Friday, January 25, 2013

Taipei Touristing

Our second day in Taipei was far more productive than the first. Armed with maps and metro cards we set out to do all the things and did pretty well. 

Stop number one was the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, a monument to the former President of the Republic of China (just read that on Wikipedia, so it must be true.)  The memorial is set in a large garden and while we were exploring it I slid down a bridge and took several layers of skin off my knee which kinda altered my mood for a bit. I sat down and wrote some postcards while Tom had a good look around.

Steph Face/general displeasure post-knee graze.
The stairs to the top were closed (there's 89 of them, because Chiang was 89 when he died) but we could take a lift to the top. A lovely woman explained the significance of many of the items in the room but I forgot to take pictures and forgot all of the facts except for the stairs thing. Sorry. For more comprehensive touristy information, look elsewhere.

After the hall we set off for Ximending, a popular shopping district which reminds me of the popular shopping districts I've been to in Korea. We were here for two reasons only:

Again, I'm a bad tourist and I forgot to take pictures of Sophisca - it's a small and kinda expensive candy shop, which specialises in chocolate condoms and sticking plasters, and marshmallow sanitary pads! I bought a few boxes and when I finally manage to send gifts home there will be some included.

I didn't forget to take pictures of Modern Toilet, because it was too hilarious. It's a restaurant with a toilet theme - the seats are toilets, the tables are made from bathtubs, the food is served in miniature toilet bowls and ceramic squatters and the drinks are in plastic urinals you can take home after your meal.

I'm not sure if they were sticking to the theme, but the food was shitty - expensive, not tasty - and the service was similarly crap (hyuk hyuk) but it's a restaurant themed around toilets, so how could I not go, you know?

After Modern Toilet, we left Ximending for a little bit of (more family-friendly) culture and went to Longshan Temple. Longshan's a small interfaith temple and although I've been to a lot of temples in my travels - soooo many temples, you guys, you have no idea - I really enjoyed Longshan. It may have helped that we got there during prime prayer time but it was small, crowded, vibrant and beautiful.

Longshan is a congregation point for elderly Taiwanese men who just talk a bunch on plastic stools. 

Tom updating his twitter account. 

Cool dog.
Our day of touristing ended with another meal at Raohe Night Market and a crappy American movie before sleep. Not bad.

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