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Journals from Yonsei University, Korea

2009-11-18 Taiwan: The Final Chapter

Instead of journaling about the last bits of my journey while in Taiwan, I wrote post cards. So here, after a few weeks of being home, is my recollection of the highlights of the end of my trip. Instead of going to Taroko Gorge I opted to take about a 1.5 hour trip to Wulai to visit the hot springs there. So for around $10 I had unlimited access to 4 pools. The whole bathing naked with strangers thing was weird for the first few minutes (compounded by the fact that my paleness attracted a bit of attention...), but it really wasn't that big of a deal. I had a very relaxing afternoon and will be looking into finally making it to a jimjil-bang in Korea. That night I had the absolute best boba tea of my time there, but it took some work to order. I tried pointing at the pictures, but ended up having to look up individual words on my dictionary to get the point across. Worth it, though. On my last day I toured around Taipei. I went to the Chiang Kai-shek plaza to get pictures in the daylight, Taipei 101, and went to sample tea in Mukong. I stopped for dinner at this place that has been featured on the Discovery Channel's travel show and had some amazing dishes of fried rice and fried potato/sweet potato/pumpkin that were all tea infused. A family from Singapore offered to share their taxi the 40-minute ride down the hill so I wouldn't have to wait for the bus, and they refused to let me pay. I ended the night by visiting the huge Shilin Night Market. It was packed with people and vendors, but I didn't end up buying anything. The things on sale were pretty much the same as what I can find in Korea, only more expensive. There were many food stalls, but it was all in such a small area that I felt kind of sketched by it all. In all, it was fun people-watching. The trip home was rather uneventful. I got up early, had breakfast at Subway and took the hour bus to the airport. Check-in was a breeze, the food was actually good, and I made it back to campus without incident. What an amazing week! It will surely be one of my favorite parts of my study abroad. Ashley Price Yonsei, Fall 2009

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