There are a lot of parallels between Taipei and Manhattan. They're both green cities. Manhattan, of course, has Central Park. Taipei on the other hand has a lot of lustrous parks, roads lined with trees and it's almost like Davao seemingly surrounded by 2 mountains (ref: http://wikitravel.org/en/Taipei). They're both modern cities with an extensive railway system - although Manhattan has a more comprehensive one. They both felt organic and both seemed to have followed a clear blueprint of urban planning.
I went to Taipei over the Chinese New Year (January 28 - February 2 2014). It was, I believe, almost at the end of their winter. I thought that the clothes I packed and the thin cardigan I bought from Uniqlo paired with a scarf would suffice as evening wear. Unfortunately, I was wrong, and I found myself having to go for 3 layers of clothing and ending up buying another jumper (in the British context of the word).
The trip was planned as I posted before, as a last minute change in itinerary because of the turmoil that was happening in Bangkok. I wouldn't have been able to book or plan for anything with news of grenade explosions, protest rallies, gun shots and other sort of violence happening. Of course, it was also supposed to be a celebration of my mom's 60th birthday, so I had to make sure to whatever extent I can make possible that it was smooth and memorable.
Anyway, I'll be posting more about the trip and the itinerary we had planned and share more pictures in succeeding posts. I took over 670+ photos (of myself, mom, sights and food) on my IPhone so there's a lot to sort through. For now, let me share some.
|was very surprised the tickets I got ended up being Singapore Airlines (marketed by EVA). I get top notch service, a comfortable flight, up-to-date in-flight entertainment and complete miles accrual!|
|I went to Terminal 1 initially because that's where EVA is, and was horrified for several seconds when I was told EVA had no flights during my time. Thankfully, it was through SQ I was flying.|
|I activated my data roaming in Taiwan for 75 SGD for 5 days of unlimited data roaming. Quite useful considering that it made going around easier c/o Maps as well as researching directions.|
|Ximending area which was a 3-5 minute walk from the hotel.|
|Red House where there were a lot of "hipster" shops. I guess to put it, they're independent and born-and-bred Taiwanese brands - like how Haji lane is - that's the vibe.|
|From Ximending, I also saw from Maps that I could walk towards the Chiang Kay Shek memorial which was amazing both in the day and night.|
|They had Eslite which was first a bookstore but then turned into a department store. I was surprised that at 10pm, it was still full of people! This branch I visited I think is open for 24 hours. Yes, a 24 hour bookstore!|
|Ximending area street food vendors.|
|The temperature the next morning when I was about to fetch my mom.|