Taipei: busy in the city


Maria Niechwiadowicz

2/11/2015

Everyday is a new adventure in Taipei!

As I mentioned in my last post, so many people were willing to take me places in and around the city to experience Taipei at it’s best! But the city is also great for solo exploring. I got a combination of both! If you ever make it to Taipei, I recommend the “organized wanderer method.” Taipei is conveniently sectioned into 12 districts, easily accessibly by bus and MRT. Each district is unique – offering historical sites, tourist stops, but also hidden gems. Using the “organized wanderer method” I choose a district or area to visit, hitting the main attractions in that area but also wandering the streets to explore the inner nature of the city! There is so much worth seeing in Taipei. Here are some tidbits from my journey…

Taipei 101 is the second tallest building the the world, named after the 101 floors it contains! You can visit the 89th and 91st floors for viewing, taking a ride up the fastest elevator in the world! You can feel your ears pop in the handful of seconds it takes to reach the top. We were lucky enough to make it just in time for the sunset! Though it was a cloudy evening, the sun shone like a magenta orb in the sky, shading the mountains in the distance so artistically!

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Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall – dedicated to Sun Yat-Sen, the “father” of Taiwan who founded the Republic of China. A 19-foot bronze statue of him sits in the main hall, guarded by 2 soldiers. At every hour, the soldiers are changed with a fancy marching routine. Funny enough, the space around the Memorial Hall was busy with hip hop dancers, women in prayer, and kids flying kites.

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Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is dedicated to the former president. It too has a vast array of street-dancing teens practicing their routines, but also the National Theatre and Music Hall!

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I chose a rainy day to visit the National Palace Museum, home to some of the most treasured Asian glories. The 4 floors were filled with ancient furniture, porcelain snuff-boxes, bronze artifacts, calligraphy scrolls, and carved jade2 masterpieces. My personal favorite was a room dedicated to old books – written in traditional calligraphy on bamboo or papyrus and with the first methods of book binding.

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2/28 Memorial Peace Park, dedicated to the protesters who were massacred while protesting against the Kuomintang government.

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Red House Theatre

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Built in the 1700s, the Lin An Tai House as been preserved well in the Fujianese style!IMG_0165 IMG_0169

 

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Jingmei old bridge

 

Yeliu is home to a geological park. The area is dotted with fascinating rock formations from sea and wind erosion. Gorgeous!

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An old sulfur mining area, Beitou is dotted with hot springs. The smell of hard-boiled eggs hangs in the air :)

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Maokong is a mountainous area located south of Taipei. You take a “gondola” through the mountains to an area covered with tea plants and tea houses. We arrived later at night so didn’t get change to do much hiking through the hills, but the tea houses and restaurants provide amazing views of Taipei city!

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Yangmingshan National Park is a hikers dream in northern Taiwan! Supposedly there are hundreds of trails within this green and mountainous area. We ventured into the mystical fog one morning, risking our lives on wet, slippery steps, and forging our way to Mt.Miantain

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Our destination ahead!

 

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Outing to Taoyuan. Old streets, good eats!

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And for my final night in Taipei…an outing north to the Tamsui River! After weeks of cloudy skies, the sun finally showed its light for an afternoon stroll along the wharf and a memorable sunset! With lots of foods to taste, sites to discover along the old roads, and gorgeous views, this made for a perfect outing with my favorite people!

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I have said farewell to Taipei for now…on to adventures in Kaohsiung!



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