Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 17

Where The Wind Takes Me Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsStart of DayEnd of Day
Day 0 - Apr 21-22 2024Plane (Edmonton > Tokyo)Edmonton, CanadaTokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tue Apr 23 2024Akihabara, Sensoji, Tokyo Sky Arena, Taiwan Food FestivalTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 2 - Wed Apr 24 2024Nezu Shrine, Tokyo National MuseumTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 3 - Thu Apr 25 2024Akihabara, Ginza, Yurakucho, Bocchi the Rock! Exhibition (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 4 - Fri Apr 26 2024Craft Gyoza Fes, Niku Fes, Odaiba, Kameido Tenjin ShrineTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 5 - Sat Apr 27 2024Niconico Chokaigi 2024Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 6 - Sun Apr 28 2024M3-53Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 7 - Mon Apr 29 2024Train (Tokyo > Osaka)Tokyo, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 8 - Tue Apr 30 2024Tsurumibashi, Expo Commemorative Park, Osaka Station (with Miyu)Osaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 9 - Wed May 01 2024Kyoto, Takenobu Inari Shrine, SaiinOsaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 10 - Thu, May 02 2024Train (Osaka > Tokyo)Osaka, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 11 - Fri May 03 2024Reitaisai 21Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 12 - Sat May 04 2024Japan Jam 2024 (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 13 - Sun May 05 2024National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 14 - Mon May 06 2024Haneda International Airport, Plane (Tokyo > Taipei), Liaoning Night MarketTokyo, JapanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 15 - Tue May 07 2024Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, Ximending Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 16 - Wed May 08 2024Shilin Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 17 - Thu May 09 2024Raohe Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 18 - Fri May 10 2024Songjiang Market, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Shida Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 19 - Sat May 11 2024Dihua Street, Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 20 - Sun May 12 2024Gongguan Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 21 - Mon May 13 2024Plane (Taipei > HK), Train (HK > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelTaipei, TaiwanGuangzhou, China
Day 22 - Tue May 14 2024Zhongfu Square, Alpaca Sighting (with Kel), Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 23 - Wed May 15 2024Panyu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 24 - Thu May 16 2024Nancun Wanbo (with Kel), Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 25 - Fri May 17 2024Train (Guangzhou > Xiamen), Zhongshan RoadGuangzhou, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 26 - Sat May 18 2024Xiamen Railway StationXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 27 - Sun May 19 2024Mingfa Shopping MallXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 28 - Mon May 20 2024Train (Xiamen > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelXiamen, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 29 - Tue May 21 2024Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 30 - Wed May 22 2024Tianhe Computer Town, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 31 - Thu May 23 2024Comic City, Shangxiajiu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 32 - Fri May 24 2024Train (Guangzhou > Hong Kong)Guangzhou, ChinaHong Kong, China

Thursday, May 09 2024 (Day 17)

I didn’t go out until the afternoon again today, except for morning breakfast, since my neighbourhood has a lot of small shops suitable for breakfast exploration. In fact, I found a little buffet place called Shang Ding Taiwan Buffet while prowling for breakfast today, and I was very happy with this find.

I loaded up a little bowl with stuff, including something that looked like noodles, and then found out that I could have a rice option at the end as well. Double carbs in the morning! Okay. There was no visible price tag, so I was worried, but I didn’t see them either looking at what was actually in the box or actually weighing what was in the box, so I’m thinking they charge per box instead of per vegetable or meat dish in the box. The box and rice came out to 140 NTD, or just under 6 CAD today, which I thought was pretty decent. I brought it back to the lodging to chew on.

Because it’s a buffet with a bunch of different items, and part of this time was me figuring out the system, I will probably break my “one meal per restaurant” rule for a few days here because it’s the only breakfast buffet place in my area and I’m intrigued.

I hung around in my hotel room after that until lunch time, doing work and resting from the previous day and writing down that long and painful blog entry with over 100 pictures. I don’t want to know how many typoes are still in that one. Once I got all that done and was ready to venture out again, the morning had transitioned into the very early afternoon, and it was nearing time for lunch. I had a vague plan for the day, which was to walk east from my lodging toward a night market rather than north like I did the previous day. I did indeed do something like this in the end, walking east for about maybe 1/3 the east-west length of Taipei City rather than north-south like I did yesterday.

I didn’t find nearly as many interesting things today though, which is probably a blessing for the blog, and I didn’t take as many steps either, going down from 23,014 steps to 20,261 steps. Still over 20k though, which is always a nice benchmark to hit. But I did find a nice Malaysian store for lunch not terribly long after starting my trek east, so I had lunch there, at Face to Face Noodle House.

That dish was Prawn Pan Mee, and it was 195 MTD. I didn’t appreciate there not being a separate bowl to throw/spit my prawn shells into, and the metal tables were weird, but I did appreciate the complimentary cold water flask with some sort of flavouring in there, possibly sugar cane or something, I’m not sure, plus the ability to choose my preferred colour of spoons and chopsticks from a large pile of pastel-coloured utensils. I somehow found that to be pleasing.

Anyway, some of the more notable things that my post-meal journey east took me past include this incredible mess of a shopfront:

This random Toronto Catholic District School Board thing in the middle of Taipei City for some reason:

An old woman pulling along/driving along two carts with what looked like stuff being brought to a recycling center.

