I made a 44 hour trip to Taipei this week: the visit focused on eating, buildings and streets, contemporary art, and botany. The trip started at famous Din Tai Fung, with soup dumplings, hot and sour soup, shrimp and pork dumplings, and pea shoots. The place was mobbed, with many Japanese tourists.
Other food highlights was the Japanese style onsen at Villa 32 in the northern suburbs, with indoor and outdoor hot spring pools and a delicious Italian restaurant. I took the combo public bath and lunch special, which was very relaxing and a chance to see the local upper class in action.
Other culinary treats include beef noodle soup, pork chop noodle soup, Mister Donut (imported from Japan). I was amazed at how international Taiwan is, including my “Norwegian-style” budget chic Hotel Dandy.
Walking around Taipei, it’s striking just how many scooters fill the streets and sidewalks.
They also occupy a majority of the sidewalks.
Vernacular architecture includes vertical commercial buildings and aging concrete, including this sublime corner building in a wave shape:
The wonderfully tropical weather was a great change from fall in Tokyo. It also seemed in many places that the jungle would soon re-occupy the city without constant human vigilance.
Of course, I also saw and entered some spectacular buildings, including the Spot, formerly the American ambassador’s residence and now an art theater, bookstore and super-chic cafe. Also the 300 year old Longshan temple, full of worshipers, offerings, incense and candles.
And on my way back to the airport, I visited the Museum of Contemporary Art and saw its show of young local artists called Super-Generation. The art was fun, as were the friendly art chicken docents. One of whom described how the building was constructed by the Japanese, who were “taking care” of the Taiwanese during the first half of the 20th century. An odd choice of words to describe an occupation.
Also on my last day, I strolled through the gorgeous Botanic Garden, which includes many palm trees, and sections based on “idiom plants” and “literary plants.” Lots of older people doing qi gong exercises and school children.
How cool! ^^ I hope that when I do my year exchange in Taiwan that I’m really near Taipei or Kiaosiung. *crosses fingers*
Now that I found out that I’m going to Taipei, my goal is to visit all the places you went to! How cool would that be? ^^
Did you go for business or fun? What do you do? I still don’t think I know what your job is. You might have told me, but I don’t remember. I decided when I first found this blog that you were a photographer, but that could be totally wrong.
I visited Taipei because my 3 month tourist visa ran out, and my relationship of 13 years gives neither of us residency rights in the other’s country. Now, through my participation in the ceramics studio, I have a one-year visa.
My job, hmmm, is not something I discuss on this blog to maintain a small amount of anonymity in cyber space. I will send you a link off-site.
^^ Thanks for the link!