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Published: October 25th 2017
No wonder they overnight us at the airport prior to our next day flight....it took us nearly one and half hours, 76klms from CBD. Flight left Narita, Tokyo at 3.40pm Thursday arrived Taipei 6.10pm good flight but plane banked around s couple of times could see typhoon out our window. Our tour guide met us and whisked us off into our hotel Green World...very nice and modern hotel. Had a bit of walk around area and had a pizza (now starting to crave for a western fix) and beers and hit the sack. Our group on this leg is 9...8 of us have been together since beginning. So its been 14 in South Korea, 23 in Japan and now 9 for Taiwan. Introduction to breaky in Taipei Fri am....lots of rice, sauces etc to eat with it, different fish in sauces, salad, some eggplant and token western breaky was sliced up baguette and some spagetti carbonara....could be an interesting time here! They try and are very friendly! We will see how it pans out but drizzle forecast for every day we are here. First off Friday to the National Palace Museum, this is one amazing place, over 690,000 pieces of ancient
Enjoying a beer in the food van park in the shadows of Building 101
Chinese imperial artefacts and artworks, you would love it Lee Kisler! Equisite pieces! Then on Tamsui district of New Taipei, interesting mix of street foods and shops in Tamsui Old Street, we had delicious seafood from a street vendor. Went to the 101 Tower which was the tallest building in the world for sometime but we didn't go up the top as it was still cloudy and drizzly which was a shame. Visited a food van park and sat and relaxed and enjoyed a locally brewed beer. Then took the bus to Mengjia Longshan Temple, now this was very impressive, the detail was one out of the box, we loved it and there was a big ceremony going on so we did feel a bit like intruders but still managed to have a good look around, we then went across to Snake Alley (also know as Huaxti Street Tourist Night Market) and we did see snakes urrgghh yuk!! Our tour guides name is Robert and he is a short little Taiwanese guy with tattooed eyebrows....John christened him Jacky Chan....that has stuck for the whole trip....quirky little fellow! Onto dinner about 7.00pm and had a typical Taiwanese banquet just like chinese
NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
Shang dynasty bronze pots
food really but plenty to chose from, fish ball soup, beef soup with rice, fish, pork, greens and pancake/omelette..more than enough. Cabbage and bean shoots and a couple of stale pieces of soft baquette for breaky! Yummmm! Taiwan is about 1/2 the size of Tassie so we are getting a really good look around the island in a week. Took off from Taipei on Saturday, overnighted in Puli after a visit to Sun Moon Lake, a beautiful area, again a lot of greenery and national parks here and the Taiwanese like to get out and about on the weekend, lovely cruise on the lake, and then Sunday onto Kaohsiung, quite a big city after visiting Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Centre, absolutely gob smacking, huge temple only completed 3 years ago, spent a few hours here....religion...money, money, money! Then out for a walk and a couple of beers on the Love River and out for a steam boat dinner which was delicious! Never thought I would hear myself saying I am getting a little tired of Asian food....dreaming of roast lamb or a juicy steak!!! Where are you Leesy and Simon to cook my roast lamb when I get home!
NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
The ceramics were just beautiful
The road system here is amazing, freeways built high above ground, particularly when you are in an earthquake prone area, like 2200 earthquakes a year of 214 per year can be felt....haven't felt one yet!!! So efficient and easy to get around the island of Taiwan. Monday down to the southern most tip of Taiwan to Kenting National Park and onto Taitung City via the scenic Southern Link Highway. Tuesday visted the East Coast National Scenic Area, 170klms down the east coast, beautiful coastline stopping off for lunch high up in the hills overlooking the coast. Jacky tells us this area is like Hawaii but not as commercialised....NOT...nothing like Hawaii, we didn't ask him if he had been to Hawaii!! Hualien overnight and this hotel was right in the middle of town and only about a year old, great spot to stay, city had a really nice feel to it and people are just so friendly! Wanted a night off chinese food so found this gorgeous Spanish place with a spanish chef, a huge big warehouse turned into a restaurant and only a block and a half from our hotel, thoroughly enjoyed our meal over a nice bottle of red.
NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
All stone, mainly jade
Beforehand called into a little local place for a beer and met a lovely local girl, who happened to have been in Australia about 4 years ago for a 1 year on a working holiday, she was gorgeous and we had a great chat! Wednesday, Taiwan you have redeemed yourself, a visit to Taroko National Park was spectacular, soaring mountains, with little temples and great walks here. We were not that keen to go too far, as we were warned from our chat with the local girl there have been a lot of rock slides in recent weeks, "be very careful" she told us! There was one place The Swallow Grotto we could not get to because there had actually been a big rock slide yesterday.....could see evidence of slides everywhere along the mountainsides.....loved the place but were also glad to get out of there without any incident! Its like the Great Ocean Road on steroids! Our bus driver was out of this world, the drive back along the coast was spectacular with winding, steep roads around the cliffs. We have enjoyed our circle trip of Taiwan but they are so NOT ready for western tourists or don't give a
NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
Lots of buddhas from hundreds of years ago
damn...the breakfasts have been just about non existent for westerners. They are so proud of their country and they have a lot of "Worlds biggest or best" .....which we would not totally agree with. When we finally got down onto flat ground stopped off at a Seafood Restaurant in a fishing village and this was probably the best tour meal we have had on the Taiwan leg of our trip, three differenet sorts of fish, veges, rice, pork and tofu, fish ball soup and prawns. Last night here closeby to the airport, huge room with jacuzzi....the hotels have been very good and really clean! Will miss our Auckland mates from this trip, these two guys have been a lot of fun and we have had a lot of laughs!
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