Over the holidays my mom, sister, and I took a trip to Taiwan for the first time in ages. My mom went about nine years ago but my sister and I hadn’t been since we were five and nine years old. My mom’s entire side of the family still lives there so it was a bit strange to see everyone again, especially now that two of my cousins have had (adorable) babies.

We mostly stayed in Taichung at my aunt’s house and we took two trips, one to Taipei and Jiufen and that area, and another to Tainan. There was a ton of shopping and I pretty much ate everything in sight. And also a cat village and lots of indoor and outdoor markets.

Brushing up on my Mandarin was also an adventure! Normally when I speak to my mom, if there’s a word I don’t know I just stick in the English word. It’s much harder to do that when you’re speaking to relatives who only know a few English words here and there!

I also posted a bunch of photos on Instagram while we were there. These are mostly ones I pulled from my camera.

Taiwan tripA giant Costco-sized maze of fabric on the second floor of a large building in Taipei.

Taiwan trip
Pretty sure this should say “This way lives an overwhelming amount of fabric.”

Taiwan trip
We went to Jiufen, which was the inspiration for Spirited Away! It was super crowded with lots of lanterns and shops. Also food.

Taiwan trip

Taiwan trip

Taiwan trip

Taiwan trip

Taiwan tripWe stayed at a shmancy hotel with hot springs outside and two in every hotel room. It was difficult to leave.

Taiwan tripCAT VILLAGE.

Taiwan tripThey’re just sitting around waited to be petted.

Taiwan tripAnd there’s lots of little shops selling cat-related things. (This one’s where I got my tights!)

Taiwan trip

Taiwan trip

Taiwan tripWe did a lantern! Each color represents you can wish for (health, success, love, etc.) and then you draw/write on it and they light a fire under it and it flies away .

Taiwan trip

Taiwan trip

Taiwan trip

Taiwan tripWe went to a town in Tainan called Anping, which happens to be my sister’s name and mine put together. Somehow no one realized this until my sister and I kept noticing our names written everywhere.

Taiwan tripEven the disposable cutlery is adorable.

Taiwan tripBugs at a night market. I did not try these.

Taiwan tripIMG_5498My cousin dug out a photo from when we were tiny. We used to talk about living on farms next door to each other and having a cat family together. 

Taiwan tripAn Asian-style photoshoot may have happened. (My hair was HUGE.)

Taiwan tripThe most intensely painful massage happened here. The foot soaking/shoulder rub was ok but then they took us upstairs and I wanted to die. Afterward I felt amazing but I still can’t believe how painful that was.

Taiwan tripA market near my grandparents’ house. 

Taiwan tripThe outdoor market-ness on my grandparents’ street! I used to wander around here with my cousin when we were little and we’d go buy Taiwanese hot dogs on a stick (kind of like corndogs but different). Eighteen years later it was still somehow exactly how I’d remembered it.

tl;dr – I ate my way through Taiwan and bought all the things.

11 thoughts on “Taiwan”

  1. Ping, thanks for sharing a bit of your history/heritage. That’s incredible that you know Mandarin and I’m assuming are from Taiwan? It’s interesting to see the cats roaming around the city – a real eye opener to the difference in cultures. It looks like you had a great time!

    1. Thanks Maddie! My mom grew up there and my dad studied abroad there, which is how they met. I was born in the US but we moved back to Asia until I started kindergarten so it was a huge part of my life when I was little. :]

  2. I want to thank you for posting all the lovely pictures of you and your family with the wonderful photos of your homeland. The images are just beautiful and tell so much of the love and affection your family shares. I am privileged to view your vacation!

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing such an interesting post! I love finding out about people’s heritage. Taiwan looks amazing…and I’m intrigued by the cat village!

    1. They were SO CUTE. And the fact that it existed and everyone was just like “yeah, there’re cats and shops only selling cat things” was quite validating for my crazy cat(less)-lady self.

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