Spotcheck: Taipei


Taipei was a quick, but fulfilling trip. I got in at 11pm on a Friday and barely stopped in my apartment for long enough to drop my bag off and immediately hit the streets. I had no plans for my Friday night there but I knew the area where most of the nightlife was. Unfortunately, the majority of the spots there were nightclubs with long lines and that was not the move for me that night. I found some wifi and googled a cocktail bar and found a nice little whiskey bar on the third floor of a swanky hotel. I ordered a bourbon that was distilled in Taipei and caught the attention of a cute Taiwanese woman sitting near me. She gave me a few tips on things to do here and food to try, and that was that. The bar closed and I went home. The next morning I attended a big premier for a skate video that was shot in Taiwan. After watching the video, which was phenomenal, there was a big session at a little covered ledge under a bridge. It was originally supposed to be at a p-rail at a DIY park, but unfortunately it was raining.

At one point everyone started throwing down money and we had a little ledge battle, I took second and pocketed about 30USD. After that we got dinner then proceeded to go to a skatepark. What originally was supposed to be just a random trip to a new city accidentally turned into a skate-specific trip basically because all the Taipei skaters were so welcoming and excited to show me their city. They invited me to come street skate with them the next day, of course I obliged. After skating all day, I returned to Xinyi, the nightlife district I was in Friday night, but this time I actually went to one of the nightclubs. I danced all night and made some new friends, whom I will likely never see again. I had fun though. 

Sunday, I woke up as early as possible after the prior action-packed day, then tried to hit a few tourist spots before meeting up with the Taipei guys to skate. I went to the Taipei 101 and did a small bit of shopping. Preferring to skate over sightseeing, I then met up with the skate crew at the National Taipei University of Education campus. There was a stair ledge, some handicap rails and some other fun obstacles to skate. I was hyped to get a few clips and threw together a little Taipei skate edit for IG.

After a second full day of skating, I hit a night market with my new friend Tien, who actually lived in the US for a while and is friends with a bunch of people I skate with and am also friend with. The world is so small, it is insane. Tien and I got some street food and just kicked it in general for my last night in Taipei. The entire trip just felt so natural. Nothing was forced, I did nothing that a typical foreigner is "supposed" to do in Taipei. I think it will be funny in the future when I tell people I visited Taipei and they start asking me, "Oh, did you see this? Did you do that?" I will say no and they will inevitably think I had a boring trip, but little do they know I just had a different kind of trip. Taipei is honestly a great city, it reminded me of Chicago, but without all the violence. I cannot wait to get back, as I definitely will be visiting again soon.