Life in Taipei: this and that

I’ve been back in Taiwan for a few months now, and most of what I’ve put on the blog has been new & updated hiking content (see here). But obviously I’m not hiking every day (just once a week usually), so here’s a bunch of random photos of this & that.

Lantern display at Raohe Night Market for the Year of the Pig:

Lantern display for the year of the pig in Songshan, Taipei

My South African friend also moved to Taipei recently from Seoul, so we have a group of ex-Seoulites reassembled here now… obviously on his first weekend following a hike we went to a Korean barbecue joint and drank some soju (a low quality Korean rice liquor, awful stuff but the done thing). Aneil & Dom’s soju faces:

Doing soju shots at Korean restaurant in Zhongshan, Taipei

The hike we did that day was from Jiufen down to Houtong cat village (part of this route). Houtong’s a small former mining village which today is famous for being home to loads of cats that stroll around getting pampered and fed by tourists. This one was sat like a drunk in one of the souvenir shops:

A sleepy cat in Houtong

The view from my Airbnb in Zhongshan with a nice park and a bunch of cafes downstairs. Was a great place to stay for a month:

View from my Airbnb in Zhongshan, Taipei

A few of us went to the annual Taipei gin festival, when a bunch of liquor companies have pop-up stalls in the cafes, bars and streets of the historical Dihua area. Top class drinks mixed by top class bartenders, and as a former bartender (and still being a cocktail geek) I was loving it.

Gin cocktails at the Taipei gin festival

I probably don’t post enough food pics, but when you live in Taipei you can eat so much great food for not very much money. Here’s a dumpling pitstop during the gin festival for approx 3 US dollars:

Awesome dumplings at Bafan

…and this is what happens when you ride a Youbike (Taipei’s awesome shared bike system) home after drinking gin all day!

Cut on my arm after crashing my Youbike

More food… a recent discovery, this Thai stall in Ningxia Night Market serves the best street-style Thai food I’ve had outside Thailand:

Awesome Thai food stall in Ningxia night market

They’re not there every day, but if you’re heading to Ningxia Night Market keep an eye for this red and white sign reading 泰國小吃, they’re roughly halfway along the main row of food stalls, on the east side of the street:

Awesome Thai food stall in Ningxia night market

Another recent discovery was this awesome whisky bar, which we stumbled upon after my mate followed a cat down an alleyway. It didn’t lead us to Narnia but we did find ourselves standing in front of a bar we’d never seen before; inside we found bottles of Game of Thrones branded whisky, but more importantly some outstanding whisky/whiskey cocktails. They mix a killer old fashioned. The place is called L’Arriere-Cour and is located just south of Xinyi Anhe Station.

Game of Thrones whisky in Taipei
Excellent old fashioned served at a Taipei whisky bar
Excellent Rob Roy cocktail served at a Taipei whisky bar

And to finish off this random jumble of photos here’s one titled ‘Rise of the Machines’ (these are a common sight at Taiwanese construction sites):

Roadworks robot in Taipei

For more Taiwan posts see here, and see my Taiwan guide here.