When I woke up the day of our train ride, I found a large mosquito bite on my right arm (I am allergic to bugs). Just a note: Taiwan is pretty humid, so they have mosquitos still in January. I stared at my arm and a red streak was emerging from the now forming welt. My friend also remarked he got odd bites when he woke up and wondered if he had bed bugs from our BnB. I wondered if it was a mosquito too because there were multiple bites, but it was hard to tell.
We went to the same breakfast place in Taipei as we went to the day before. The breakfast place is a wonderful dive – the only thing open early for workers to have a meal before their shift. I had a cheese steam bun and Jimmy introduced me to their omelets. They have a bit of crepe batter ontop, so it’s basically like eating a smaller, lighter and delicious breakfast burrito. I tried to forget about my pending health issue.
I called Uber to take us to the high speed rail station. It was 700NT per person to take the train to Taichung. Before we departed, I bought some snacks for the ride. One was some ‘dreamy salt’ chips.
I was futilely trying to talk to my busses on the high speed train. Josh and Jimmy grew jealous of a pair of girls eating rice hamburgers. The train did offer food as a lady passed us with snacks. It was a pretty fast ride to Taichung, and a beautiful view. The train was also very comfortable, considering we were only economy as well.
As we arrived in the train station, I looked at my AirBnB and realised we had no accommodations booked for today. As the boys debated food options, I picked a superhost. I go with superheats because I’ve been told repeatedly that anything less can be ultra sketchy on BnB – and as later on my trip, I would find out that is very, very true.
But for now, the super host was very friendly. I asked her if we could drop off our items at her location before the check in time and she was very accommodating. Crystal gave us directions and tons of information. We dropped by and her husband showed us around. They also compiled a large guide for us to use as we explored. He gave us recommendations on where to eat, which was similar to the cab driver. There was a meatball shop nearby and a very nice little cafe that served stellar bubble tea. We were impressed by the little elevator in little homely condo. Bonus points: we were across the H&M and super close to the train station.
We went to a meatball shop (台中肉員) that the cab driver suggested. It only had three items on the menu on the wall. We got such efficient service. They sat us down, asked us what we want, so we ordered hastily a bit confused at the speed and we got our food in 5 minutes. As soon as we were done, they whisked it to clean. They had meatballs in a giant dumpling and meatball soup. The dough was perfectly chewy and the sauce slightly sweet. It was a basic meal that was hearty and filling.
Later in the evening, we had bubble tea at 春水堂 Chun Shui Tang which was recommended by our host. We had blood pudding, fried chicken and bubble tea.
We also visited open-air markets for vegetables and other groceries. These were in back alleys and straight out of another world. We bought lots of fruits to keep us healthy.
Conversely, I also bought as many buttery baked goods. I love Asian pastries because they’re not super sweet and lean towards butter, which is my favourite.
After a long day of exploration of the city, we went to sleep for a bigger day the next day where we’d venture to the art gallery and see one of the biggest Night Markets.