This weekend was a long weekend, so I took the opportunity to travel to Yangmingshan, the closest Taiwanese National Park to Taipei. Isabelle and I were lucky enough to catch the peak of the Calla lily blooms, which were absolutely gorgeous!
Afterward, we stopped at a local pottery shop called Cloud Forest Collective. They hold weekly workshops where you can make your own pottery, and they will fire it for you. I wish we had known about it sooner! The studio is located at the base of Yangmingshan, and they often invite skilled artists from all over the world to teach and study for a month.
The next day, my friend and I were waiting for our train at Taipei Main Station and ended up walking around the Taipei Wholesale District, which has a lot of specialty shops with wholesale goods. My favorites are the ones that sell flowers and other decorations.
Suddenly, it started pouring! We looked for shelter and tried to wait out the rain, but eventually had to make a run to the nearest Taipei City Mall entrance.
After we got to Taichung, we went straight to the Taichung Cultural Heritage Park, where there was a local market going on! We also walked around and took pictures with some of the fun art they have around the park.
Afterward, we headed to Animation Alley, a cute little alley where local artists fill the walls with murals of popular animated shows and movies! I think my favorites were Totoro and Winnie the Pooh, but they also had a lot of anime characters all around the alley! We ended our day at this cute little bakery with some tea and a lemon tart and a blueberry tart. I love their courtyard, and they have a great atmosphere inside too.
On Sunday, we went surfing at Honeymoon Bay! The weather was perfect, and we caught some pretty decent waves. The beach was not crowded at all, especially because this was in the middle of the midterm season for many Taiwanese college students.
After school today, we went to Ximending, a trendy and popular shopping district with young people. All over Ximending are these open shops filled with claw machines and nothing else. Prizes range from packs of ramen to cute little stuffed animals!
We stopped by the Tianhou Temple, also known as the Ximending Mazu Temple. Mazu is a Chinese sea goddess and Taiwan’s most prominent female deity! The temple is gorgeous, and every detail is so ornate.