Thanksgiving Trip to Taiwan: The Eyes of Maokong Gondola, Taipei 101, and Danshui Old Street

Mark and I hit the ground running on the second day of our trip. By that, I mean we got up around 9 and leisurely got ready because nothing really opened until 10 AM anyway. Our first stop was to a typical, Taiwanese breakfast spot that our landlord told us about. We came to find out that it was another street vendor-ish spot, but it was delicious!

There were omelets, gyoza, dumplings, and bread stick things (the technical term, I'm sure). I really enjoyed it and found it to be the closest thing to breakfast that we've come in contact with throughout our trips around Asia.

We hopped on the train shortly after breakfast and headed towards The Eyes of Maokong Gondola, the glass bottom gondola! We bought our tickets and were happily surprised that the tickets for the glass bottom carts weren't any more expensive than the other kind. You simply get to pick whatever one you want to ride!

It's a pretty long ride (around an hour) to the top, but the views were amazing! We shared a gondola with, what appeared to be, a teenage couple with their mom or grandma. It was pretty funny to see them try to secretly hold hands while the elder looked out the window at the scenery. The glass bottom was pretty cool, but I think we would have enjoyed it better during a season when things are in bloom. When we were there, during Thanksgiving, it was just green. Beautiful, but nothing too exciting!

Once at that top, we walked around to check out the local spots along the road. It's a bit commercialized, but not too bad. It was a good mix of local and "hey, this is where everyone gets off the gondola," if that makes sense. We enjoyed lunch at one of the many restaurants available and I ordered the Kung Pao chicken... Mark tried it and claimed it was the best he had ever had.

We headed back down to the Taipei Zoo Station and took the MRT to Taipei 101 to check out the observation deck. The view from Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall of Taipei 101 is pretty cool so we got off there and then walked the rest of the way. On our way there, we tried to find a place that sold coins (a fancy set for collectors, like Mark), but came up with nothing. Eventually, we found the entrance to Taipei 101 and were mesmerized by an actual mall during Christmas time!

The observation deck was really nice. Lots to see, but little to actually "do" so we just walked around and enjoyed the view. Before we made it to the top, like most observation touristy traps, they have an photo op set up. Mark and I posed silly and then I took a photo of the photo because we're super cheap! Ha! Ow, speaking of cheap... this was the one and only place where we successfully used our Youth Travel Cards.

Waiting in the really long line for the observation deck that you conveniently don't see until after you've bought your ticket.

We timed it perfectly, aka we go lucky, and made it just in time to see the sunset. As we left, everything was lit up and fantastic looking. We were headed to another night market at Danshui Old Street where we'd find another American style bar (the only place serving beer, again) and we'd settle in for a bit because we found out that it was buy one get one free on pitchers. Sign us up! We had a great time walking around, but it was definitely the coldest night there so we were happy to relax inside for a while.

Mark trying an Iron Egg, a Taiwanese specialty

Mark trying Fish Ball Soup

We did find one beer vendor on the street near the water, but it was really cold outside so I used my scarf as a coozy. 

Getting another smashed penny to add to my collection!

We cabbed it back to our room and settled in for the night because we had a REALLY early morning the next day, but we were so excited.... and it was all for good reason! I can't wait to fill you in on our last day in Taiwan. Stay tuned!


  1. Awesomely cool :D - Aunt Kristie aka Kristina

  2. Hi, I will be going to Taiwan in a week time so I did some research on the internet and it lead me to your blog. Was pretty interesting to read about your experiences in Taiwan. Regards, Jojo.

    1. I'm so glad to hear that! I hope you enjoy your time in Taiwan as much as we did. :)


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