We were already sweating by the time we reached Chiayi. With two large backpacks and two small ones between us, the thought of walking from the HSR station to our hotel wasn't a pleasant one. Instead, we sucked up the price of a taxi and enjoyed an air-conditioned ride that didn't hurt our backs. It was a good job, too, because despite how close the two locations looked on the map, it was quite a journey (and our most expensive taxi ride at almost $400NTD/£10).

Since check-in wasn't until 4pm, we dropped our bags off at our hotel and went for a walk around the area. We'd chosen Prince to Travel hotel because it was in close proximity to much of the activity - namely, the night market that we were excited to check out. When we first arrived in Taiwan, we were too shy to attempt to navigate the markets of Taipei through games of charades and Chinglish. Almost a year later, we're practically experts. 

The most surprising thing about Chiayi was how cool all the shops were. In Taipei and Hsinchu, we always struggled to find clothing stores we liked. Here, we were in and out of almost all of them. I tried on clothing in every store - include the red denim skirt of my dreams in 50% - but ended up buying a bag instead, since the one I was using as my carry on was near to death.  

After a few hours, we were all shopped out, but we still had a few hours to kill before check-in. The arcade across the road looked like a good place for that. Though we skipped some of the games because they had Chinese instructions and weren't anything we were familiar with, they had a good selection. As well as shooter games like Jurassic Park and Dark Escape, classics like air hockey, basketball and racing games, they had some older games, like Tekken, too. Before we knew it, we'd spent a few hours and a good chunk of change.

Once we'd had our fun, we returned to the hotel to check in. After wasting a couple of hours scrolling through facebook and having showers, it was time to check out the real attraction - the night market. We'd been shopping in the area it was earlier in the day, so we knew exactly where to go. 

We strategically worked our way from one end of the market to the other, trying the food as we went. I was surprisingly adventurous and tried everything that Neil bought for once. My favourite food of the night was easily the Oreo imagawayaki. All the other flavours we've come across in the past have been outside the range of my taste buds and comfort zones, but the Oreo one was perfect. It's essentially what you expect of a cake in the UK, but can never be found in Taiwan. 

Have you visited Taiwan? Leave me a comment and let me know about your trip! Don't forget to follow this blog for more posts like this in the future.