Taiwan Part 2: visor-donning beer waitresses, taxi touring, and nature.

Since we last left off, I was at Longshan Temple. Next, we headed over to Zongxia Fuxing station area to explore the Taiwanese-style izakayas there. If you aren’t familiar with izakayas, they are akin to Korean sul-jibs in that they are essentially little alcohol joints that serve food to suit the drinks you’re having.

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Taiwan is an island, and being surrounded by the sea means fresh, succulent seafood.

One interesting tidbit about Taiwanese izakayas is that there will be a young woman (or number of women depending on the size of the establishment) serving only exclusively beer. She will be dressed in a shirt and mini skirt with Taiwan beer logos pasted all over them, complete with a matching visor hat straight from the 80s. Lovely. If you ask for a beer, she will sashay over with the drinks, open them, and pour them for you. Very interesting.

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DSC_0339The dishes served here are not flashy; very simple cooking techniques showcasing fresh ingredients.

(3)DSC_0341Fresh shrimp sautéed with garlic and scallions.

(4)DSC_0342Fresh sashimi.

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Ask for an english menu, and you will find delightful engrish translations. “Explodes the oysters to be crisp.”

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Bite-sized battered squid with peanuts and scallions thrown in. Hint of Sichuan pepper action.

After having a good couple of drinks poured by the beer lady, we called it a night and got up nice and early the next morning for a taxi tour.

Taiwan Taxi Tours
Getting around Taipei is incredibly easy; the city is well-equipped with extensive bus/metro lines. However, traveling to destinations located towards the outskirts of Taipei are a bit more difficult. Going to must-see places like Jiufen, Yehliu Geopark, or Shifen in one day using public transportation would be nearly impossible.
Here’s where taxi tours come in handy. Many taxi tour services are available and can be booked in advance through websites or even on the day of by hailing a taxi with “taxi tour” stickers on it. Many taxi tours will have organised tours that will take you to explore the outskirts of Taipei in just a day, rather comfortably might I add.

Our taxi tour began with our driver for the day pulling up right in front of our lodging.
Note: If you want to be able to communicate with your driver in English, I would recommend booking a tour before leaving for Taiwan. Many taxis in Taipei will offer taxi tours, but many of the drivers will not be English speakers. Those that speak English are pretty rare from my experience.  Thankfully, I was able to speak in broken Mandarin with our driver for the day and it was just enough to communicate.

All in all, a taxi tour for 2-4 people around four locations (Yehliu, Shifen, Jinguashi, and Jiufen) will cost around 3,500 to 4,000 Taiwan dollars and will take all day (9am-5pm). Our taxi driver was very friendly and even brought us drinks/snacks like bubble tea, strawberries, and bell apples. If you are interested in booking English tours, you can contact Jerry at jerrytaxiwei (Kakao ID).

The following photographs were taken near Yehliu Geopark.

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(14)DSC_0390Bell apples have a similar texture to a star fruit, almost cucumber-like; very juicy. Ripe bell apples will be very sweet. The bottom of the fruit has a spongy bit that doesn’t really taste like anything so can be cut out.

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(19)DSC_0433ㄴPainting on paper lanterns that get released into the sky.

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And that wraps up the second part of my adventures in Taiwan, a trip I took approximately one year ago hahaha. Stay tuned for part 3.

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