Written by Victoria Hans, (Western Kentucky University) Student Correspondent CET Taiwan, Spring 2019 On one of the first days of orientation week, our group went to Maokong, which is a village in Taipei that is on top of a mountain which is known for its tea. We took a twenty-minute gondola ride up to the top; on the way down our gondola had a glass floor, so you could see everything directly below you. Before leaving Maokong, our academic director recommended us to try the green tea ice cream. Cats were also a popular symbol in the village, so each ice cream came with a cat-shaped cookie. Located near our apartment is a noodle shop that sells a variety of noodle dishes. Noodle shops are very popular in Taiwan and can be found easily. The owners at this restaurant are very friendly and their noodles dishes are well liked by my roommates and myself. As part of one of the Taiwanese roommate activities, we went to Guandu Temple. Pictured here is the entrance to the temple with locals burning incense and praying. Located in the main entrance hall of the temple, there were many tables with offerings of food and flowers on them, along with red lanterns hanging overhead. The icons were placed in the back of the room, and locals would pray over incense to them, asking for their blessings. Following the stairs up through the temple, we came to a rooftop that overlooked the lower portion of the temple. The ceilings had very intricate designs, along with equally as detailed hanging lanterns. For dinner one night, our group decided to explore different food options in the Songshan district. Pictured here is a spring roll with shrimp, cucumber, and rice noodles I purchased at a Thai restaurant. Our group also went and explored Tamsui, which is a sea-side district at the northern tip of Taiwan. While walking along the streets of the district, we saw gorgeous scenery of the Tamsui River and mountains. Also located in Tamsui is Fort San Domingo, which was originally built by the Spanish empire. Inside the fort there was European-styled furniture. As part of the CET program, we took part in a Night Market tour and were able to try much of the popular local cuisine. According to our guide, “stinky tofu” is a must-try when coming to Taiwan. “Stinky tofu” is fermented tofu served over sweet soy sauce and topped with pickled cabbage on the side.