Taiwan Day 1: Museum of Contemporary Art, Huashan 1914 Creative Park & Elephant Mountain
When we originally planned to travel last November, we were all set for Seoul, Korea. So when we changed plans and decided to fly to Taipei, we relied on friends’ recommendations and quick Google searches to draft our Taipei Itinerary.
Here’s our original Taipei Day 1 Itinerary:
4:00 AM Flight from Manila
6:00 AM Arrival in Taipei
7:00 AM Immigration, Exchange Money, Buy SIM
9:00 AM Check-in
11:00 AM BRUNCH
12:00 PM Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Taipei
2:00 PM Highest Starbucks (Taipei 101) – you need to make a reservation
3:30 PM Elephant Mountain
7:00 PM Rainbow Bridge Taipei
8:00 PM Raohe Street Night Market
10:00 PM HOTEL
As expected, we didn’t get to follow the original itinerary – blame the beautiful hotel, our little adventure figuring out the ways around the MRT system and our sleepy selves wandering the streets of Taipei.
Going around Taipei is easier with Easy Card. Buy one and load 100 NTS (and reload as needed). You simply tap to pay for MRT and bus rides. Google Maps app is your best friend too. MRT and buses in Taipei offer Free WIFI.
It took us 10 minutes and 1 wrong platform to better understand how the MRT system in Taipei works. The colorful and fun art in every MRT station kept us entertained though.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA)
When we got to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the receptionist told us that there was no entrance fee for that day – as it appeared, the museum was under construction and new art work were being installed for the next exhibit. Boo. I suggest you guys check the schedule before visiting.
We tried to look for alternative places to visit. Out of excitement to explore Taipei, we totally forgot to call the Starbucks at the Taipei 101 to make a reservation. We decided to go to Huashan 1914 Creative Park.
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park is a former sake and ginseng winery which was abandoned and later on converted into a park where cultural activities and art exhibits are held. It is one of my favorite places in Taipei. There are so many nice spots for photos – old, rustic and grunge-y.
I wish we had more time to explore the place but we had to catch the sunset at the Elephant Mountain.
The Elephant Mountain, also known as the Xiangshan Hiking Trail offers a great view of Taipei 101 and the whole city of Taipei. They say, it is best to climb in the late afternoon to catch the sunset.
Going to the entrance of the Elephant Mountain is already a hike in itself. I was already tired and restless. I wanted to tell Rodel to just drag me up there. I was seriously not prepared for this kind of trek (with my #ootd and fluffy slippers!). In my defense, I was up for more than 24 hours and I didn’t get enough water that day.
They say it would only take 30 minutes to go up the top. Rodel was trying to be a sweetheart, going up at my pace and waiting for me at every possible stop. When we reached the midpoint, we took several photos.. He asked if I wanted to continue, I thought we were already there, so I might as well go.
Once again, I learned new things about myself – if I really want something, I just don’t give up.
It was funny that we never realized that we already reached the top. I stopped taking photos and appreciate the view.
It was amazing to be standing up there. I let the lights blind me once more.
I wanted to have a photo in the famous spot – on top of that big boulder of rock. But I realized that I was already feeling weak and I was afraid that my knees would fail me. I don’t want accidents on our first day.
We dismissed the night market and had dinner at the hotel instead.
Check our photos #rurointaipei #ruthgoestotaiwan on Instagram.
Day 1 Taiwan museum of contemporary art, huashan 1914 creative park & elephant mountain
Day 3 Taiwan: jiufen at night + getting lost to find the old tea house
Where we stayed in Taiwan: Grand Hyatt Hotel Taipei