Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Over the New Year Period 2017/2018, Lucie and I travelled around Taiwan. A lot of people asked us why we decided to go there,
as it is not a popular destination for tourists. We were looking for somewhere to travel to that was both affordable, and worth
travelling too for two weeks. Lucie had suggested Taiwan, and had wanted to go there ever since listening to two podcasts from 99% Invisible, Separation Anxiety, and Supertall 101.
The first talks about Taiwan’s unique culture around recycling and rubbish, and the second about the type of bolts used in Taipei 101,
and how they built it. They are both very interesting, and I highly recommend listening to them both.
First stop, Taipei City! It was such a cool and vibrant place, and extremely clean thanks to the initiatives mentioned in the first podcast.
Claw machines, games where you could catch toys were everywhere, and we spent FAR too much money on each one, but they were so much fun!
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, a memorial to the man who led the nationalists away from mainland China after the reise of Mao, one of the biggest events in the history of Taiwan.
Tha Grand Hotel, a very famous hotel that sits above Taipei and looks over the city. It has hosted many famous guests, including US presidents and royalty.
Ximeding, a huge shopping district sometimes described as the “Times Square of Taipei”. There were many Japanese themed shops around selling all kinds of goods.
At the top of Taipei 101 with the Damper Baby mentioned in the second podcast! Whilst clouds marred our views, it was great to see the entire city!
We spent NYE out watching the fireworks at Taipei 101 (with what felt like the rest of the country), which are said to be some of the best in the world, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
We then moved on to Raifung, a city on the outskirts of Taipei as we travelled to Jiufen.
Jiufen city towards the north of the island on top of a mountain providing many wonderful views.
One of the main attractions is the Old Street, with many old style shops and cafes. It is a long and windy road, with many interesting attractions to see.
Thankfully, as we approached our hotel, it became a lot calmer.
Jiufen is famed for it’s many teahouses, which is where the inspiration for Spirited Away came from.
Inside, we spent many hours just relaxing and drinking some of the nicest tea either of us have ever had. Many people come here just to relax and read.
The next day we headed for Keelung for a night, a city by the ocean about an hour’s busride from Jiufen.
Just down from our hotel there was a great little latern setup.
And possibly the worlds fluffiest dog!
The main attraction in Keelung was the nightmarket, which is one of the biggest in Taiwan.
Next stop, Sun Moon Lake! It’s a small resort like village in the middle of Taiwan
This was high on both of our to-do lists, and we both really enjoyed it
We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite!
And we also made a new friend!
There was a fantastic gondola ride that possibly took us a mile high at it’s peak! Our hotel is to the left of the photo.
Of the entire trip, the claw machines by the lake were our best ones!
Taichung city on our way to Taipei
All in all, it was a great trip, full of great food, great sites, lots of fun, and many great memories!