January 25, 2010

Photos of Wulai, Taipei

POST #    3015

Wulai is a rural town on the southern outskirts of Taipei. It's mostly known as a destination for its hot springs as well as the native Atayal people. To get there, you take a bus ride up the mountains from the subway stop. The route has many, many turns which overlook the river far, far below. All this on a two-lane road with a bus driver that drives like he's very famliar with the road. Standing while he drives, which we did most of the way, is quite an adventure and a workout on the arms.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 5:59 PM

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January 20, 2010

At the "Slumping Cliffs" of Longpan Park in Kenting National Park

POST #    3014

The "slumping cliffs" in Longpan Park are a result of wind and wave erosion over the years, which is understandable because it's really windy there.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 7:00 PM

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January 15, 2010

Not Much of a View From a Cloudy Taipei 101

POST #    3013

So we didn't get much nice weather when we were in Taipei. It was cloudy most of the time and it was rainy at times too. But I had to show Shannan Taipei 101 anyway as it's still a sight to be seen. At that point, it was still the tallest building in the world. It was just overtaken by Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

As you can see, it was cloudy at the top of the building. And not just a little cloudy, but really cloudy. In fact, you could only partially see out of two sides. The other two sides had no view at all. It was also really windy, but they let you outside on the "observation deck" anyway. The wind was so fierce, that it caused the fencing on the roof to vibrate and make noise like a bunch of tuning forks.

One of the cooler things we saw in our "scenic" trip to the building, was the what's pictured in the last photo. It's a hallway with a cloud projection onto the floor. But once you walk over the floor, the clouds clear up behind you. Oh, that Asian innovation, so nice.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 5:50 PM

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January 7, 2010

Sail Rock in Kenting National Park

POST #    3009

Sail Rock in Taiwan's Kenting National Park gets it's name because, from a distance, it supposedly looks like a sailboat about to set sail. But up close, it apparently looks like Nixon, so it's sometimes called "Nixon's Head". I don't really see the resemblance to either.

Plus, this dog really loved us (mostly, Shannan, it seems). He followed us around this stop on our tour, but he was probably expecting food. Obviously, we didn't give him any.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 4:49 PM

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December 9, 2009

Soup Dumplings at Din Tai Fung

POST #    3000

What's a trip to Taipei without a stop at Din Tai Fung for soup dumplings! On our first full day in Taiwan, we went to Din Tai Fung for lunch, on what happened to be Japanese Tourist day (Monday). Even by the time we arrived (which was before noon), there was a line outside. Thankfully, they didn't run out of food yet.

How did we know it was Japanese Tourist day at DTF? Well, the place was packed full of Japanese people, the wait staff was speaking to us in Japanese (despite us not being Japanese, obviously) and the soup dumpling instructions even had Japanese on them (no picture). In fact, every time they came to our table, they spoke to us in Japanese! Eventually they caught on when we replied to them with our blank stares.

Needless to say, they were awesome as usual.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 12:15 PM

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December 7, 2009

Breakfast in Taipei at Yong He

POST #    2999

After flying halfway across the world to Taiwan (with a stop in Anchorage where we could see Russia), we landed at around 7 in the morning. Tired with jet lag, hungry and wanting to check into our hotel, we were unable to do so for a while since it was so early. So we wandered the streets around our hotel looking for a place to eat. Shannan ruled out anything even slightly western, which was fine. But we were kind of limited in our options because of my out of practice Chinese.

We ended up stumbling upon Yong He, which working out well for our needs. Nevermind the fact that it didn't have an English menu (not that I expected it to) and that I can't read Chinese. There was a lot of mixing and matching of pictures/characters to order, but we ended up getting the food that we wanted, so it all worked out!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 4:42 PM

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December 1, 2009

Sunset in Kenting, Taiwan

POST #    2998

Apologies for the lack of updates, but we were away for a week in Taiwan.

