My Travels Around the World

Tag: Taipei 101

Taiwan Day 4: Chiang Kei-Shek Memorial and Taipei 101

March 29, 2014

Chiang Kei-Shek Memorial

This morning we once again took the shuttle and train down to the Chiang Kei-Shek Memorial. As many of you will remember, Chiang Kai-Shek was the Chinese political and then military leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975. Chiang Kai-Shek fought the communists and eventually retreated to Taiwan but continued to declare his intention to retake mainland China, which of course he never did. He ruled mainland China for 22 years and then Taiwan for another 30 years. And he is revered here.

The monument in his memory is surrounded by a park that includes the National Theater and the National Concert Hall. The first thing you see is a large, beautiful gate, all white with a blue tiled roof. The memorial itself is also all white with an octagonal roof rising 249 feet above the ground and covered in blue tiles. The blue-and-white colors of the building with the red flowers surrounding it represent the colors of the flag of the Republic of China (i.e., Taiwan). The roof is octagonal because the number eight is a number traditionally associated with abundance and good fortune.

To read more about the CKS Memorial, the Nanmen Market, and the Flower Market, click on this link:

4 taiwan Chiang Kei-Shek Memorial

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 was formally known as the Taipei world financial center and is a landmark skyscraper. It was the world’s tallest building until 2010 when the largest building in Dubai was built. It has 101 floors and the first five are the shopping mall which is filled with, and only with, high end designer shops. Since we had a bit of time, we walked around the shopping mall. When I say designer shops, think every high end designer from Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Tiffany, etc etc.

As with much and Asia there is symbolism to the design of the tower. The hundred and one floors commemorate the renewal of time, the new century that arrived as the tower was built and all the new years that follow. It symbolizes high ideals by going one better on 100, the traditional number of perfection. At night the building is beautifully lit with neon colors with the bright yellow gleam from its pinnacle representing a candle or torch upholding the ideal of liberty and welcome.

To read more, please click on this link:

4a taiwan Taipei 101


Taiwan Day 3: Karaoke and so much more

March 28, 2014

A morning in the park meeting locals

This morning we got up, were lazy reading and writing for a while, and then went to breakfast. After breakfast we decided to take a walk around the grounds of the hotel, but there wasn’t really much to see. We kept walking and found ourselves in a park that is right next door to the hotel. There were some great views from there. But our first sight was a woman selling vegetables, next to a man using a cleaver to cut up bones parts of an animal with hooves, probably a cow or pig (the local butcher shop). We kept walking up the trail, running into large groups of people hiking around. We heard music and lots of voices and laughter. We kept walking up, up, up many, many stairs. We found a temple, quiet, small in the mountains, where the hiker can stop to pray. It was serene, peaceful and beautiful. We kept going, running into little makeshift stalls, women selling clothes or more vegetables. We kept going up, up, up the stairs through the mountains and through the trees We passed people exercising. We passed a group of people playing badminton. And another group having breakfast on a little terrace or landing. They waved to us and invited us to join them. We smiled and bowed but said no and kept on going.

To read more, click on this link:

3 taiwan a day in the park

Yangmingshan National Park

We decided to grab lunch before our afternoon adventures. We took the shuttle down towards the train station as we had noticed several little restaurants. Everything was in Chinese. But we peeked in to see what people were eating and chose one of the little tiny places serving vermicelli noodles and soup. A simple but filling lunch.

To read more about Yangmingshan National Park, volcanic sulphur pits and hot springs, click on this link:

3a taiwan Yangmingshan

Taipai, Taiwan Day 1

March 26, 2014

We left Los Angeles on March 25 at noon and arrived, via Narita (Tokyo) in Taipai, Taiwan (for those of you who remember some history, Taiwan was once called Formosa) at 10 at night on March 26. One very long day. Customs line was long, but moved somewhat quickly. By the time we made it through our bags were circling on the carousel waiting for us (yes, we sent our bags through). Our driver was waiting for us, with a sign with my name. That does make life so much easier as there were throngs and throngs of people (a theme to be repeated).

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