A Day in Taipei

 

Taipei 101

Our two weeks in Taiwan started with some great outings around Taipei. At Mudan House, more of a hotel than a hostel, both Doris the owner and her dad, Stephen, gave us suggestions for day tours. Stephen teaches tourism at the University; during our homemade breakfast of egg pancakes with onion and cheese, created by Aunt Acco, he told us about Alishan, Sun Moon Lake and Taroko Gorge. As is usual for us, we only had one night of accommodation planned and a rough sketch to guide our two-week visit.

Mudan House  is in a great neighborhood; it does not feel like we are in a major city. Doris’s family lives on floors 5 and 6. Doris says in the summer they have many natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons in Taiwan. She says it is good we are here now in April. She was so helpful and friendly and we would soon realize that nearly everyone in Taiwan shared these same qualities.

Video: A day in Taipei

We met an Indonesian couple at breakfast who are from Sumatra and now live in Singapore. They can’t believe how many places we have been in Sumatra that they have yet to see in their own country, such as Lake Toba, and Pualau Wei! They are also shockingly impressed with our Chinese (I mean 5 words which is even less than I speak in Moroccan Arabic, but at least we try.) They were very impressed with George’s Indonesian. He can have a real conversation, not just mumble through “Thank you,” and “Where is the bathroom?”

Taipei was full of very friendly people, and a very clean city. It was incredibly simple to use the MRT rapid transit and everything was written and announced in Chinese and English. At 20NT (New Taiwan Dollar; 29NT is $1) for most rides, transport was also very economical.

Our first stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and national theater. The grounds are beautiful but we heard there are discussions underway to change the name. So when you visit, the site may have a different name and no longer be that of the former leader, who used heavy governmental control and intervention to control the country. When you arrive and see the beautiful buildings, large garden area, red roofs and ornate gate structure, you will find the attraction well worth visiting.

We were confused about 2-28 Peace Park, and on our video we called it the War Memorial. This site is in memory of the massacre that began on February 28, 1947 and ushered in Taiwan’s era of martial law. The park is beautiful, and shares its grounds with the National Taiwan Museum.

Later in the day we traveled by metro to Taipei 101, at 508 meters the second tallest building in the world (after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa) but we chose not to go to the top. The exterior was completed in 2003; construction began in 1997. The world’s fastest elevator is in this building and travels at 1010 meters per minute, rocketing passengers on a 40 second ride from ground level to the 89th floor observation deck.

More videos to come about our trip in Taiwan. See more travel stories at We Said Go Travel.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with nearly one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip. http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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