Monday, May 29, 2006

Taiwan, Part 6

Yawn... we just got back home last night and I didn't get up until about 2pm today. I'm going to be falling asleep at work during the day for a least a week!

We spent our 2nd week in Taiwan checking out local sights and eating. My dad still has a lot of friends in Taiwan from his college days and we were invited to dinner almost every night. A lot of them are retired generals in the Taiwan military, some even CIA/NSA types. One highlight was a tour of the Presidential Building (like the White House in Washington D.C.) in Taipei. They have regular tours for visitors but my dad has two friends who are high-ranking officials working in the building and one gave us a VIP tour. We even caught a glimpse of the president walking along a corridor.

Presidential Building (總統府) from outside. It was originally built by the Japanese after they occupied Taiwan.

My special VIP pass

One of two gardens inside the building

Reception room where foreign dignitaries sit and take pictures. This section is not open to visitors but our "tour guide" got us past all the guards. :)

We also visited several more places including Jioufen (九份) and Danshuei (淡水) but we also stayed in the apartment with the A/C blasting since it was way too hot and humid outside.

Restaurant that serves 100+ types of mushrooms. We had 8 types in the pot. I usually like mushrooms but this was a bit too much.

CKS Memorial Hall

Road in Danshuei with lots of signage and scooters... pretty much like the rest of Taiwan.

Huwei Fort in Danshuei constructed after the Sino-French War

Cafe next to Huwei Fort. The sign says "Not A Coffehouse". Shirley and I (and Silvia and German) were here exactly 11 month ago last June... funny sad how your whole life can change in such a short time.

Dinner at a Japanese BBQ restaurant in Danshuei. It's kind of like Gyu-Kaku in the U.S. except it's all you can eat and only NT$390 (US$12) per person!

Lover's Bridge (sign said Valentine's Bridge in English) at Fishermen's Wharf in Danshuei

Crane in a pond in 228 Peace Park (used to be called New Park)

Bowl of beef noodle on Taoyuan Street in Taipei. It was pretty good but cost NT$110. For a bit more money, I can get pretty good beef noodle in Irvine too.

Route map at bus stop outside the apartment we stayed. Bus fare is NT$15 while taxi fare starts at NT$70. Good luck finding your way if you don't read Chinese.

Guy selling raw meat from the back of his truck in Jioufen. Make sure you cook the meat thoroughly.

Houses built into the hillside at Jioufen

Longshan Temple (龍山寺) in Taipei, built in 1738. We went on a Saturday and the place was packed.

Sign/gate outside Hwashi Night Market, aka Snake Alley. There were many stores selling snake meat and weird potions. My parents said they brought my sister and me to drink a snake blood potion when we were young for some medical reason.

Trash night! Actually, every night is trash night except Wednesday and Sunday at our apartment. There is no trash bin; you have to bring your trash to the street and toss it into the trash truck yourself at 9:30pm sharp; our truck plays Fur Elise to let you know it's here. Our apartment building has 12 stories with 4 units on each floor which means 44 families and their trash packing the elevator each night.


hogsman said...

Is Danshuei the same as Tamsui? If so, I stayed at Danshuei for 3 weeks when I was on the "Chinese Love Boat" back in '85 I was at Tamkang University -- one of the most un-fun times of my life. I thought I had experienced extreme humidity while growing up in the South, but the humidity in Taipei was even more oppressive.

Glad you're back!

totochi said...

Yes, I think Tamsui is the Taiwanese romanization. They stuck you way out there? Did you get to hang out in Taipei at all?

leon chiu said...


nice pictures. i always thought the Taiwanese white house would have more green in it. i think the president is hiding inside these days. lots of activity with his son-in-law in jail for taking gifts. i'm surprised these still have the ROC flags in the presidential house. i thought it would be the new Taiwanese flag.