Posted by: evedlewis | January 2, 2010

Holiday In Taipei!!!!!!!!

I decided to spend my holiday break in Taiwan.  The freezing air in Jeonju was getting the best of me, and I had to escape to some warmer weather.  I received an e-mail from a friend who lives in Seoul named Lea.  She invited me to join her in Taipei from December 27th through the 30th.  We both wanted to come back and spend the New Year in Seoul, so it was a perfect plan.

My original plan was to arrive one day earlier (on Dec. 26th) to have time alone for taking pictures.   Unfortunately, I REALLY miscalculated my travel time to Seoul, I ran into some REALLY bad traffic, and I missed my plane.  YIKESSS!!!!  I arrived at the airport at 7pm, and my flight took off at 7:25pm.  I was fortunate to catch the Eva airlines manager, and he booked me on a flight the following day.  I spent the night in Seoul, got some really good sleep, and then took off for Taipei the following day.

Lea arrived before me earlier in the day and did some research, so we could get the most out of Taipei while we were there.  The first night, we went to see AVATAR at the IMAX Theater in 3D at 1am.  The movie was incredible, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

We slept in late the following day and hit the streets around 4pm.  I was amazed at the number of scooters in Taipei.  I had never seen that many scooters in my life!!!!   Taipei is heavily populated, and a scooter is clearly the preferred method of transportation for ALMOST EVERYONE!!!!!!  When I think of Taipei – I will think of scooters from here on out!!!!!!!!!  I will also think of older buildings and AMAZING street markets!!!!!   We spent the evening walking around Taipei and using the transit to get to the street markets.  Lea was a bus and train pro – so, we had no problems with getting around – yayyyy!!!!

We asked one young man why there were soooooooo many scooters in Taiwan.  He was ADORABLE!!!!  He said, “well first of all, Taiwan is very small.”  HAAAAA!!!!!!!!!  Then he said, “No cars needed.”  You had to be there.  There was no “second of all.”  Basically, it’s the most logical form of transportation for getting from point A to point B in such a small country.  I get it. 

I saw a million people, a trillion different types of food, a zillion things to buy and a gazillion scooters!!!!  We had a great time chatting and taking in all the scenery.  After walking around all day, we decided to end our night with a back and foot massage, which was fantastic!!!!  I also spend another two hours soaking in the GIGANTIC bathtub at the hotel when we got back later that night.  AHHHHH!!!!!! 😉 SOOOOO REFRESHING!!!!!!!!!

We went to sleep earlier to prepare for the “One Day To See Taipei” plan.  We were going to hit the streets early and go to the museum, to Taipei 101, to the Taipei Zoo, to dinner at a highly recommended restaurant and then to “Snake Alley”. 

We got out to the Museum around 11am after breakfast at McDonalds, and spent about an hour or two there.  The museum was great.  I enjoyed two of the several exhibits.  One of my favorite parts was the large bronze Buddha sculptures.  They were about 30 – 50 feet tall and marked with exquisite detail.  My absolute favorite exhibit was of some paintings that were done on scrolls with silk framing.  These hangings were absolutely gorgeous!!!!  We were banned from taking pictures inside the museum, but I stole just a few snaps of these lovely pieces of art.  The people speak Chinese in Taiwan, so there were also some sections with ancient books and other pieces with the fascinating chinese characters and calligraphy.

Next, we went to Taipei 101, which is the tallest building in Taiwan with 101 floors.  Visitors can see all of Taipei from the top of the building through the windows.  Unfortunately, we went on a slightly overcast day, so the views were not as spectacular as they could have been.  Lea said that the architects decided to build 101 floors to represent pushing past the 100% mark.  I thought that was a cool idea – basically, pushing past greatness into excellence.  Love that concept.

We tried to hit the zoo after Taipei 101, but there was one slight problem.  The MF zoo was closed!!!!  WHYYY??!?!?!?  It was either 3 or 4pm in the afternoon.  There were people coming out of the zoo, so we knew it had been open earlier, but the ticket booths and entrances were closed.  Not sure why the zoo would be closed that early in the day – I could see 5pm or 6pm – but that is just my American mind thinking of what I think should be appropriate.  Sooooo – we got back on the subway and headed to eat dinner.

A friend from Twitter recommended that we eat at a certain place.  This friend had lived in Taiwan for 3 months, and she gave us a list of hot spots.  The dinner was Fantastic!!!  We had steamed dumplings, some fresh garlic spinach and shrimp fried rice.  OMG!!!!!  Everything was delicious!!! 

Our last stop for the day was “Snake Alley”.  We heard that this is where people can go to taste fresh snake meat.  The snakes are in cages, you pick which one you want to eat, they take it out of the cage, chop it up right there and cook it for you.  We saw a few restaurants with snakes out front, but most of the area was another huge market with tons of interesting food choices.  Ummmmm – NOOO!!!  I didn’t try any of the “interesting” food options – I just took lots of pictures of everything.  We were banned from taking photos of the snakes, so unfortunately I don’t have any snake pics.  We walked around for a while, Lea bought some custom-made fans, and then we headed back to the hotel.

We had an awesome, fun-filled day, and I ended the night with another 2 hour soak in the bathtub.  We both left the next day and headed back to Seoul.  I was at the airport ½ hour early this time, so I did a good job with catching my flight.  Yayyy for me!! 😉  I spent the New Year in Seoul relaxing indoors.  I decided not to go out into the crowds and the FREEZING cold weather.  As stated in my previous blog entry, I really prefer to stay indoors for the holidays.  I went to bed early and came back home to Jeonju on the first day of the New Year.

So – my vacation is almost officially over now.  I will spend the rest of the weekend being domestic and preparing for my first work week in the NEW YEAR – WOO-HOOOO!!!!!!  I need to unpack, wash clothes, go  grocery shopping and do some cooking.  I will be making my traditional black-eyed peas tomorrow for dinner. 

I am completely rejuvenated and ready for this new semester.  My energy level is sky-high.  I feel healthy and stable again (not sick or on the verge of sickness) – yayyyyy!!!!  Once again I feel re-adjusted and re-focused.   I’m going in – in 2010!!!!!!!

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Responses

  1. Taipei is awesome I love it there.

    The street food kills me everytime.

    • I have never seen that much of an assortment of food in my life!!!

  2. Hey Eve, I really enjoyed hearing about your adventure in Taiwan. It was really cool. Cool pictures.

    • Thanks Joy! We had a great time!!! 😉


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