Day 1 in Taiwan – Skyscrapers, pizza, memorial halls

Over Chuseok break this year, Nicole and I visited beautiful Taipei, Taiwan. It was quite an adventure getting there. First we took a bus from Gwangyang to Busan which was about 2.5 hours. We stayed the night in Busan and visited a little Hamburger joint down by Haeundae beach. The next morning we flew out of Busan and into Taipei, Taiwan.

The Adventure Begins

Nicole and I landed a little after 1pm and by 3pm we arrived at our hostel. We dropped off our bags and started our busy day of sightseeing. Our first stop was at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. Sun Yat Sen was a doctor, one of China’s founding fathers, and also its first president. Nicole and I walked through the exhibit hall inside and even got to vote in a mock voting booth.

Dinner

Pizza, Takoyaki, and Taiwanese Beer
Pizza, Takoyaki, and Taiwanese Beer

From the memorial hall, Nicole and I walked through town the main business district of Taipei and stopped for a bit to eat. Our original plan had been to find a delicious Taiwanese restaurant, but everywhere we went we found international food. It would be like going to Times Square and trying to have a genuine American home-cooked meal. Eventually our hunger got the better of us and we had some italian pizza and Japanese Takoyaki with a Taiwanese beer.

Taipei 101: A sight of seconds!

After our dinner, Nicole and I traveled to Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world. It’s also home to the second fastest elevator and the second most delicious thing I ate in Thailand that day: mango ice cream in beer! Taipei 101 is really cool though. There is a giant tuned mass dampener that’s several hundred tons. It’s a giant ball attached to the building by cables. It’s towards the top of the building and it helps the building to sway less during an earthquake. Another neat bit of trivia is that the actual 101st floor is called Summit 101 and it’s a VIP club. There is little to no information on it. Some people suspect it’s for foreign dignitaries or big spenders from the mall downstairs. Scratch that, I googled it. Here’s some info on Summit 101.

The trip up to the top was neat, the first 5 floors of Taipei 101 make up the fanciest mall I have ever been to. Seriously, the number of luxury/high end stores was absurd. There were tons of stores there I’d never even heard of. I felt really out of place in my Red Bull t-shirt.

Taipei Night Market

After walking through the luxurious Taipei 101 mall, we went for something in the completely opposite direction, a night market! There were cheap items galore. I bought some sushi, and a small notebook. Nicole bought a Totoro phone case. Mostly we just looked at the different stalls on either side.

 

It was a great first day in Taiwan and we were excited for the next day’s adventures!