Sunday, January 01, 2012

Taipei is our kind of city

We had our eyes on Taiwan ever since we lived in Shanghai. Its temperate climate always seemed particularly attractive to us when we huddled through the frigid Shanghai winters. Unfortunately because of the political situation it was about as difficult to fly to Taipei from Shanghai as it is to fly to Havana from Raleigh. However, direct flights have just started between Shanghai and Taiwan so spending part of this winter Taiwan was an obvious choice.

I had high expectations for Taiwan from both my precious business trip in 1997 and everything I read during trip research. I am not disappointed.

1. Taipei is the perfect size for a tourist city. It is walkable, yet well served by public transportation. It has a major museum, a huge national park, numerous atmospheric temples, and countless traditional shops.
2. Taipei is not a small city, 3-5 million people, but very orderly. It makes Shanghai seem like a city of 150 million people.
3. Outside of India, we have not come across anywhere that is more vegetarian friendly, from mom and pop places to haute cuisine, and everything in between, not to mention the millions street stalls and drink shops.
4. Being in the middle of the rainy season, we have used our umbrellas for less than a total of five minutes and overcast skies make no hotter that 70 degrees F. One day the sun broke out at midday, I thought 80+ was too hot.

We are liking it very much so far.

The Presdential Office Building was built during the period of Japanese rule.
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Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Gate.
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View from Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall - Taipei, Taiwan

The two of us at the top of Mt Cising in Yangmingshan National Park just outside Taipei.
Yangmingshan - Taipei, Taiwan

Sun-Ling making her way up through the fumaroles on Mt Cising.
Yangmingshan - Taipei, Taiwan

This bus stop outside the Shilin MRT station is well signed with route and minutes-til-arrival info.
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A volunteer at the Confucius temple was very helpful.
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Rode the MRT about 30 minutes to Danshui to feel the sea breeze and see the sites. This is Fort San Domingo with the former British Consulate at back.
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At least once a day we enjoyed a milk tea like this one from Coco's in Danshui.
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We happened to stop by Longshan Temple during 5PM prayers; a very busy time.
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Dihua Market Street is one of the places to shop.
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Ate a tasty lunch at a vegetarian food stall near the City God Temple.
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Shopping at RT-Mart with our Taipei hosts Wayne and Annie.
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3 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

Sounds idyllic. You're not looking for property, are you?

Sun-Ling said...

Haha! If it were not for the hot humid summers, maybe we would be looking.

Kathy said...

Oh good, I've been waiting for your Taiwan updates! Great pix, and glad you're enjoying it.