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Published: November 14th 2013
Once the tallest building in the world, still an awesome sight and a modern marvel of building in a city that can have severe typhoons
Hello from Taiwan
I never thought much about visiting Taiwan until one day I was walking around my neighborhood and saw a happy looking guy who looked like a tourist and was taking photographs of anything interesting that he could see. I said "hello, how are you?". He said "Hello, my name is Max and I just arrived from Taiwan yesterday". We chatted and to cut a long story short Max and I have become very good friends. Max was on a working holiday in Australia for a year with his girlfriend Nikki. Max told me a lot about Taiwan and I started researching about his country and decided to do a two week tour as part of my extended holiday to Asia from October to January 2014.
It has turned out to be a great decision and I booked a five day tour around Taiwan and also caught the fast train for a one day excursion to Tainan the old capital of Taiwan where Max was staying with his family. My impression of Taiwan is a high tech, modern society with very friendly people. Other places that I visit are a bit crazy sometimes. Taiwanese
people were very nice, patient, polite and they drive vehicles very carefully. I felt very safe and comfortable in Taiwan. My Taiwanese friends looked after me like I was part of their family and made me feel very welcome in their country. They were proud of their home and I can see why they love Taiwan so much.
Max and Nikki showed me around Taipei for the first three days after I arrived. Nikki had been back in Taiwan for a few weeks and Max arrived the day after me and considering that Max had been away from his family who live in Tainan for a year it was very considerate of him to stay in Taipei to show me around.
The main places we saw were the Presidential Palace, Taiwan Expo Park and Shilin Night Market. We also caught the MRT to the end of the line at Tamsui which is a sea-side district in northern Taiwan and has a market, fortress and many eateries. Max and Nikki made sure I tried as much local food as possible. In most cases I would never have known what or how to order.
Another friend that I have
helped with his English studies over the last few months via the internet and I met for the first time in Taipei also took me for food and drinks with his other friends and to places like the hot springs in the mountains. It was difficult to spend money as my friends wanted to treat me which seems to be the local custom. A nice change from other places I go to but I did my best to pay for some meals and drinks. The Taiwan beer is very good and the food varies slightly in taste in each part of the country with the local cuisine.
Most of my stories of this visit are shown in the photos. Taiwan is a wonderful and beautiful country. I will be back soon in the new year. There will be more blog entries to cover the five day tour and my last days for this trip.
There are 50 photos. Click each photo if you want a larger view.
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