Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Taiwan Trip - Part 2

In my first post, I did a lot of telling. In this one, I'm going to do a lot of showing. Scroll down as I show some of the highlights from days 2-4 in the historical and interesting country of Taiwan (descriptions included!)

Video clip of the crazy crowded Taipei MRT:

Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall - a large outdoor courtyard surrounded by some incredible buildings

The front gate

Absolutely gorgeous

My favorite building - the actual Hall - had a distinct octagon-shaped, blue roof

Up close...

Outside in the courtyard, they were having a market set up with all kinds of tents and food vendors. We bought some sugarcane juice that was being made right there in the tent!

Flax seeds

They had all sorts of corn-dogs for sale

Right before leaving Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall, we got to see a change of guards ceremony at the top of the hour. These guys were amazing and incredibly disciplined!

Later that day, we took an hour bus ride wayyyy up into the mountains to a little town called Chiufen. Although it was sunny down in Taipei, it was misting rain the whole time here. We were soooo high up, it was nerve-racking when the bus was going around the sharp twists and turns up mountain. The main street in Chiufen was a maze-like alleyway that was packed with people, souvenir shops, and food vendors - such a cool place!

Our favorite treat we tried up in Chiufen - some sort of churro-like dessert that wasn't as sugary, but soooo good. We went back for seconds;)

Hand-made clay figurines in the oldest Tea House in Chiufen


Really beautiful set of stairs we found that ended up leading to someones house (Yes, we had to climb them!) Can you imagine having to climb these to get to your house??? I think the misty rain makes them look even more cool

Passion fruit

Chinese Foo Dog

A hidden temple up in Chiufen

This one was very brightly colored

Later that night back in the city - the Ximen District of Taipei - like the Times Square of NYC!

The shopping streets here were amazing!

Modern Toilet - the themed restaurant we had to try

Can you guess the theme here?


Some cool street art in Ximen

At the Ximen Red House - an old brick building with an outdoor courtyard on the inside full of pubs and restaurants - it kind of had a beer garden feel. Absinthe is legal in Taiwan, so I had to try it. It was nothing like I've EVER tasted - I'm not sure liquid even went down my throat, because as soon as I sipped it, my mouth felt like it was full of chemicals... checked that one off my list - never having it again! The slogan of the night - "Absinthe - like getting punched in the throat".

Our final day up in Yeh Liu - a fishing village located on the Northern coast of Taiwan

Seafood traps - piles and piles and piles of them

Yeh Liu Geopark - an area on the coast that contains hundreds of naturally shaped rock formations

Another gorgeous day outside - me at the coast of Taiwan - being very Japanese;)

Skipping rocks

Matt at the entrance to the geopark

You can see how many rock formations there were - this is just one area

Fossils everywhere

These were called "Candlestick Rocks"

There were what looked like water paths marked into the ground all over the place

The main attraction at Yeh Liu Geopark was large and very beautiful - called "Queens Head"

We couldn't let the weekend go by without seeing the (now) second tallest building in the world - and still the tallest building in all of Asia - Taipei 101

Taipei 101 also has the World's Fastest Elevator - we went to the 89th floor about 40 seconds!

Check out this clip in the elevator:

It was a hazy night in Taipei, but we were still able to get a few shots of the city

Me with the 101 mascot

The GIANT wind damper up in the top of Taipei 101 that helps to prevent structural damage due to high winds - you can see how big it is compared to Matt

Looking down 89 flights of stairs makes you more than a little dizzy

Getting creative with our tripod in front of this cool sculpture outside Taipei 101

Sayonara Taipei!!


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