Share This

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Taipei, Taiwan

IMG_2129.jpg (1600×1200)
Millennium Hot Springs, XinBetiou
February 17.  I decided on Taiwan for my two-week break from teaching in South Korea and after a 12 hour layover in China and one airport change, I’ll be in Taiwan.  There’s a certain anxiety I get when traveling abroad; anxieties of not knowing the language, unable to call anyone (in case of emergency) for help and other general anxieties like getting lost or getting sick.  

Still, I made sure plan for certain things and well…to take things easy.  After all, I’m on vacation.

IMG_2130.jpg (960×1280)
sitting in water 45 C
February 19.  Ive been in Taipei almost two whole days now and I can say that despite the rain, I feel very relaxed.  Ive met some nice folks here at my hostel who much like me, are not afraid at the idea of traveling alone.  Over the next few days, I hope to venture out and see some of the sights Taipei has to offer
February 23.  Been out and about in Taipei for the past few days taking the MRT every which way it seems The  hot springs in XinBetiou are really, really hot but also really relaxing.
IMG_2183.jpg (1200×1600)
At Taipei 101

Tapei 101 is something you gotta see to believe.  At 439.2 m tall, it's considered the second tallest building in the world (next to Burj Khalifa Building in Dubai).  At a speed of 37.7 mph, I was up 89 floors in 35 seconds flat. This is the fastest elevator in the world.  Taipei 101 is also a financial center that houses many, many shops and restaurants.    After waiting in line for more than an hour, the quick ride in the elevator to the 89th floor was welcomed.  The view at night was incredible.  There's also a huge supermarket on the ground floor.  

The view of Taipei (and Taipei 101) from Elephant mountain is very nice and in the right companyit can be incredibly romantic.  

Getting around Taipei is pretty cheap; Anywhere from 15 NT (.50 USD) to 35 NT one way, depending on where you want to go.  According to what you wanna eat, food can be incredibly affordable as well.  Ive been to the grocery store near my hostel on several occasions and fruits can be more pricy than vegetables but still rather low even for an individual traveling on a budget.  As a vegan traveling in Asia, this can be tricky, but so far Im really impressed with the vegetarian and vegan food options available in Taipei and since I tend to cook my food, having a nearby grocery store is well, convenient.

IMG_2221.jpg (3264×2448)
Greeted by a butterfly at the Taipei Zoo
February 24.   Today I headed to Tapei Zoo which is at the end of the Wenhu (Brown) Line, for a day of observation.  What do I spot first?This lovely creature on the right.  

With the sun shining and the zoo humming with children laughing and playing, this was a great start to my day.  My favorite animals are the Asian elephants and the giraffes.  I wanted to head there first but the they were located in an area that would take me a while to get to.  So, I decided to check out whatever was closest to the entrance and wind my way around to the giraffes and elephants.

Monkeys at Taipei Zoo
Next, I saw this  group monkeying around.  LOL No, they were very much relaxing and soaking up the  warm sun.    It was hard to tell just how many monkeys were  in the treeand even more so from the lenses of my iPhone.  How many monkeys can you spot?  Im not really sure how many there are either.  :-)

Asian Elephants at Taipei Zoo
Finally, I found the Asian elephants.  I stayed for a while hoping they would get a little closer, but they kept their distance.  I noticed that when one elephant moved in a particular direction, the other stayed close by.  How collective.  I also noticed that elephants moved around very slowly and so appeared to be tired, even though Im sure its the weight they carry around. Where Im from, elephants are a symbol of good luck.  
Pretty flower at the Taipei Botanical Gardens

February 28.  On my last day in Taiwan, I decided to head to the Longshan Temple and Taipei Botanical Gardens.  I was able to find both rather easily but I still enjoyed the company of an older gentleman who stopped to ask me if I needed any directions.  He gave me a brief history on his move from China to Taipei 65 years earlier and on the history of Longshan Temple.  After a somewhat awkward good-bye, I headed to the temple.  Many people gathered there to pray.  As I observed the people solemnly praying, incense sticks in hand, I took in the sweet aroma of flowers, incense and the energy of the people.  I looked around some more, I marveled at the intricate lanterns and displays from the Lunar New Year celebrations for the
Year of the Horse”.

To travel is to live.  Hans Christian Andersen

!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page -->

No comments: