pc: Desmond Centro and David Chiou
Fuxing / Ippudo
Zara Knitted Sweater / Cashmere Duster by Calypso St. Barth / Chevalier Jacket from Aritzia San Francisco / Max and Co. Cropped Sleeve Leather Jacket / Pants by a Taiwanese Designer / Loafers by Kurt Geiger
This is where our shopping adventures REALLY got started. We discovered tons of alley ways filled with little boutiques, which was definitely a gold mine! We somehow spent an hour in the tiniest store, and it was then we knew that there was more greatness to come! We ditched the boys and met for dinner later at the famous ramen spot, Ippudo. I really enjoyed it when I had it for the first time in NY, but was surprisingly not in the mood for ramen. Instead I opted for a beer and tofu stew with crunchy ramen noodles. It definitely HIT THE SPOT!
Jacket by Clothpoint a Taiwanese Designer / Fighting Eel Pant Angle / Zara Beanie / Top Shop Boots
It was raining particularly hard this day, but we knew we had no time to lose and traveled to a small town up north near the water. I'm sure the view would've been beautiful if there wasn't so much fog in the sky, but it was a wonderful experience nonetheless. We walked along the touristy streets where I found an amazing hat store! Five hats later, I was walking out of there like a champ!
Maokong / Xiemending / Fourplay
Lucky for us it wasn't raining too much this day, which was perfect to ride the gondolas. It was a beautiful and scenic ride up into the mountains, with a stop at a small town up top. We got off and had some stinky tofu, which I absolutely loved!
A couple days before, I had my friend David stop a girl to see where she got her shoes from. After what seemed like a confusing conversation, we got the name of the store and hunted it down that afternoon. We ended up in a mini version of Shibuya filled with bright lights, trendy kids, and tons of shopping buildings. This had to be good. After finally stumbling upon it, let me just say it was hands down the best shopping experience (minus the customer service) of my life! An underground boutique with the coolest bags, shoes, and clothes that I only dreamed of being able to find. What made it even better was most of the merchandise was only around $20-$30! It was the jackpot of jackpots. I may or may not have been there for about 2 hours leaving with 3 pairs of shoes and 4 pairs of pants. And I may or may not have gone back the next day to purchase 3 bags and the same pants in a different color because they're made for little people like me!
We spent our last night starting at a seafood night market for dinner. We filled our tummies with grilled seasoned scallops, grilled oysters and mussel, and my favorite oyster vermicelli. I could die happy :). We knew we had to party a little bit before we left, so we went to a bar called Fourplay for drinks as a recommendation by my local friend Ayaka. Known for their inventive drink styles, we decided to try their three part drink, " The Drug Series." Absinthe based shots created to mock certain drugs, was definitely one of the most innovative drinks I've ever seen. Good thing there were 4 of us to finish it all, because it was definitely a rough ride!
VALENTINE'S DAY / BYEBYE
Adidas Hoodie / Vintage Dragon Jacket / Hat from the Taiwanese Hat Store in Tamsui / Fighting Eel Pant Alex
I was lucky enough to have 2 Valentine's Days this year, and I got to start the first by waking up to a bowl of my favorite oyster vermicelli for breakfast! Even though I had it about 10 times on the trip, I was more than happy and grateful! But I was also incredibly sad to leave the rainy country of Taipei. Even though it rained almost every single day, I had some of the best experiences of my life in this truly amazing city. We all felt so surprisingly welcomed and comfortable, being that for most of us it was our first time. The people were so friendly, always willing to give us directions and even suggestions that only locals went to. Every single moment was such a blast, and I can't wait to go back again when it's beautiful and sunny! Thank you Taiwan for your delicious cuisine, underground crosswalks (so we didn't have to wait in the rain), convenient and clean rail system, for being so wi-fi friendly (no Instagram!?), and leading me to the best shopping boutiques of my life.
I'll see you again soon.