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Taiwan: Non-stop Taipei

A pit stop in the city

28 July, 2010 by

Armed with a total of 5 cameras and various camera phones, 3 friends and myself set off on a journey to Taiwan. Motive of the trip: to recharge ourselves after a long year of studying or working. But of course, snapping as many photos as we can, pigging out on the street snacks in Taipei and hiking our way through the beautiful greenery of Alishan were the main objectives of this journey.

I will be covering the trip in 2 main articles, one of Taipei and another for Alishan. In this part, you will be witnessing a non-stop Taipei sightseeing adventure. It served primarily as a pit stop for us to actually transit to Chiayi-Alishan, so we did only minimal sightseeing and last minute shopping at Taipei. While we only briefly covered the various areas of interest in Taipei, I still managed to snap a few good pictures. Alas, the pictures featured below are a combined effort with my friends.

PS: As there was a little problem with the film camera that i brought with me to the Taiwan trip, some Light leaks (red glares) occurred in various pictures featured below. Please forgive me for some of the bad photos shown.

The Flight to Taipei (台北):

Final check for our boarding Jetstar flight to Taiwan.

Excited to see Taipei in another 5~6 hours? You bet.

First thing to do is to get the Taiwan youth card from the information counter. Selected shops/hostels and most of the ticketed premises will be given 5%~15% discount once u show them this.

Lugging heavy luggage, coach was our preferred choice of transport in and out of Taoyuan International Airport.

For traveling around Taipei itself, Taipei Metro is your best and least expensive option.

Be sure to get the Easycard from the metro stations. It covers almost everything from metro/buses to even boats.

Ximending (西門町):

We went to Ximending. The "Harajuku" of Taipei and a shopping heaven for teenagers.

The main entrance of the Ximending street could be located by looking for the huge screen.

The famous Red House Theater. Its located just opposite the streets of Ximending.

Approach the friendly police for directions and ogle at the World of Warcraft signboard if you are a fan.

Street of Ximending itself. Taxis, bikes and even trucks are allowed to cross free in the streets during weekdays, we have to constantly look out vehicles before crossing even the small streets.

One of the popular ice cream stalls loaded with students. The ice cream is reputed to be 1/3 of your body's length.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂):

Visited Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Really huge parade square.

Ceremonial main gate to the memorial hall.

Bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek in the main inner hall.

One of the 2 Ceremonial guards on duty. Sadly they are fenced a huge distance from the visitors, preventing visitors from doing stupid poses with the guards. This also means the pictures we could take of them are not going to be of decent quality.

If you look up to the ceiling, you could see a huge Taiwan flag logo in the hall.

A duplicate of Chiang Kai-shek's office in one of the inner halls, complete with a life sized model of Chiang Kai-shek.

Beitou Hot Springs District (北投溫泉區):

Beitou Metro Station. They put in great effort on the decorations.

While Xin Beitou was the actual destination that we were suppose to visit for the hot spring, getting there will require a transition ride from the normal metro line to a specially decorated tram from Beitou station.

Beitou hot springs district.The murky white river that you see here is actually discharged spring water flowing from the spring source.

Snapping away.

Several points on the river could be accessed on foot. Providing a free foot soak for anyone who is willing to brave the dangers of getting soaked.

At the very end of the road lies the Geothermal valley, the source of hot spring water for the whole area.

There are of course several spring bath facilities littered on Beitou hot springs district. They ranges from cheap communal baths to the high end private hotel baths.

Other areas of attraction include the very beautiful Beitou library.

Beitou hot springs museum. There was school excursion when we arrived.

Various scenic buildings there make Beitou a great spot for artists to work on their paintwork.

Another artist at work. Painting makes a great retirement hobby I presume.

Closeup.

Danshui Fisherman’s Warf (淡水漁人碼頭):

Visiting the "Lover's Bridge".

Considered to be the most scenic spot in Danshui.

Various takes on the bridge.

Another angle.

Heavily featured in many Taiwan shots and commercials, the Lover's bridge itself is not a easy subject to get great pictures of.

Great view form the bridge though.

Pier.

Freak accident shotthat turned out to be beautiful.

Danshui old street (淡水老街). Great place to get gifts and snacks.

Danshui old street (淡水老街). Night.

Leofoo Village (六福村):

Leofoo Amusement Park. Serves as both am amusement park and a mini zoo.

Went around to try the rides provided.

The carousel.

A 360 degree thrill ride.

Free drop.

Mobile performance during fixed intervals.

Closeup.

Took a leisure tram ride for the animal viewing.

Snapping like mad.

Some rhinos.

Giraffes.

Even flamingos.

There are quite a number of must-go-places that I didn’t manage to cover during this trip, but there were even more places that we neglected to take pictures of (I have no idea how I managed to miss taking a picture of Taipei 101…). While I have to say that the places I covered might not be the most extensive, it certainly wasn’t a wasted effort to make a trip down to those places. With that, I end this little article of the trip to Taipei.

Word of caution : Taiwan is a very Mandarin orientated country, do bring a friend who excels with the language or risk spending the whole journey fumbling with hand gestures and wild guesses.

Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.



Addicted to film, Yan shoots with a black Nikon Fm3a. For special occasions, Yan shoots with a Mamiya Sekor TLR.
  • Eshu4u

    Awesome! I went for a road trip around the island this September, but had to take U-TURN half way because of typhoon!! Alishan was missed. Have you been there? Can you share more about Alishan experience?

    • Supermerlion

      Yan definitely has some shots and experiences from Alishan but the article has been WIP for about 2 years now so I’m not sure if we’d be seeing it anytime soon.

  • St

    Refreshing article.