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All the Way Up // Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”

–Tim Cahill

One of the prime spots in Taipei is Elephant Mountain. It's a hiking trail that gives you the best view of the Taipei 101 Building, and literally the entire city.

Once you do reach the top, it's one of the most rewarding feelings in the entire world! Take it slow because it's a long way up, probably 30 minutes if you go at a moderate pace. I'm hoping the hike helped mitigate all of the delicious food I've been eating...fingers crossed!

If I'm going to give you a "before" picture, you best believe I'm going to provide you with an "after" shot. Blurry, but accurate nonetheless. I swear I was the loudest person because I was gasping for my life (haha).

After our hike, we walked back into town where you can see the gorgeous Taipei 101 Building. It was formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, and used to be the tallest building in the world until Dubai's Burj Khalifa took the title. Nonetheless, it's majestic and absolutely stunning!

We stopped by Sunmerry Bakery to pick up some pineapple cakes. Pineapple cakes are very popular in Taiwan, and most tourists are told to try some at a local bakery. They were so sweet, and delectable! Sunmerry also has a myriad of other desserts, breads, and other freshly-baked goods. I wish I could have tried all of them!

For more dessert posts, click here to read about one of the most interesting cafe's I've been to in Tokyo, Japan!

For dinner, we decided to freshen up and meet with a friend from back home/college. For my #ootd, or "outfit of the night" (hehe) I wore a white tank and flowy black trousers I bought from South Korea. The shoes were purchased at a small shop in Hongdae, which is an area of Seoul, South Korea. I felt really done up, can you tell?

If you're interested in my time in South Korea and another #ootd, click here!

I see food, you see food, we all love seafood! Okay, that was really corny but click here if you're a seafood lover like me. Trust me, you'll be in heaven!

The restaurant we went to focused on local Taiwanese seafood. I mean, look at those fish! You can tell if fish are fresh if the eyes are clear, scales are firm, and if it smells like the sea breeze. If it smells fishy at all, steer clear!

We had a lot of courses, so here we go!

First up was the Taiwanese-style fried rice. It came with soy sauce, egg, scallions, and shredded pork.

Next up was steamed clams. It was tossed with spinach, chili pepper, and TONS of garlic. Need I say more?

The next dish was another one of my favorites: steamed sweet potato leaves. According to our friend, this was considered to be peasant food because of its abundance in Taiwan. Now, it's enjoyed by everyone! If you look closely, you can see that the stems of the leaves are hollow. This allows any flavor you impart into the vegetables to be absorbed completely. Can you see the pieces of minced garlic? Can you?! I mean, I just...okay I'll stop.

Salt and pepper squid was our next dish. I just loved the presentation! My favorite parts are always the tentacles at the end. The chewy texture is hard to beat. Add a squeeze of lime and it's the perfect bite.

Another close favorite was the fried oysters. They were topped with fried basil leaves, which added the most delicious sweetness. Crunchy, salty, juicy, savory...what more could you ask for?

For some meat, we had stir-fried beef with spinach. This was incredibly savory, and the meat was so juicy and tender. Yum!

To go with our entire meal, you know we tried every Taiwanese beer the restaurant had to offer! According to our friend (again), here are three major types of Taiwanese beer: 18 Days, Classic, and Gold Medal. My favorite was the Gold Medal because it had a stronger, more hoppy flavor (Go IPA's!).

Click here to read about one of the most interesting (let's be honest, weird) beers I've ever tried!

For after dinner drinks, we went to The Speakeasy Bar, which was right around the corner from the restaurant. It's an Irish pub, with every type of liquor you could imagine. With our bellies full, we were well-prepared for the night ahead of us.

I ordered the bar's best IPA (India Pale Ale), which was the 55th Street IPA. You've got to appreciate a great beer with even greater company!

There were so many decorations and trinkets around the bar that I wanted to capture, but I was also living in the moment and having a blast with my friends. One of my favorites that I had to show you all was this letter titled, "An Irish Mother's Letter."

The font might be too small for you to see, but it's basically sort of a somber letter that a mother wrote to her son. She was updating him on everything happening back at home, which was not the best news. I thought it was still funny, because she would insert phrases like, "P.S. I was going to send you some money but I had already sealed the envelope."

To end the post, here are a couple pictures that I took with some of my friends. The group photo is a mixture of our friends from the hostel, Sleepy Dragon Hostel, and new friends we met at the bar (click here for my review on one of the best hostels in Taipei).

If you're reading this, Hi Kalli and Pedro! I miss and love you both!

Time flies by when you're having a great time, and it flies even faster when you're surrounded by amazing people. I'm so thankful I get to experience life moments with folks like these, from all over the world! They truly inspire me to live boldly, be kind, and to tread forward with curiosity.

With that, thank you for visiting me on Got To Viv It Up! Subscribe to the blog here (scroll down to input your email address!), leave a comment, and follow me on Instagram (@la.vita.vivi)! Also, check out my style, beauty and lifestyle blog, La Vita Vivi, if you're into that fun stuff.



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