Here’s a pegasus thing outside Taipei International Airport:

I ended up walking alongside this airport for some time, but it was flanked by a wall and so it turned out to not be a particularly interesting view at all. I did pass a gate and a security guard that looked like an army soldier at some point, and she looked at me quizzically as I innocently sauntered on by.

I passed at least two separate sets of people burning paper money to their ancestors today, and tried to snap a picture of the second one. It didn’t come out particularly well, but there’s a table there with the paper money on it and a little furnace behind the table that they were feeding the money into.

This is a random park with a very weird front structure:

And a narrow alleyway between two buildings with ground floor shopfronts but that were mostly residential that tempted me to walk down it (but I resisted):

This shop was closed, but its dog owner peered out at the world from behind the door.

And I just liked the colour and architecture of this building, so it got a picture and some space on Jah‘s file server too.

This was a recycling place that I got to much later on, and I guess was where the earlier woman with two carts was probably ultimately headed to. A little ways beyond it, I also passed a woman wheeling a smaller cart with a bunch of cardboard on it toward this shop.

Gas stations actually seem really rare in Taipei City, or at least I hadn’t really remembered passing and noticing them before, but I did pass and look at this NPC Petrol Station, which unlike its North American and even Japanese and Singapore counterparts, did not seem to have an embedded shop in it. There was a gas station attendant filling up a car at one of the pumps though, so it was at least a manned gas station.

Or maybe that second level thing on the left was a shop? It didn’t seem that way to me though, and still doesn’t. Just some public washrooms and stuff.

Next up, here’s a sneaky snapshot of a traffic cop pulling over a hapless driver.

And not far on, some really funky-looking roads and overpasses that caught my fancy.

Soon after, I reached my destination for the day, which was Raohe Street Night Market, right next to Song Shan Market. It was only 4:40 pm and thus wasn’t quite evening yet when I reached the area, but it was a fairly long road with a couple of short branches protruding from the road, so I stayed here for a while to browse around. Raohe Street consisted of a row of actual shops on either side of the street, and then down the middle of the street there was a central row of temporary food stalls and carts and tables and stuff, that divided the street in two. That middle row was generally two stalls wide, each stall pointing toward the nearer side of the road relative to which side of the middle row it was on, so much so that the wide Raohe Street was basically divided into two narrower streets, and each street was flanked by a row of “real” shops and a row of food carts on either side.

Like Shilin Night Market yesterday, this place also had a very prominent embedded temple in the middle. I’m recognizing the characters 福德宮 as representing something temple-related like a Palace of Fortune now, where one prays for increased fortune. Probably.

I soon ended up on the other side of the shopping street, where there was a nice pedestrian area and a Buddhist temple.

I ate a pork pepper pie from a stall near that end of the Raohe Street:

Many of the stalls were opening for the evening but were not fully set up and ready to sell things yet, as even at that point it was only 5:20 pm or so. Some early birds were busy catching the tourists that were wandering by though. Two separate women were also working the streets and tried to accost me and strike me up in friendly conversation to sell me some sort of terrible service or product or other, but in both cases I pretended not to speak Chinese and they both immediately left me alone. So for some reason they were targetting locals instead of tourists. Or maybe mainland China tourists instead of international tourists, the latter of which there were a decent (but not majority) number.

Anyway, I then walked back down the other side of the street back to the very star, while poking my head into some of the side streets of that adjacent market. A short gallery of similar-ish pictures follows:

A couple of the more interesting things I did find include this medicinal herbal shop, next to a doctor in one of the market alleys. This sort of shop doesn’t really exist in the western world and is more often seen in popular culture like anime (like The Apothecary Diaries) or games (like Genshin Impact).

Also there was this well-behaved cat seated on a display rack outside of one of the actual roadside shops.

Turns out its name is Doctor, and it even has its own Instagram. No idea on the gender of the kitty, though.

The other snack I ended up buying from this “night” market was something apparently called Sailfish Black Wheel, or 旗魚黑輪. It kind of looked and sort of tasted like a fishcake, and it probably was made from the same sort of ingredient family (fish paste) and then dipped into various sauces. Three of these sticks also cost 60 NTD (it apparently used to cost 50, though, according to Google reports) and they were okay, not too bad, not particularly delicious or anything like that (the best fishcakes are bouncy and moist) but at least somewhat unique, and also quite filling.

While eating, I stood across from a nearby stall whose owner peeked out quizzically at me and asked if I wanted to buy anything. I shook my head. But I had to take a picture of the stall once she looked away though, since it was a very Huh moment.

For reference, the English sign reads “Every item will bring you good luck, wealth, evil spirits, and peace. Buy it quickly.” Buy it quickly without reading the fine print! The evil gods are trying to pull a quick one on passersby!

My hands got a little bit sticky from the sauce on that sailish thing, so I left for home soon after this as I had been out and walking for over 5 hours at that point. It turns out that Taipei’s bus coverage is quite good and convenient in addition to being cheap, especially since many of the bus stops have electronic signs announcing when each bus will next arrive. I took a bus to near my place and started walking home, passing my last couple of notable entries for the night, firstly this really long queue of people waiting for some sort of bao-like pastry (though I also see some yummy-looking Yu Char Kway in a large container there!):

And this small roller skate park next to a busy major road that kids were playing around in at 7:30 pm at night:

I also finally bought and brought home a hard-boiled tea egg from the local 7-Eleven to try, and well, it tasted like hard-boiled egg with a very faint tea-infused taste. Not really though. Basically just a hard-boiled egg.

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