Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Day in Keelung

Inspired by Anthony Bourdain's episode of Layover Taipei (EXCELLENT PORTRAYAL OF THE FOOD CULTURE), Boyfriend and I decided over breakfast yesterday morning to make a day trip out to Keelung to explore. Keelung is a port city of located in Northern Taiwan, only a 50 minute train ride from Taipei Main Station but a completely different feel. As soon as we got off the train and walked a few minutes over to the waterfront, it felt exactly like Seattle. The air was fresh and salty-I could see cargo ships everywhere as we sat on by the docks to map out what we wanted to do. As almost always, the weather was beautiful.

Since we were only there for the day, we stayed around East Keelung. Downtown is small, a few main streets with lots of exciting dark alleys and the famous MiaoKou Night Market. We walked through the markets and were surprised that lots of stands were already open, and they all had English signs showing what kinds of cuisine were being served. We wandered through some back streets and up a mountain looking for the ZhongZheng Park, which was supposed to have a birds eye view of the city. It was just a random destination, and we enjoyed the journey there. Oh, what fun it is to just go somewhere new to see what you can see! (Actually, as I attached that link I realized we never made it there! I never saw that statue!!!! Oh well, we were SOMEwhere!)

After we were satisfied with our pictures, we embarked back down to the city center and took Bus 101 to Helping (Hoping) Island, less than half an hour up further north to see these cool rock formations I've been wanting to check out for years! Unfortunately, as soon as we stepped off the bus the temperature seemed to have dropped dramatically and I was freezing! If you come to Keelung, bring a jacket!! I could feel the misty/stickiness of the ocean. It's a small little park with a pathway around these rocky shores, and people can walk down to take pictures of these crazy twisted rock formations. 

Back downtown, we combed through MiaoKou Night Market, overwhelmed with the variety of food everywhere. I have been to a lot of night markets, but this one was just insane. Everything I've ever had at a night market was there, and more. Actually at one point I felt nauseous from all commotion and overload of mixed smells. I wish we had taken a picture of the crap load of food Boyfriend and I brought on the train with us to have on the way home. On that day, we had salad rolls, gua bao, fish tempura, oyster omelette, stone cooked corn, wild boar meat, fried crab, starchy stuff I don't even know, egg tart, ginger hot chocolate, etc.

Anyway, like Boyfriend said, it was an excellent way to prepare our appetites for our upcoming holiday-THAILAND!

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