So if you didn't catch the last couple of posts, we're currently on a brand new journey to Taiwan! This was back at the end of 2016 and was the second new year we spent overseas together! It was also my first time visiting Taiwan and I was really excited so here we go!
Last week, we got to take a ride in Taiwan's high speed train (aka their version of shinkansen/bullet train) as we traveled down from Taipei to Taichung!
We were gonna be staying in Taichung for a couple days and we spent the day exploring our neighbourhood night market and the department store, where we found this really awesome-looking bookstore hidden at the top! I thought the architecture looked really unique and aesthetically pleasing.
Anyway, today we'll be exploring more of the area around our apartment, visiting the nearby Taichung Park and more night markets! Here we go!
31 December 2016. Saturday.
It was New Years' Eve! And from our experience in Japan last time, we figured a lot of shops wouldn't be open late or even at all, so we decided to just hang around our area for today.
But first, a late lunch!
There was a cozy little coffeeshop right around the corner from our apartment so we decided to try it out. I was kinda cold so I wanted something to warm me up so we bought some fried rice, fried tofu and some warm milk tea.
I remember it tasting pretty good! I mean, it's not that hard to make fried rice and fried tofu but it was still satisfying all the same. But I remember the milk tea being really good! I remember drinking most of it and I was really warm after finishing it.
So after a very satisfying meal, we headed to the park for a nice leisurely walk. And what perfect weather to take a walk in a humongous park.
And I'm not even exaggerating; Taichung Park spans over 20 hectares of land! It is the oldest park in Taichung, designed and opened by the Japanese in 1903 when the were still in control of Taiwan. Inside the park is the lovely Lake Heart Pavilion, which was formed from the original wetlands in the area. Adjacent to the lake are two pavilions which were built to commemorate the establishment of the Taichung railway. (Cr: Taiwaneverything)
This goat sculpture is visible from our apartment window so it was a good landmark to start from.
It was perfect picnic weather (slightly sunny and warm) so we saw quite a few people out in the park sitting on blankets, eating and chatting.
It was nice to just take a chill walk on the last day of the year. We figured everywhere we went would be pretty crowded so we decided against going anywhere further. Thankfully this park is huge and spacious.
Unfortunately, I think some parts of the park might have been blocked off while we were there. They might have been undergoing some renovations or something, so there wasn't much we could explore.
But we did manage to see a small but beautiful waterfall!
I'm not sure why there's a 5 hour gap in between this picture and the next, but I guess we explored more of the park and saw some nice scenery and then made our way back to Yizhong street night market. But I don't remember seeing the lake or the pavilions or I would've definitely photographed them, so either it was under renovations or we just didn't walk by that side of the park. How unfortunate.
Anyway, we were getting hungry since we only had a little bit of rice and tofu for lunch so we went to the night market to get more snacks!
And the first thing we got was xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings) from this stall!
We also bought this fried milk stick because I was really curious. And it tastes pretty much like what you'd think. A tad sweet though iirc.
Then we went around to the open-air concert area and there was a whole crowd of people there, celebrating the end of the year I suppose.
The overhead lights definitely contributed to the celebratory vibe, and were so pretty!
We were hoping to get a seat here so we could eat our snacks but alas, all the seats were taken.
So after we finished our snacks we headed towards the mall area in search of more food and a resting place.
But not before stopping for a huge cup of milk tea!
I think this bubble tea was pretty alright, but I definitely preferred the warm milk tea we had for lunch better.
But boy we were right to avoid malls today, there was a long ass line in front of the department store right near us!
We found this chicken shop that smelled really good and it thankfully had 2 floors and was pretty empty so we decided to give it a try.
We ordered a few pieces of their signature chicken and a couple of mozzarella sticks.
It smelled so good! And it was actually really tasty! I think we didn't realise it was korean fried chicken until we sat down since everything else was in English.
I remember the chicken being really hot so we actually had to wait a bit to try it because it was too hot to hold. The batter made the chicken super crispy but it wasn't too much that it was dry. The meat was also nice and juicy. And the mozzarella sticks were yummy too!
I was really stuffed by the time we finished eating, so we went back towards the night market to walk off and digest.
And there was quite a crowd here too. But thankfully not as crazy as the one in front of the mall.
We weren't craving any more snacks having just eaten, so we just walked around the market and came to a clearing with a crowd watching something. Turns out there were street performers!
So we hung around watching them dance and do some magic. It was actually pretty cool!
After about 20 minutes or so, we went back to walking and saw these 2 cuties! They looked absolutely adorable in their little outfits!
It was just 1 minute from midnight, then in the middle of the night market, there were a bunch of people setting off fireworks so we went to take a look.
It was really smoky so we didn't want to get too close, but it was still pretty.
And we stood there watching the fireworks until it was next year, literally!
Truly an explosive end of the year.
Thanks for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!
Check out my previous post in this series!