Egad, the temperature was freezing! We kept on seeing people in down/padded jackets yesterday when the sun was still nice and cozy, but now that it’s raining and the temperature has dropped to 13 degrees, I was kind of scared for my skin.
It was time to meet the alpacas at a cafe this morning! The ride from Taipei main station to Tamsui and another 30-minute bus ride to the stop for the cafe was kind of exhausting due to the cold temperature and my headache.
Since we missed the our stop, Mao and I had to walk for six minutes back to reach the cafe. It was so freagin cold, seriously. I couldn’t talk to Mao because I was just keen on reaching our destination and getting warm inside the cafe.
Anyway, finally…alpacas! Mao told me that the cafe was outside of Taipei, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that far from the city. Anyhow, it was worth it. The next place I can meet an alpaca up close would probably be somewhere in America or Europe.
Food were a bit expensive in this cafe, and reviews from others advised we not expect too much with the quality. After all, the alpacas roaming around the cafe, who are free to be petted, were the main attraction. The Taiwanese staff struggled with us with the Chinese menu and English, but we got by with phrases and sign language. I really appreciate staff that puts a lot of effort to serve customers well, so I went with her recommendations, especially with the milk tea.
After a few minutes, a felt something chewing on my cardigan and it was one of the alpacas! They really like gnawing on just about anything, but they can be easily stopped, so it was okay.
Alpacas is from the same family of Llamas, but the main difference lies with the ears. Llamas has bigger ears and they are much bigger in size especially in adulthood.
It was time to say goodbye to the alpacas to explore Yangmishan and more of the cherry blossoms.
From Tamsui, we reached Xinbeitou where we rode the mini-bus to Yangmingshan national park. The road going there reminded me so much of Baguio and Sagada that I was mentally preparing myself for the cold.
However, no amount of mental preparation really beats the actual breeze. Being high up in the windy mountain, the temperature dropped from 14 to 11 degrees. I was in layers of thin cloths, so that didn’t help much to keep me warm and comfortable. Nonetheless, no cold can stop us from exploring this side of Taiwan.
Yangmingshan Flower Clock: It was a park full of different flowers. However, as cherry blossoms enthusiasts, Mao and I spent a large amount of time taking pictures of them.
We got down from Yangmingshan and back to Xinbeitou around six already, so it was time to bathe in the hot springs!
For 60 NTW, you can go for a hot dip in one of the public hotsprings in Beitou, which is known for its many thermal valleys and areas. Usually, hot springs would require people to be naked so as to preserve the cleanliness of the water, but I guess since this public hot spring also caters to tourists who might not be comfortable getting naked with others (yet) allowed wearing swimming attires like bikinis and rashgards to be used in the waters.
It our first time to be in a public bath house or to be in a hot spring, so this was a milestone for both Mao and I again! Not to mention, many hot guys in swim wear! Woot woot!
The hot spring water helped immensely with the cold, so going back to Taipei City I felt refreshed and more comfortable.
It seems like in the midst of our transits from one point to another, Mao and I rarely get the time to slow down, pause and eat meals. Yeah we do buy some drinks and snacks, but a proper sit-down meal? Quite rare. So the first thing we did when we reached Shilin Night Market was to find a table inside the food court and order good food!
Mao got oyster pancake and stir fried seafood while I had the brisk beef noodles. Mine took a bit longer to arrive, but boy was it worth it! The soup was flavorful, there was a generous amount of beef and noodles in the big bowl filled with soup, but I devoured everything!!! One of the best food I had in Taiwan so far. I read about other tasties to try in Shilin Market, but the lines were too long for some of them, so I promised to try them again next time I come back.
And in a not-so small world, I found my friend Jen!
She spent the day in Taipei and we got to meet here! Crazy and loud girl as always. Always a preferred kind of friend, actually! 😀
Around 11, Mao and finally arrived in the apartment. The next day would be our last, but there were still many places to visit! So before going to bed, we planned our trip again and hoped we’ll be able to do everything as planned the next day.