Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Trip to Taipei

Taipei 101
This past Sunday, I took my first trip to Taipei, the capitol of Taiwan. It was a little over an hour away by bus so some of the other Fulbrighters and I woke up and walked down to the bus station in the morning.

The first thing we did was wander over to the one of the shopping malls by City Hall. I found a store with some very cute tea bags and another with some very questionable fashions but, in the end, the only things I bought were some Taiwanese children's books in the hopes that my Mandarin would eventually be good enough that I could read them.

Cute tea bags

A terrifying shirt/dress/thing
Me with a model of Taipei 101
in the Discovery Center
The next stop was the Discovery Center of Taipei, which is basically a hands on history museum about Taipei City. It was interesting. They had a whole section about recycling in Taipei (Taiwan is very big into recycling) and a floor dedicated to comparing how the city looked before the Japanese occupation versus to how it looks today. It also had a big display about Taipei 101. It's the second tallest building in the world (it held the record for 6 years before a larger structure was built in Dubai last year). It has 101 floors but the bottom house a really swanky shopping center. Then we headed down to Taipei 101 itself for lunch.

After lunch (and huge thunderstorm), we decided to catch the Metro to Longshan Temple. We picked a really good time to go because August is Ghost Month in Taiwan and China. According to Chinese belief, this is the month in which ghosts and spirits come out/return. So it's kind of like our All Hallows Eve. The big difference is that, instead of wearing funny costumes and going trick-or-treating to scare off the ghosts and spirits, the Chinese leave out gifts of food for their ancestors and burn incense and paper money. 

To finish the day off, we decided to head to one of the night markets and met up with.... drumroll, please...

...Stephanie and Megan! 

They've both been in Taiwan for about 2 weeks training to teach English with HESS. I'm hoping this is just the first of many get togethers we'll be having this year since we'll only be living about an hour and a half apart. We had crepes from the market for dinner before I had to catch the bus back to Yilan.

1 comment:

  1. Those crepes look yummy and rather large. Did you go to the top of taipei 101?