My friend Stephanie is currently across the ocean. Since August, she’s been living in Tainan, Taiwan and taking classes at a university there. A couple months ago, my other friend Isha and I made the snap decision to buy the cheapest round trip plane tickets we could find to Taiwan and back.
Stephanie, Isha, and I have been an inseparable bunch since our senior year of high school; last summer, when Isha started classes, Steph and I paid her a visit at her school across the bridge from us right after she moved in. Since my quarter system school starts later than semester schools, I also adventured up to Portland to visit Steph, where she attends college. This past spring, the two of them stayed with me for a few days down in San Diego. We went from train rides across the Bay Area to flights across the Pacific Ocean, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Here are some snapshots from the first part of the visit, when we stayed in Tainan. Stay tuned for more coming from our time in Taipei.
a few highlights.
Dumplings & egg tarts just down the street
Tainan is filled to the brim with incredible food, and we ate waaay too many (actually, it was a perfectly ridiculous amount) of dumplings and egg tarts from a couple different shops across the street from where we stayed. Big shoutout to the lovely humans who helped Isha and me order food in our extremely broken Mandarin.
Hayashi Department Store
Five floors tall with a truly adorable elevator, Hayashi was a treasure trove of (surprise, surprise) more cute things as well as a little insight into the history of department stores in Taiwan.
We visited the Tree House, which had a gargantuan banyan tree (or several– no one is entirely sure whether the branches are all of the same genetic individual or not!) growing through the framework of a former warehouse. We also visited the Tianhou Temple, which is a temple to the sea goddess Matsu.
Garden Night Market
Predictably, we stuffed our faces with even more food at this night market. Favorites were scallion pancakes and sweet potato balls.
9×9 Stationary Store, the recurring love of our lives (pictures not available because we were too busy screaming)
Stickers, washi tapes, and postcards so cute I thought I was going to pass out (I didn’t believe Steph when she predicted exactly that beforehand). We spent such an obscene amount of time in this store that I think it’s worth a special mention.
Thanks for an incredible stay, Tainan.
More from Taipei to come soon!