Taipei Travel Blog

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Chiang Kai Shek memorial. This thing is HUGE!!

I had some holiday time coming up and one of the teachers that I worked with suggested a travel agent in Macau that did tours. The Taiwan one sounded interesting so I went and signed up.

There was only one downside.....

....I couldn't speak a word of Cantonese and the tour was in Cantonese.

No worries, I figured. I was already living in China and could barely speak a word of Mandarin, how much worse could it be to go on a tour where I couldn't speak a word of the language LOL!

So, I head in, pay my money, field the million and one "but you don't speak Cantonese, how will you manage????" questions and get ready to head off to Taiwan.

The trip over was kind of interesting. I parked myself near the departures desk about an hour before I was supposed to be there and kept my eyes peeled for the tour leader.

Chiang Kai Shek memorial
She found me before I found her. I basically stuck close to her for the whole trip over.

Taiwan international airport was the first international airport that I DIDN'T get lost in, which is strange, really. My ability to get lost in international airports. Anywhere else I can find my around easily, but an airport of any real size, forget it. Sheena gets lost so fast it isn't funny.

The first day we went to this 'old street' in what was once a gold rush town. The road to get up there wound its way up a steep mountain. The bus had to stop at corners a couple of times just to let the oncoming traffic get past, that's how narrow the roads where.

We got around one corner and, boom, there was this temple (rather large one) clinging to the mountain side.

This is either the opera house or the music hall. I can't remember which. Chiang Kai Shek memorial
Top it off with the sun starting to go down, rain clouds forming, and these paper lanterns raising into the air with fire licking the bottoms of them and slowly burning them up... it was VERY surreal and soooo beautiful.

The first night we stayed at this country club/golf resort (very pretty place)... and I discovered that my roomate snored like a jackhammer. I was torn between giggling hysterically or smothering her with a pillow. I settled for giggling hysterically.

We also visited Taipei 101 tower... that thing is HUGE!!!!!

Most embarrasing moment: the hotspring we visited in Beitou. Okay, in most of the hotsprings around China you can wear your togs. Not this one! I had to strip completely naked, wander over to the showers, shower (in the open) and get in to the hotspring wearing absoltely nothing.

Jui Fen old town.
.. apart from my birthday suit. I saw so many old, naked, chinese women it's not funny. Then, after you'd been in the hotspring for a while and wanted to go home, you got back out again, showered, and then got dressed. I still can't believe I got naked in a room full of strangers, but I did.

We also visited a lot of stores which bored me out of my skull, but hey, you win some you loose some.

I nearly lost my port on the way back from Macau. I took the airport bus and there were a lot of people on it. I'm just glad that I'd had this feeling when I stepped on and kept an eagle eye on all the bags as the people were taking theirs otherwise I would've lost my bag. This lady picked it up and didn't believe me when I started screaming at her from that bus that it was MY bag. She kept holding up all these little tiny bags going "Oh, is this yours?". They weren't even anywhere near where I was pointing. THEN when she did realise which bag I was pointing at she had to examine it closely before she laughed and put it back on the bus (said port had Australia stickers and my NAME plastered all over it, moron).

I was not happy to be back in China, I'd enjoyed Taiwan too much.

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Chiang Kai Shek memorial. This thi…
Chiang Kai Shek memorial. This th…
Chiang Kai Shek memorial
Chiang Kai Shek memorial
This is either the opera house or …
This is either the opera house or…
Jui Fen old town.
Jui Fen old town.
View from Jui Fen old town
View from Jui Fen old town
Chiang Kai Shek memorial
Chiang Kai Shek memorial
National museum.
National museum.
BeiTou hot springs.
BeiTou hot springs.
Looking out from the BeiTou hotspr…
Looking out from the BeiTou hotsp…
867 km (539 miles) traveled
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photo by: Deats