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August 26th 2015
Published: September 24th 2015
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Kinda late with this post, but well as they say, better late than never!

After leaving Japan en route back home to Singapore I decided to pop by Taipei in Taiwan for a bit. I'd been there just a few years ago, but that was a really short two day stay so I thought I'd re-visit and check things out at a more leisurely pace.

I have to say for some reason I had rather high expectations for Taipei -- everyone talks about the friendly people, the great food in the night markets, and the cute and pretty girls with their pleasant Mandarin accents. And they're all true. But for some reason Taiwan just didn't quite grab me like Korea and Japan did. Taipei reminded me a lot of Chongqing on the mainland -- old, rather dirty, crowded, and generally not-so-appealing. I guess that should've been no surprise given the nationalistic Kuomintang roots that both places share (alongside the likes of Nanjing that I'd also visited earlier this trip). But Chongqing wasn't a particularly pleasant memory for me -- nothing unpleasant in particular, other than the extreme heat at the time, and so now I've unfortunately come to associate
National Palace MuseumNational Palace MuseumNational Palace Museum

I recall coming here my last visit to Taipei four years ago. There seems to be even more tourists coming here now, the crowd and the feeling of having to strain my neck to get a better glimpse of some exhibits, not to mention the suppressed but still highly-audible murmuring definitely made me feel like I was back at one of mainland China's mega touristy museums again...
Taipei with it as well, notwithstanding the thousands of miles separating the two places. Perhaps I was starting to run low on energy, this being pretty much my last stop on what has otherwise been another awesome leg on the whole? Either way, Taipei left me with some mixed feelings...

Stayed at Apartment 10F Hostel.

Additional photos below
Photos: 31, Displayed: 23


Taipei 101Taipei 101
Taipei 101

The tallest in the world at some point in time. For some reason though it just doesn't seem so impressive and tall to me anymore, not after my trip to Shanghai and seeing the monsters there...
Addicted to CapsulesAddicted to Capsules
Addicted to Capsules

The hostels, not the pills! After staying in them throughout my time in Japan, I've decided to stick with them, and found one in Taipei - 10F Apartment Hostels.
Falungong in TaipeiFalungong in Taipei
Falungong in Taipei

I saw them in Seoul, Osaka, and now Taipei. They're everywhere!
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial HallChiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

With the man himself.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial HallChiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Mock-up of his office.
National History MuseumNational History Museum
National History Museum

Really quite a misnomer, it was mostly an odd mix of some contemporary art, and old ceramics. Taiwan seems to have a complex about needing to insert the prefix "national" in just about everything.
Museum of Contemporary ArtMuseum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art

Lotsa pretty random stuff inside.
Boiled squid/octopusBoiled squid/octopus
Boiled squid/octopus

For some reason, when I see that I think of a restaurant in Chinatown near Leicester Square in London, where I once had it over ten years ago, and still dream of every now and then...
Confucius TempleConfucius Temple
Confucius Temple

Dedicated to the most famous and respected ancient Chinese philosopher.
Old School Sizzling Hot Plate SteakOld School Sizzling Hot Plate Steak
Old School Sizzling Hot Plate Steak

No frills and tasty, and just TWD180 (about USD6). Just the way I like things.
Museum of Fine ArtMuseum of Fine Art
Museum of Fine Art

Taiwan is definitely at the vanguard with respect to what they define as art. This exhibit was a guy going around in circles very, very slowly with some kinda mop, sweeping dried padi husks.
Museum of Fine ArtMuseum of Fine Art
Museum of Fine Art

More examples of what the Taiwanese consider "fine art" - a collection of the ubiquitous "Fortune Cats".

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