Traveling Asia has been such a crazy unique experience, nothing at all what I expected. Taipei, Taiwan was one my first spot and very safe to travel as a tourist. It was a challenge to communicate with the locals, but everyone does their best to find out exactly what you need. Taipei is almost an amusement park with billboards, reminded me of Time Square, advertisements plastered on every building. There were businesses on top of businesses like any busy American city.
Being the avid shopper I am, my favorite part of Taipei were the market lined streets. Everything and anything you needed or even wanted could be found there, from cameras to cat clutches. I was a kid in a candy store, didn't know what to look at first. There were shops inside and then multiple stands lining each store.
Of course your first night in Asia, you have to eat dumplings. We found this small fast food style restaurant with a small dining area with numbered tables, assigned when you ordered. I got eight pan seared dumplings, I tried the spicy pork and curry. My whole meal cost less than an US dollar, needless to say we ate like kings everywhere we went.
We ended up at this hole in the wall "dive" bar.. and of course I made friends with the most fashion chick there. Her english was better than anyone I had met so far, she's a production assistant named Echo. Almost every young social Asian we met picked out an American name or word to be addressed by.. our bartender called himself Broccoli, I'm not sure if he even knew it was a vegetable or the fact that the spelling just looked cool. Meeting people and indulging in there culture was by far the best part of the trip. They all jumped at the idea of socializing with an American. All the songs at almost every bar we went to were American songs. Everyone in our group were singing the lyrics, we clearly stood out everywhere we went.