From the home base in Kuala Lumpur, we took Air Asia (the discount airline) with backpacks only and went quickly through the airport PLUS didn’t have to pay to check bags. Let me say this was the coldest flight I’ve ever been on. Wow.
We had Hyatt points used them at one of their new individual ‘small properties’ hotels, and we really liked it. The Éclat was opened by someone who was on the “richest people in the world” list before dying a few years ago and has a huge art collection, including a bunch of Dalí art. Yep, super rich.
The first place we went to Yiihotang bakery to get something to eat. About 75% of things are vegan, and it was insanely delicious. I had a blueberry cheesecake that was awesome.
From here, we caught the subway over to the 2/28 Peace Park and walked through there to the Liberty Square with the giant arch out front.
In Liberty Square, there are 4 important things. The national flag is raised and lowered in the center, the national theater is to the right, national concert hall to the left, and the Chiang-Kai Shek memorial is straight ahead.
The architecture of these buildings was…incredible. Super beautiful.
Taiwan is a perfect example of how…strange…defining what a “country” is can be. Taiwan (officially the Republic of China) isn’t a member of the United Nations. It used to be, but it was kicked out. Why? So China (officially the People’s Republic of China) could join. The former government of China fled to Taiwan when the Red Army took over in the 40s, and this has resulted in the “who’s the real China?” ever since. Taiwan meets every definition of what a country is but can’t join the UN, since China is a permanent member with veto power on numerous councils, including admission. Tell someone Taiwan isn’t a country and see their confusion.
We walked through a nearby park and flagged down someone on the road to ask where we could find a toy store. The stereotype that Taiwan makes and sells cheap toys was on our list of things to accomplish. He told us to walk back where we’d gotten off the subway and turn back the other direction.
From here, we found something akin to Times Square near the old “West Gate” to the city. It was an experience!
Tons of toy stores, stores selling knick-knacks, and of course we got bubble tea. We also got the obligatory fridge magnet and patch, plus the people-watching was superb.
They had everything you’d ever heard of and even more that you’d never heard of. We also got a scallion pancake, which I hadn’t had in years. Mmmm.
After passing a ton of obligatory Pokemon stuff, we made a 2nd pass and went to the outskirts of this area to see what we found. Not as interesting, so we passed back and caught the subway back to the hotel (it was late, and we were exhausted).
Day 2, after free breakfast at the hotel, we caught the subway up to the Confucius Temple.
It was interesting but had mostly just literature to read and not a ton to see / understand if you weren’t going to read the super long plaques, so we walked over to the Dalongdong Temple.
The temple is nearly 200 years old, and the intricacy of the details is impressive. Wow. There were school groups here, but there was so much to study and observe that it didn’t feel crowded.
The craftsmanship was spectacular. We were super impressed.
Across the street is the Baoan Temple, but it seemed closed.
Since we only had 2 days for Taipei, we started looking for a cafe or somewhere with wifi to get an uber to the airport.
Taipei was awesome. We really, really liked it. There’s so much to see. It exceeded our expectations in every way. I wish we’d been there longer.
We’ll have to go back again sometime.
This entry was posted in asia, Taipei, Taiwan