the building looked old and outdated, but once I stepped inside, it was a different story altogether. The interior was surprisingly modern and chic, which really caught me off guard.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the apartment had everything we needed for our stay. From laundry facilities to a fully equipped kitchen, we wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. The entertainment options were also great, with a large TV and cozy couch to relax on after a long day of exploring the city.
Overall, I am quite impressed with the apartment and can’t wait to settle in and make it our home for the next few months.
After arriving in Taipei, my first order of business was to find some food to satisfy my hunger. I decided to try the local cuisine and ordered fried pork on rice, which I must say, was absolutely delicious! The best part was that the meal was quite affordable, especially compared to the prices in America.
I couldn’t help but notice that most places in Taipei preferred cash over card payments, which was quite different from what I’m used to back home. It’s a good thing I had some cash on hand because I didn’t want to miss out on the amazing food that Taipei has to offer.
I’m quickly learning that Taipei is a unique city with its own customs and way of doing things. I’m excited to embrace these differences and learn more about the local culture during my stay here. For now, I’m off to explore more of Taipei and discover what other culinary delights await me.
After my delicious meal of fried pork on rice, I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to explore and get familiar with my surroundings. The scenery in Taipei is absolutely amazing! The city is bustling with life, yet there is still a sense of calmness that can be found in the quieter areas.
One such area is a nearby park which I stumbled upon during my walk. The park was beautiful and peaceful, with people chatting, running, and even doing some taichi in the morning. It was a refreshing sight to see amidst the busy city life of Taipei.
As I continue to explore Taipei, I’m starting to get a better sense of direction and figure out my way around the city. It’s exciting to see all that this vibrant city has to offer, and I can’t wait to discover more hidden gems like this park.
Later in the evening, we finally got to meet our local roommates and decided to head out for some local hotpot. It was an amazing experience! The hotpot was absolutely delicious and very affordable, which is always a plus.
We had the chance to chat and get to know our roommates better, which was a great opportunity to learn more about the local culture and customs. They were very kind and friendly, and we had a lot of laughs throughout the night.
We decided to take a walk around the more central areas surrounding the Taipei 101 tower at night. It was a bustling area with many different stores open, including bars, clubs, karaoke places, and more. The energy in the air was palpable, and we couldn’t help but feel excited to be exploring this vibrant city.
Even though it was well past midnight, the streets were still crowded with people. It’s amazing to see the city come alive at night, with people of all ages out and about enjoying themselves.
As we walked, we took in the sights and sounds of the city. The neon lights of the stores and restaurants were bright and colorful, and the sounds of music and laughter filled the air.
The next day, my local roommate took us to a night market nearby, which is one of Taiwan’s features. As we arrived, the market was already bustling with people of all ages, all eager to enjoy the variety of foods and drinks available.
There were many food stands and stores open, each offering a unique and delicious array of foods. I found myself unable to resist the temptation to try them all, and before I knew it, I had spent most of the night market sampling different dishes.
The prices were very affordable, which was a pleasant surprise. Despite the crowds, there was a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with people chatting and laughing as they enjoyed the food and drinks on offer.
I have to say, the food was absolutely amazing! I tried many different things, from savory to sweet, and every dish was better than the last. My stomach was full to bursting by the time we left, but I couldn’t help feeling like I could eat more.
Night markets are truly a unique experience and I feel lucky to have had the chance to visit one.
During one of Taiwan’s Memorial days, we took the subway to a district called Tamsui to watch the sunset. This district is known for its beautiful scenery and vibrant atmosphere, and it did not disappoint.
As we arrived, we were greeted by crowds of people, many of them with their loved ones, all enjoying the warm spring weather and the stunning views of the river. It was heartwarming to see so many families and friends spending time together and enjoying each other’s company.
There were also people purchasing tickets and lining up to ride the boat across the river. The anticipation in the air was palpable as everyone waited eagerly for their turn to board and take in the breathtaking scenery.
After we took the boat across the river, we stopped by a local restaurant to have dinner. The meal was once again affordable and delicious, and we were excited to try even more of the local cuisine.
We each ordered a variety of dishes and shared them across the table, laughing and chatting as we enjoyed our meal together. It was a great way to end the day and celebrate our amazing experiences so far in Taipei.
As we raised our glasses in a toast to the good times we had shared, I felt grateful for the new friendships we had formed and the memories we had made. Traveling to new places and trying new things is always a little scary, but it’s moments like these that make it all worthwhile.
After we arrived back at our apartment, we were all still buzzing from the excitement of our day in Tamsui. We didn’t want to go to bed just yet, and luckily, one of our local roommates had an idea to keep us entertained.
He suggested that we learn how to play mahjong, a game that is deeply rooted in both Taiwanese and Chinese culture. We eagerly agreed, and soon we were all gathered around the table, learning the rules and strategy of the game.
It was a lot of fun and surprisingly addictive. We spent hours playing and chatting, with each game becoming more competitive than the last. It was a great way to wind down and relax after a busy day of sightseeing and exploring.