While I still have plenty of Portland photos to go through, here's one from our trip last week. It's from the beach of our hotel in Kenting National Park.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 3:54 PM

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October 11, 2007

Meal at Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2626

While the food looks pretty good, I don't remember it being all that awesome. It was supposedly an example of the local cuisine in Sun Moon Lake though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 12:30 PM

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September 26, 2007

Hsuan Tsang Temple in Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2614

Here's yet another temple at Sun Moon Lake.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 11:02 AM

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September 20, 2007

My Cousin's Daughter Catherine

POST #    2609

Which makes it my...? I was never good at the whole 2nd cousin, 1st cousin once removed stuff. So confusing! That or I'm too lazy to remember how it works.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 11:47 AM

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September 18, 2007

In Taipei, They Can English

POST #    2606

Whatever that means.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 8:44 AM

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September 17, 2007

A 7-Eleven in Taiwan

POST #    2605

7-Eleven in Taiwan is all over the place. Taiwan has the 3rd most 7-Eleven locations, only trailing Japan and the United States (in that order). One of the nice things about 7-Eleven in Taiwan is that they have hot food that is actually somewhat appealing. Granted, like 7-Eleven here, you would only want to eat it if you didn't have any better options.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan at 9:09 AM

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September 11, 2007

Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2599

Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan is the largest natural lake on the island nation (or rogue territory if you wish). Though we ate lunch in a restaurant overlooking it, we didn't spend all that much time at the actual lake. The eastern part of the lake is round (like the sun) and the western part is shaped like a crescent moon, which is how the lake gets its name. I didn't really see the sun-moon aspect of it, but maybe that's because of the haze. There is an island in the middle of the lake that was much bigger before water levels rose when a hydroelectric power plant was built and water was redirected to Sun Moon Lake from other lakes.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 11:17 AM

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September 6, 2007

From Far Away, Taipei 101

POST #    2596

I almost think Taipei 101 is like the World Trade Center used to be. For me, the WTC was an anchor in lower Manhattan, something that you could use to navigate if you needed as it was almost always south. It was also there whenever I got off the subway and looked downtown when I was growing up.

Taipei 101 is slightly different as it's not really in one specific area for all people - north for some, south for others, etc.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 10:26 AM

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September 5, 2007

Wenwu Temple at Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2593

Wenwu Temple on Sun Moon Lake was originally built in 1938, combining two old temples that were moved when a dam was built. It was rebuilt in 1969 in its current form. The pair of lions (one pictured) are the largest ones in Taiwan. Wenwu Temple is dedicated to Confucius and the ancient Chinese generals Kuan Kung and Yueh Fei.

The historic staircase was originally the only way to access the temple, each step representing a different day of the year. There are 336 of them, including 2/29.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 9:10 AM

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September 4, 2007

Sun Moon Lake Peacock Garden

POST #    2594

At Sun Moon Lake is a Peacock Garden with more than 200 peacocks. It was one of Madam Chiang Kai-shek's favorite places to go when they would go to the area. I don't think I've ever seen so many peacocks in one place before.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 7:53 AM

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September 3, 2007

Our First Meal in Taipei

POST #    2595

When we arrived in Taipei, it was rather late and my dad and I were hungry. Nobody else was, so we ventured from our hotel to find some food. We found a local restaurant on while walking around that liked serving seafood dishes (as evidenced by the seafood noodles, fried cuttlefish, and clams). The one non-seafood dish we had was stinky tofu.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 8:13 AM

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August 30, 2007

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

POST #    2591

Onto Taiwan! What better to start the pictures of Taiwan than Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei. The CKS Memorial Hall is named after the late Kuomintang leader, who was the first President of the Republic of China after it moved to Taiwan (I'm butchering a little history, but that's essentially right).

There's been a recent movement by President Chen Shui-Bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (opposition of the KMT) to rename the hall the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall (the DPP doesn't like anything with ties to the KMT). Apparently the name change was repealed, but the old name wasn't exactly preserved. It was an ugly fight between the two sides, with the city of Taipei (controlled by the KMT) also stepping in. There were times when signs were installed with the new name, but later removed by the city and such other drama. Wikipedia has a nice section about that craziness.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 10:11 AM

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March 26, 2007

New York, New York - So Close to Taipei 101

POST #    2431

So, if I walk down the street from Taipei 101, I should stumble upon New York, right? Too bad I can't do that and have to take a super long flight back to New York.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 5:46 AM

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