Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taipei, Taiwan

As promised, here is my blog post about our most recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. Kev and I went for just a few days. The flight wasn't bad at all, about a hour flight from Okinawa to Taipei. We were hoping the weather would be good for us, but alas because of the two typhoons brewing in the Pacific, we did get some residual rain.

On our first day in the city, we checked into our hotel and then decided to visit the National Palace Museum.

The museum is mostly a collection of art from the many dynasties of China. Pretty cool stuff, but what was even more interesting for us was learning about the indigineous groups of people who lived on Taiwan. Prior to the Han Chinese coming from mainland and becoming the majority population of the island, aboriginal groups had lived on the island. These people are related to the same groups of people who lived in Australia, New Guinea, and Samoa.

Following our jaunt in the museum, we then headed to Taipei 101, currently the world's tallest building. We managed to get there late enough in the day to enjoy the beautiful sunset. The bottom floors of Taipei 101 are shopping floors, with other floors serving as business offices. Of course, the top level floors are observatories open to the public. According to Wikipedia, Taipei 101 is one of the 7Wonders of the World and has 101 floors, 5 of which are underground. The Burj Dubai in Dubai (visit our photos from our December 2007 trip for that) is trying to beat Taipei 101,but since it is still under construction, Taipei 101 still holds the record as the world's tallest building.

The following day, Kev and I decided to just walk about the city to see what we could find. We came across two beautiful temples. A Confucian temple and a Buddhist temple. Both were equally beautiful with their ornate designs and bright and bold colors. It was amazing to see how devoted the Taiwanese are. You can tell the community has put much of their hard earned money into these temples.

To the average person, there probably doesn't appear to be too much of a difference, but believe me, there is! At the buddhist temple, people were buying flowers, cakes, incense, and other offerings to well, you know, Buddha.

Once we paid our respects, I came across these fun figures outside.

Check this out!

What? I can't hear you....

I can't see you....

Okay, okay, so I'm a dork.....

Anyway, before leaving the city, we took a trip to Lover's Bridge and the fishermen's market before escaping to the quiet respite of Wulai. Wulai is about a hour train ride away in southern Taipei county. Nestled in the mountains on the banks of the large Wulai river, Wulai is famous for its hot springs and aboriginal culture. One of Taiwan's original aboriginal groups, the Atayal, still live here.

Stay tuned for the fishermen's market, Wulai, and part II of our Taipei Adventures!


2 comments: said...

I love your photos of Taiwan as they remind me of when your mother and I lived there in the 70's. Your photos were both funny and thought provoking. I especially liked the three monkeys photos...

Love Always,

Julian said...

you are a monkey. so am i...:)

ahhhh land of the bubble tea. did you set some?

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