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On my first full day in Taiwan, Wally showed me around his childhood neighbourhood and previous schools. We had breakfast across from his primary school which had been designed to look like a bird (cool concept). We shared some toast with chocolate spread, a dish with eggs, corn and tuna, and had a few other things for breakfast. I also tried some peanut rice milk, which was delicious!
Nearby, we strolled along Yingge Ceramics Street, located south of Taipei City. Yingge is famous for its pottery and ceramics which is has been crafting for over 200 years. The main street has been rebuilt and looks very modern but still has traditional touches.
Afterwards, we visited Longshan Temple, the most revered Buddhist temple in Taiwan. It was build 1738 and has been reconstructed several times due to damage during World War II and natural disasters. When I arrived, I was surprised to see so many locals inside. Wally and I lit some incense sticks and bowed respectively while taking in the temple. The structure has beautiful hand-drawn painting work and stunning dragon decorations atop the roof tiles. Outside the temple lies a pretty waterfall. I definitely recommend visiting.
In the afternoon, we walked around Ximending, a popular neighbourhood and shopping area in downtown Taipei. It is very pedestrian friendly and is a source of Taiwan’s fashion and subculture. It has also been called the “Harajuku of Taipei” and the “Shibuya of Taipei”. We ducked into a theatre there to watch the movie “Dangal”, an Indian film about female wrestlers making it all the way to the Olympics. It was very long but well worth a watch.
For dinner we went to the “Modern Toilet Restaurant”, in the middle of downtown Taipei. Its novelty really got to me, so I had to go. Everything is toilet themed. The seats are toilets, the menu is in the shape of a toilet bowl, the meals are served in a toilet, and the menu has clever toilet references!