Saturday, November 14, 2015

a perfect Taipei weekend

Fair warning: This is not your typical 48 hours in a city getaway guide. In fact, it's kinda the exact opposite. It's the how-to-not-see-anything-of-Taipei-in-48-hours guide.

Because I kinda dislike Taipei. 

Every time I visit the capital, I am so glad that I don't live there. Something about the city just rubs me the wrong way. The MRT (metro) is a huge part of it, coupled with the millions of people who live in the city who all seem to have a very different idea than I do about the value of personal space.

After visiting the city for the day or weekend, when I finally make it back to home to Hsinchu, I always feel a little shattered inside, kind of like I need to go hide in my dark apartment for a while, and I always want to kiss my scooter for the freedom of movement it gives me without having to rub shoulders (and sometimes other body parts) with strangers. 

Usually, we go to Taipei to explore. I bring my camera and take hundreds of pictures. Sometimes we end up at the zoo, some temple, or up in the mountains or along the coast. This time, all we wanted to do was relax and celebrate surviving our first quarter as a married teaching couple. You guys, I didn't even bring my camera to Taipei this time. That's how serious I was about doing nothing and seeing nothing.

So a huge part of our perfect weekend in Taipei was limiting the amount of time we were actually out and about in the city.

We had the great idea of staying at the Park Taipei Hotel for the weekend. That's where we stayed for my birthday weekend when we explored Jiufen. We loved the hotel; they upgraded us to a beautiful room with a perfect view of Taipei 101. I thought it was because it was my birthday or something, but then they did it again this time! They upgraded us from the nice room we paid for to their nicest suite on the top floor of the hotel that came with a message chair and Jacuzzi that had a TV. Good going guys, we are customers for life now (or, for the duration of our time in Taiwan at least).

Sadly, we did have to leave our suite to hunt and gather. Last spring, for my birthday, a huge reason we chose the Park Taipei Hotel was due to its strategic location next to one of our favorite places in all of the city: Burger & Co. This American style burger joint is only one stop away from the hotel, and their crispy bacon and french fries fried in truffle oil are more than worth 2 minutes of misery on the MRT. This is no joke; Burger & Co has the best cheeseburger in the entire country, and besides The Outback Steakhouse in Hsinchu, it is the only place we can get a true American burger.

And I guess some of you may think it is weird that a cheeseburger is so important to me, but then I would guess that you have never been an expat in Asia, or you're a vegetarian, or you are one of those weirdos who only eat healthy food.

And then there was all the other heavenly food we consumed!

That pesto panini I ate for dinner at Mia Cucina came with the huge perk of seeing a good friend, so it was worth the 9 stops on the MRT it took to get there from the hotel, even though we did it during rush hour.

Then there was the ramen we ate before we left, which was divine.
Oh, and the donuts we got at the main metro station before heading back to Hsinchu. Seriously, the only real donuts in all of Taiwan come from Taipei.

So what was so perfect about our Taipei weekend? I will recap for you:
  • Watching Thor while taking a bubble bath
  • 4 hour leg massages in the chair 
  • A cheeseburger
  • A donut
  • A panini
  • A bowl of ramen
  • Seeing a good friend
  • The king size & fluffy bed
  • The lush bathrobe 
  • The view of Taipei 101
So, basically, not one thing we did was authentically Taiwanese or special to Taipei, but give me a break! I think I get a pretty authentic Taiwan experience every single day of my life. All I wanted was to hide in a luxurious hotel room and get a taste of home. Done and done. It was a huge success, and maybe a new ritual to celebrate the end of every quarter (heck yes-- that means we get to do this four times a year)!
Do you ever plan getaways like this?
Or am I the only one?


  1. You know, I've never thought about having a getaway like this. Just going somewhere to relax, I just do that at home so I feel like if we go away we should do something, anything, just not laze about in the hotel/hostel. But maybe if we invested in an upgrade in the accommodation department we'd be more inclined to stay there more. I'm quite tempted to try this just to see what it's like.

    1. I don't think I could do this in a place I have never been before, but Taipei? Definitely!


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