September 19th, 2009 – by: csusb1
Our group meets at LAX. September 5th, 2009. Our flight was scheduled at 1:40AM; and as we checked in and got on the plane, we had already experienced some Chinese language since most of the people flying with us were returning home. During the flight, most of us were pleased with the delicious food served which included duck, pork and fried rice. After a long 12 hour flight, we all were exhausted. But we hadn't arrived to our final destination yet. We were still in Beijing, China, one of our destinations, but not the first one. We had a lay over of 3 hours prior flying to Taipei
. In the airport, we had coffee and exchanged currency to make phone calls to our relatives back in California.
The flight to Taipei was also long, but only a quarter of the flight from America to Asia. Once in taipei, we met our new companions, two taiwanese girls, Tiffany Yu and Rita Wen, who were part of our traveling team. Do you think our journey ended here? It didn't, we still had to travel another 3 hours to get to Chia-Yi city, our first destination and home of National Chung Cheng university. However, we didn't leave right away, we first enjoyed lunch with our new companions. Lunch was the traditional Taiwanese buffet style. It began with fresh fish, duck, and various meats. Then several delicious vegetable dishes and soups were brought out. The food just kept coming as we all engaged in friendly conversations. We all shared our enthusiasm for the coming adventure in Taiwan and China.
The meal was finished with a variety of fresh fruit which is the traditional Taiwanese dessert.
After eating we went to several famous cultural locations that are important to Taiwanese and Chinese people alike. The first was the Shiman reservoir, a favorite spot of Jung Chi Shi, a very important man to Taiwanese history. Many people visit this location which is known for its beauty and tranquility. We took advantage of this opportunity to take many pictures. After visiting the dam and taking a tour from the bus, we arrived to the Jung Chi Shi memorial park; which is characterized by statues and monuments brought from throughout the country. This is also the location of Jung Chi Shi's tomb. We joined the Taiwanese people in paying our respects as we walked by his tomb, bowing.
The sights were beautiful and gave us a feel of Taiwanese culture. We concluded our tour of the park with some Taiwanese ice cream. Keep in mind this was one day, non-stop of traveling with no rest. We had been on the go since Friday and it was now Sunday evening. When we finally arrived to National Chung Cheng University and made our ways to our rooms we were all exhausted. Needless to say, everyone was glad to finally get out of their clothes, shower and get some rest. The next morning we visited the management building of the National Chung Cheng university to attend class on the economy and development of Taiwan. We were given an overview of the history, some of the problems and projected direction of the economy in the coming years. After a short question and answer session, we engaged in a cultural class and also participated in a tea ceremony.
Ready to go out
That same evening, we had the opportunity to visit a Biotechnology Laboratory at the TBI headquarters in Chia-Yi. We were informed of its healthy and ground breaking new products. We were also taken to the processing, manufacturing, and packaging facilities. This company is characterized for the use of aseptic system in their manufacturing plants, which increases beneficial health effects and storage length. We were then invited by some of the professors to join them for dinner. After dinner we went back to our rooms and rested for the long day ahead. The very next morning, our group enjoyed a 3 hour drive from Chia-Yi to the Taiwanese capital city of Taipei, where we had the opportunity to visit Hsinchu Science Park, famous for the more than 400 high-tech companies, mainly involved in the semiconductor, computer, telecommunication, and optoelectronics industries.
Here, we visited the headquarters of TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, where we learned about the company's products and its impact on Taiwan's economy.
The next day, our group explored the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Here we saw Taiwan's ancient traditions, its history, and the famous pots and ceramic artifacts created in the ancient times. We followed by visiting the worlds tallest building, Taipei 101. The elevator took only 37 seconds to reach the top! The view from the top was astronomical. The whole city was at our fingertips. We took several pictures and listened to its history and impact. We followed by visiting Freedom Hall. The structures were enormous and enchanting. There were three majestic temples in the middle of the square.
We posed with the huge monument of Dr. Sun Yat Sin.
"Then a funny thing happened when a little puppy entered our group. The little puppy became fascinated with my leg (Michele). He kept humping and humping and no one came to my rescue. Eventually I had to run away to save myself. Hope everyone gets a kick out of the video."
Then when things were back to normal we watched the soldiers do their procession in order to close the gate. This was their normal closing ceremony everyday. After this we were off to dinner so we set off to find the famous Modern Toilet. Christian and I heard about this restaurant on the travel channel. It was quite impressive the seats were in the shape of toilets and the utensils had a variety of shapes modeled after urinals, potties, and bathtubs. It was "the shit!" Sadly this was also our last dinner in Taiwan. The next morning we went to the airport to depart to Shanghai.