Friday, 11 May 2012

Taiwan Trip: Taipei Explorations

We spent the 2nd and 3rd days we were in Taiwan wandering around Taipei and exploring miscellaneous places we found in our guide book. Whenever I go to a new city, I always feel like I have to go to all the touristy places because, well, that's what you're supposed to do. And while they're always interesting, I always prefer "getting off the beaten track" and going to anywhere that bus tours aren't. We didn't have much time for that this holiday, but it's why I like to walk whenever I can, just to get away from idiot tourists like me! That's why a lot of these photos are just of random bits of walking, rather than grand buildings!

PS - "off the beaten track" is in quote marks because I absolutely hate it as a phrase. Too many pompous idiots use it to describe the fact they went to ___insert random location here___ as if that makes them better than you. I try not to be a pompous idiot, but it is a very apt phrase, hence the fact it goes in quotes :)

We got the subway to Jiantan Station, and then walked from there to the National Palace Museum. It was a lovely walk, which took about half an hour, mostly along by a river. There were tiny play parks, exercise machines and people ballroom dancing under bridges (I kid you not) to entertain us as we walked!

A lovely little park just before the Museum.

Lovely view from the Museum. You can't take photos inside the Museum, which is a shame, but there are lots of photos on their website. It was all very interesting, and there was a lot of really ancient stuff. I thought all the jade stuff was beautiful, and I was interested to learn that it was used as a tool, as well as just ornaments.

On the way back, we detoured to Chiang Kai-Shek's Shilin Residence. The gardens are really spacious and pretty. What else would you expect from a dictator posing as a happy democratic ruler?!
By the way, if you, like me, kind of assumed that Taiwanese history went something along the lines of "few native tribes, fighting in China in 1940s=people flee to Taiwan, Taiwan became the good democratic bit of China", then here is a really brief history, or there's a more detailed one in this wikipedia article. It's pretty interesting.

I doubt that Chiang Kai-Shek would have had either John or the crab in his garden.

Is it just me who thinks this looks like a person?!

Oh, the Taipei 101 isn't that big after all. Hehe.

There is seriously nothing not to love about the Taipei 101. OK, so it may not be the tallest building anymore, but it's still completely ridiculously massive.

Taking this picture made me feel a little like I had vertigo.

There are lots of little statues dotted about all over Taipei. I like the face of this one, he looks like he's seen something naughty happening somewhere.

Chiang Kai-Shek's memorial hall. 

And here's the man himself in all his glory. 

Longshan Temple. We'd planned to go back here during the day, but we didn't have time. We were hungry and tired by this point, so all my photos are a bit half-hearted!

Night night!


  1. That flower totally looks like a person and the shot straight up the bamboo building is a great angle and the last photo is very cute. ^^

    As far as "off the beaten track" is concerned, oh, you mean all those places promoted in Lonely Planet, where a new McDonalds has just opened? :-p

    PS: The surprised statue probably saw John posing with ... the mind boggles.

    1. Thanks :)

      Urgh, yes. My hatred of it came when we were in Laos and I heard people constantly referring to themselves as being "off the beaten track", when all they were doing was going to Vang Vieng and getting drunk with other foreigners for a week. Ugh, I hate people.

      PS - Wait until the inappropriate photo of John in the next post. Then you'll see what the statue saw. hahaha.