9th and 10th of November
We’ve finally arrived to the start of our bike tour! We’ve had two really pleasant days in Taipei riding our bikes around the city. Taipei has some fantastic bikes paths along the rivers and perhaps because it is the weekend, they are full of people - running, riding, roller blading. And a novelty for all of us, toilets you can bring your bike in. A really chill-axed, vibrant city. Our first day felt a bit epic. We arrived really early in the morning and rebuilt our bikes in the centre of town, to much amusement of the locals. One even gave us a packet of wet tissues. Good people!! Generally everybody is very pleasantly friendly and chilled. We enjoyed the great weather - a far cry from the hail we experienced in Horsham the day before! We ate ourselves stupid at a night market - noodles with five spice, pork rice, dumplings and the best ever mango. You can see Max and Steffen with a "where dreams come true" dumpling dumpling box, and looking at them, it might even be true. We have been staying in an outrageously cute hotel - it’s decked out in pink statues, hello kitty posters and LOTS of soft toys. While we missed out on a hello kitty theme room, hey, we got a teddy bear room.
We also road to the hot springs in Beitou - 90C and 1-2 pH. These springs used to be completely open to the public but after a number of scolding accidents of people when trying to boil their healthy eggs, the council started controlling access. I didn’t try an egg, but did try some corn and I can vouch that I feel quite fantastic.
Whilst riding along the river I was struck by the number of cute sculptures of mudskippers. It seems that Taiwan has a thing for these bug-eyed fish - which are able to tolerate low water/low oxygen mangrove environments found around Taipei. Interesting fact for you - one species of this fish is edible and is cultivated as food in Taiwan.