This long weekend to Taipei, Taiwan in November 2005 should have been more of a Long Leap than the Short Hop that it was. A good friend and former colleague asked for my help (my Mandarin speaking skills, no less!) at a media conference there, at rather short notice, so off I went.
Slipping in and out of the conference sessions, we managed to see quite a bit of Taipei, and even took a day trip to the village of Jiufen and the northeast coast of Taiwan to see the unusual rock formations on the beach. I experienced my first unforgettable taste of Din Tai Fung xiao long bao as well as my first real bowl of Taiwanese beef noodles. And we ate not once but twice at the Slack Season Tan Tsi Noodle restaurant, which specialises in Tainan cuisine from the southwest. We also walked what seemed like miles to locate a famous sweet tofu stand. The little bowl of heaven was well worth the trek.
My favourite souvenir was a tiny yellow porcelain teapot with two tea cups. It was expensive but produced by the artist who makes all the porcelain china copies for the National Palace Museum, or so I was told. The tea set is one of my most treasured possessions and remains proudly on display at home.
Taipei is certainly on my list of cities to revisit and I’d love to see much more of the rest of Taiwan on the next journey. Here are a few photos from the long weekend.