27 June 2016

Photo Diary: Taipei,Taiwan (Day 1)

(This trip happened last 2014)


When we booked the ticket, I did not have much ideas what to do and where to go. We just wanted a new destination. We were feeling adventurous. Luckily, a local travel show featured Taiwan and it gave me some scoops on what we are bound to expect once we get there. It looked promising.

And it sure was.

Here are our memories of our Day 1:
The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Impressive on the inside. Not that big but fully functional. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning and we were quite worried on how to get to the city which was more than 30 minutes away. But they have an efficient public transportation system and staff so we went forward easily. 
At that time, TWD1 = PHP1.50. Not bad at all.
Ximending District, our neighborhood of choice. Centrally located and used to be the life of the city in its glory days. Quiet during daytime but bustling at night. Our hotel (Kingshi Hotel) was a 5-minute walk away from the Taiwan Railway system. We loved that the most in this place. At the same time, this place lits up fantastically at night with it's night market and night life. 
Where are all the people and cars? Asleep I guess. This was taken around 10:00am.
A little exploring got us a photo op with this graffiti. 
The place of action at night. The weather was hot during the time of this visit which was around mid-September but that did not deter us from exploring. Reminded me of PH weather.
That at my back is the Red House. Per Wikipedia, it was originally a marketplace then turned into a theater and now is houses several shops that offers an array of different products and exhibits.
My requirement: A street shot with the street sign! 
Efficient train system that I really would like PH to have. So fast and economical. 
First timers on board!
First on the itinerary was the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Because of the easy train rides, getting here was a breeze! This definite tourist-catcher of a landmark was a sight to behold. 
The vendo machines here are diverse! Loved them all!
Another shot of the train system from a different station.
Our next stop on the list was to see the pride of Taiwan.. the Taipei 101. This super tall 101-floors skyscraper with the shape and design of a bamboo is truly one of its kind. Very Asian looking. Located at the business district, it is impossible not to see this. And you should. One should not miss going up the top. 
Michelin-starred Din Tai Fung is a must try for all. We attempted to dine but failed because the queue was unbelievably long and to think this was past lunch time already.
So instead we ended up at Taipei 101's classy food court. Lots of choices and prices were very reasonable. Servings generous and tasty, our stomachs sang a happy tune.
See! Big servings!
Inside the Taipei 101 is a mall also. We circled around before going to the top of this beautiful building which we came here for.
Going up the Taipei 101 Observatory costs NTD 500 only. Less than 800 in Philippine money. I say that's very cheap if you think of the sight that you're going to see at the top.
Indeed a fast elevator. And you barely feel anything.
There it is! The view from the 89th floor. Amazing! So high up! If i remember correctly, we spent more than 30 minutes here just looking around.
And there was this mirror thingie on the floor. Gave the impression of  great heights and I liked it. Could not resist taking a couple of selfies.
This huge ball is the modern wonder caller the Damper. A tuned mass damper, or harmonic absorber, is a device mounted in structures to reduce the amplitude or mechanical vibrations. From what I've understood, this pretty much helps control the swaying movement of the building in cases of strong winds or quakes. 
And this my friends, is the view from the 91st floor. This is already outdoors and you can really feel the strong wind fly about everywhere. Makes one feel very alive! The 89th floor was indoors so it's just plain sightseeing but this one here is the real deal. We stayed for around 20 minutes or so. 
91st floor captures!
Lol! I did not see anything. 
Going back down, I bought a lot of these jerkies. A favorite of mine.
I conquered! Ticked off the bucket list.
Late afternoon view outside Taipei 101.
I found LOVE!
At night. Look at that design, very modern yet also traditional.
This was the rush hour scene at the train station. Not bad.
And of course, do not miss to visit the most famous night market named Shilin. You can find a lot of wares here, edible or not. For us, food tripping here was pretty epic! Cheap prices but great taste! 
Narrow streets lined up with carts.
And I noticed that they like their dogs a lot here. I've seen some pretty and cute doggies in just one day.
Busy, busy, busy!
Food trip it is! All these in one night. 
An eventful first day it was for us. At the end of it, my feet were so sore and shoulders tight due to all the heavy carrying of my bag. Mind you, you might think you've packed light but as the day progresses, so does the weight you're carrying. But it was worth it.

If I were to come back to Taiwan, I'd love to have that epic food trip again.


Read more of my Taiwan trip:

Taipei, Taiwan Day 2 & 3
Taiwan Food Trip

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