Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Travel Mar 11, 2018

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.

Taipei Streets 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 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 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.

The Grand Hotel 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 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.

Damper Baby 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!

NYE 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.

Raifung We then moved on to Raifung, a city on the outskirts of Taipei as we travelled to Jiufen.

Jiufen View Jiufen city towards the north of the island on top of a mountain providing many wonderful views.

Old Street 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.

Old Street Calm Thankfully, as we approached our hotel, it became a lot calmer.

Teahouse Jiufen is famed for it’s many teahouses, which is where the inspiration for Spirited Away came from.

Inside Teahouse 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.

Keelung The next day we headed for Keelung for a night, a city by the ocean about an hour’s busride from Jiufen.

Keelung Lanterns Just down from our hotel there was a great little latern setup.

Fluffer And possibly the worlds fluffiest dog!

Keelung Nightmarket The main attraction in Keelung was the nightmarket, which is one of the biggest in Taiwan.

Sun Moon Lake Next stop, Sun Moon Lake! It’s a small resort like village in the middle of Taiwan

Together This was high on both of our to-do lists, and we both really enjoyed it

Honey Moon Suite We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite!

New Friend And we also made a new friend!

Gondola 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.

Miller and Pika Of the entire trip, the claw machines by the lake were our best ones!

Taichung Taichung city on our way to Taipei

Imgur All in all, it was a great trip, full of great food, great sites, lots of fun, and many great memories!