We left Hualien in the morning and made it back to Taipei by the afternoon. That day was reserved for meeting up with my Taiwanese friends. I met them through a summer foreign exchange program when I was in high school. It was amazing to be able to see them again after so many years and so many miles apart. We spent the day doing as the locals do-eating cake at secret cafes, walking around Treasure Hill, eating some more delicious food, and chatting at a cat bar. Yup, it's a thing. I didn't take too many pictures that day as we were catching up. For our last full day in Taiwan, we went to Beitou, famous for its hot springs.
We were able to see the source of the green springs. Definitely not where you jump it, if you couldn't tell by the steam. Nearby resorts and hotels pipe the water, reducing the temperature.
We went to an outdoor public spring. The water was too hot for us to stay in long, but we enjoyed people watching. We even bought a couple of popsicles, reminiscent of days spent at community pools or water parks.
We then headed in the direction of the Taipei Zoo to ride the gondola up to Maokong. We rode in a crystal bottomed one first to see the green a couple hundred meters below our feet.
Maokong is another area known for tea. Though, not much is grown there currently. There are tea houses and restaurants with great views of the city.
We ended up getting a green tea ice cream cone and taking pictures of interesting caterpillars. I spent hours googling to discover their species to no avail.
We ended the night with another night market and felt bittersweet that our trip was ending. The next day, we had a last brunch with my friend who took us to another great local spot for bagel egg sandwiches, an ode to the typical New York breakfast.