Art and culture@National Palace Museum and Raohe Night Market, Taipei

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Since we got back to Taipei, apart from the fun-filled foodie ventures, we decided to do something touristy. We hopped on the MRT, changed buses and finally got to the National Palace Museum, which has a permanent collection of more than 600,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts, making it one of the largest collectors in the world.

I saw some really amazing artifacts, paintings and crafts made of stone, wood and bones. The skill, talent, and effort behind some of these treasured artifacts baffled me. So well crafted, so much precision, and depth, and having done all these hundreds and thousands of years back.

One of the most memorable moments was having to key in my surname, Chuah and having a giant display screen showing me the evolution of the word of my surname all the way to its first origin, which looked like Sumerian to me. I was also able to view how the Chuah tribe migrated around China over the centuries to its first origin, where historical artifacts related to Chuah was found.

Made me think of the journey of Joktan and his sons, after departing from the Tower of Babel, originally Hebrews, but crossed over to the east, which I believe came to Asia.

We spent about an hour plus here, not because we got bored, but there were just too many tourists, especially the ones from China which really made the entire place noisy like a market. My eardrums couldn’t take the noise after a while, and the packed condition got me a little agitated.

Alright, back to foodieventure !
We got a little lost, hopping on the wrong bus, and it was also peak traffic at that time, hence it took us a while to finally arrive at Raohe Night Market.

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While walking towards the direction of Raohe, we stumbled upon a branch of the famous “Ru Rou Farn”, by Formosa Chang. Oh well, share a tiny bowl for foodie tasting and appetizer!

The Ru Rou Fan was pretty much, minced pork over rice, the only difference was that the rice portion was small and the minced pork had a generous layer of fat. Personally, it was not really fantastic, and I rather have my mom’s home cooked stewed pork than this. Oh well, at least I striked off one famous foodie place!

Alright, to Raohe it is!

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As we arrived at the main entrance of the night market, my foodie eyes saw this long queue. Out of curiousity, we just queued blindly and decided to have the excitement of ordering something we don’t know what we were queuing up for when the queue reached us.

I snapped this photo as I raised both my arms up high, above the heads of all the people queuing ahead of us.

Wow, an entire gigantic pot of minced pork. Amazing!

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These fluffy circular shaped buns were made by these two ladies, with hands moving so swift they could be sisters of Flash. Chopsticks. Pork. Spring onions. Wrap. Ready. These steps were repeated in the matter of seconds. 

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Once the buns were nicely filled with the pork and spring onion as fillings, off they go into this giant furnace. Hey, it really looked like the roti naan furnace you see at the mamak back at home. Haha.

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As you were queuing, you see the steam puffing up into the air, the workers systematically formed their bun production line, you can’t help but yearn to get hold of one bun!

So what’s the verdict after a good 15 minute wait for this? It cost about RM5.

The minced pork was overly peppery, killing off the porky taste, just a little over. The bun layer was quite good I gotta say. Crunchy and sweet. All in all, it was an OK-bun for me.

The night market was bigger than the famous Shilin in terms of everything in my opinion: more variety of food, and not to mention tasty as well, more locals less tourists, and bigger in terms of space too. I would want to come back to Raohe on my next Taipei trip!

Address:
National Palace Museum
No. 221, Section 2,
Zhishan Rd, Shilin District,
Taipei City, Taiwan 111
Tel:+886 2 2881 2021
Website: http://www.npm.gov.tw/

Formosa Chang
No. 161號, Yanping S Rd
Zhongzheng District, Taipei

Raohe Street Night Market(饒河街觀光夜市)
North end of Kee Lung Road, Taipei, Taiwan

Railway track cycling adventures@foodie cycling trip, Tai Tung

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After sashimi session, we continued our cycling journey. If only we cycled the day before when the sky was cloudy. It was bright and blue that day. Skin….almost….cooked.

Bus loads of tourists came in and snapped photos of the rocky beach and sea. I know by taking the bus, joining the tour plans, we may miss a lot of adventure, but the thought of sitting down in an air-conditioned vehicle was truly tempting!

Okay. It’s alright. Let the spirit of adventure keep burning on! We cycled for another good 30 minutes ahead, saw some nice views of the sea before we decided to turn back. The journey cycling back was…phew…another set of adventure, particularly aiming at the sun burnt aspect. By 11am, the sun was shining at its best. I was sweating profusely, under the constant rays of light. The exposed areas of my arms and legs were starting to turn red.

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Thank goodness after paddling for 20 minutes under direct sunlight, we reached back to the main part of Fu Gang and the moment we were able to see the green Seven Eleven logo, we dashed in to get some air-conditioning and rest for the weary legs.

Then, there was this super duper cute cow banner plastered on the wall, and the cute animated cow was next to a delicious looking animated ice cream cone.

My eyes sparkled through my dripping sweat. Eye-su krim-mu hana juseyo! This milk based sundae was extremely delicious! Smooth, sweet, and generously portioned!

I was anxiously eating it, so much so, I grew careless and dropped the ice cream cone on the ground. (Facepalm). There goes RM12, and I haven’t even reached half way through enjoying my sundae cone. Sniffs.

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After resting for a good 20 minutes, I rejuvenated myself with a bottle of cold tea, and we resumed our journey back to the city. The route was longer and at that time, all I wanted to do was…take a cab and ditch the bicycle. Thankfully, we successfully persevered and after nearly an hour of cycling, we shouted for joy upon our first sight of shophouses.

Before we cycled any further, we pit stopped at MCD to replenish our energy. The old railway track cycling/walking trail was just next to MCD. This was the gorgeous view of my railway track cycling path. Gorgeous eh?

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The cost of MCD was equally as expensive as the cost of a meal back home. This was probably the only country next closest to Malaysia in terms of food quality. Bleh! No good!

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After a crappy meal at MCD, we decided to quickly paddle home and eat somewhere nearby Star 101.

From the moment I saw the trail’s starting point, I had no regrets all the way. The view I got at each major railway track route was fantastic. You would be amazed how beautiful it was cycling behind the backyard of houses, paddy fields, parks, bridges.

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I took a short break just to breathe in the fresh air and watch the wind blew through the paddies. This was one of the most peaceful moments felt after an adrenaline rush cycling trip in the morning.

Enough of cycling. Once we reached back, it was around 4pm.
All I did was took a long shower, cleaned up, napped till 10pm and ordered fried chicken wings for supper and ate in bed while watching old films before resuming my nap.

So this was how sun stroke feels like. Haha.

Alright, now let’s head back to the city!