We woke the next morning, well rested and ready for the day. There was only one coffee shop open but it ended up being a great spot to grab some breakfast. It was a little more expensive than everywhere else we had been traveling, but severely inexpensive for a first world country. We had no plans for the day, and while looking at Google Maps, we saw a marking for Huashan 1914 Creative Park. After doing a little more digging, it seemed to be worth checking out. We mapped out how to get there (again, praise Taiwan’s Metro system), and we were on our way! (TIP: Get the day pass when using the Metro! It’s cost effective if you’re planning on a busy day and you’ll get coupons to use throughout your trip! Including one for Taipei 101 which we used)
The Creative Park was located just across the street from Zhong Xiao Xing Sheng Station. It started to rain as we made our way to the exhibitions, but there were plenty of cute little shops to spend time in while we waited for the storm to pass. From handmade miniature wood figures and giant beetles preserved in clear plastic, to upside down houses and 3D museums, there’s plenty to do and something for everyone. We spent a couple hours walking around before heading to a nearby mall to grab some lunch, and then going back to our hotel.
In the evening we went to Taipei 101, the world trade center in Taiwan and home to the worlds fastest elevator. Just how fast are we talking? 38MPH fast. It only takes 40 seconds to reach the top, and there is no lacking in the ear popping mild motion sickness department. But the ceiling of the elevator offers a “sky full of diamonds”-esque show to keep you entertained.
We waited until it was dark outside so we could view the city lights, and from 89 stories up the view did not disappoint. When purchasing our tickets, we were given coupons to use at the shops and vendors located at the top, including specials on mango beer and souvenirs. The 89th floor is the viewing floor, but visitors are also allowed on the 88th floor, which boasts luxury items for sale for the uber wealthy (like you’re ready to drop 400k USD on vacation for a giant globe kind of wealthy). All kinds of novelty items were for sale, from huge amethyst geodes and fluorite fountains to carved coral thousands of years old.
Before I knew it we had already spent several hours at the trade center and didn’t get back to our hotel until almost midnight. The following day, it was time to head south towards Taroko National Park.