Yo yo yo!
I’ll jump right to it. Nothing too exciting happened this week, so I’ll hop right to this weekend.
A little preface. We had this past Friday and Saturday off of school because Friday was a national holiday here in Taiwan. Vacation, YES. I had been daydreaming of what we could do, where we could go, and who we could meet for the past 4 weeks. Maybe we could fly off to a different country? Not enough time to make it worth it. Maybe we could go to one of the Taiwanese islands? Wanted to, but our passports are being held prisoner at the immigration office so we can officially be residents in Taiwan. I know! We could go see an ancient city on the coast of Taiwan! Really wanted to do that, but the torrential rain this past weekend made it impossible to really go see anything outside of Taipei. Poop. It seemed like we were going to waste a perfect opportunity to see Taiwan.
I’m glad I was wrong! The rain didn’t stop us from seeing some of the great attractions near home. Friday it rained like cats and dogs. Honestly, we didn’t do much. On Saturday, we got our rear ends out of bed on time and decided to do something! Ever since I told Sarah about this massive clothing market called 五分埔 (Wufenpu), she’s been DYING to go. We grabbed our rain gear and decided to go! Wufenpu is an enormous wholesale market selling every type of clothing you can think of. There’s over a 100 stall and shops crammed into tiny streets and alleyways. I’m pretty sure Sarah was in heaven 🙂
After shopping our hearts away, we made our way to 饒河街觀光夜市 Raohe Street Night Market. I’ve been wanting to go here ever since we’ve been in Taipei not only to see the market but check out the amazing temple that is next to it. I had never seen the Ciyou temple before…it was stunning. It’s situated literally in the heart of Taipei surrounded by the Raohe night market and tall residential buildings. Absolutely stunning.
Sunday, we again woke up early and wanted to check out a different church we had heard about from a friend. It’s called Bread of Life Taipei, and it offers English services on Sunday morning. We loved it. The music was great, and they actually had a drum set, guitars, and a keyboard! The praise band played familiar songs from Hillsong and the Bethel praise band. Definitely made me miss playing music. I think we’ll make this church our home church in Taipei. I forgot to take some pictures!
Now, we don’t exactly live in the heart of Taipei. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t live far from downtown…it’s merely a short ride in via tram, but we live a little more on the outskirts. At first, I was a little worried about this because we couldn’t just walk to the Taipei 101, but I’ve learned to love our part of Taipei. We have mountains. We have hiking trails. We have fresh air. We have waterfalls. We have nature. I’ve never been huge into hiking. Thank goodness I have a wife that loves to walk and hike or else I wouldn’t experience the natural beauty of Taipei. We really see ourselves getting into hiking this next year. Neihu, our slice of Taipei, is home to many mountains and hiking trails and we decided to check a few out today. We can literally walk to the trailhead that serves countless trails through the rainforest and mountains on the outskirts of Taipei. I never knew escaping the hustle and bustle of Taipei was so close to our home. First, we hiked up Bishan Mountain to an amazing temple called Bishan Temple. Bishan temple is a Daoist temple dedicated to Chen Yuanguang, a Tang dynasty general. The temple was strikingly beautiful. The colors and architecture are breathtaking. Not only is the temple beautiful, but the view it offered was spectacular. The temple is perched high on top of Bishan mountain. You could see everything from up there.
On the way down we explored the Danshui river and some of the smaller waterfalls along the river. It was an amazing Sunday to say the least. We are thrilled that we’ve found so many trails to explore so close to home. On top of the trails in Taipei, Taiwan is home to many more trails and mountains to explore….we can’t wait to trek through them all.
Have a great week!
Kyle and Sarah