During Spring break, my mom and I flew to Taiwan to visit my grandma.  The last time I went to Taiwan was 3 years ago and all I did was shop…every single day…we took grandma to Hong Kong and shopped for 5 days straight and came home with some of the most amazing pieces.  But this time, I wanted to explore more of the city…of course I still did a little shopping on the last 2 days 🙂

I was surprised as to how much there was so much to do, see, and eat on this bustling little island.

The flight from San Francisco to Taipei was 13.5 hours.  We took the red eye with Eva Airlines and arrived in Taipei at 5am the next morning.  My grandmother awaited our arrival at the San Want Hotel, which was located just across the street from her home.  The city was still asleep and we were the only ones strolling up and down the quiet streets and alleyways.

On the first day, my grandma took us to this local fruit market where she got this interesting fruit that I had never seen before.  I was skeptical to try it, but as soon as I took a bite I couldn’t stop eating them!  Now I’m sad because I can’t eat it again until I go back to Taiwan… 🙁

I’m not sure what the name of the fruit is but I called it a “pear apple” because it had the shape of a pear, the color of an apple, and the taste/texture was similar to both a pear and an apple.  I ate at least 5 of these “pear apple” fruits every day…they are so yummy and once you eat one you just can’t stop.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them…probably because each time a plate of these “pear apples” were placed in front of me they were in my stomach within the next 5 mins.

We spent 3 days in Taipei and then took a train to Taichung.  We checked in at the Lalu Hotel at Sun Moon Lake.  This was one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed it.  The hotel is situated on the lake with the most amazing panoramic views.  The modern yet traditional design was simple and refreshingly chic with its use of wood and subtle pops of colors.  I stayed in the courtyard pool villa, which had a cute little sitting area on top of the pool and an outdoor shower.

The following day we had a delicious hotel breakfast with endless choices – dishes varied from American style with pastries, eggs, and salad to the catch of the day, dim sum, and steak.  Then, we headed out for a boat trip to the island across the lake.  The other side of the lake was filled with lots of small shops and street food.  It seemed like the atmosphere of a typical Chinese market.  That night, we all enjoyed massages and milk baths before departing the next day.

We stayed in Taipei for another 2 days before flying back to San Francisco.  During those 2 days we shopped at Sogo and Taipei 101, dined at Din Tai Fung and a teppanyaki restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, and took care of a few last minute errands with grandma.  Shopping in a new country is always so much more fun and I came home with a gorgeous Chanel bucket bag, earrings, jacket, and brooch pin and a stunning Dior watch and a pair of Dior earrings.  On our last day we also allotted plenty of time to shop for snacks, pastries, and bread to bring back to friends and family.