Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vacation Part I - Taipei, Taiwan

I have been so super bad about blogging simply because I know I have to blog about my amazing trip to Taiwan and Vietnam, but it was such a huge, incredible trip and I want to tell you everything we did, of course it's going to take me a while.

I'll start at the beginning of our trip.  Taipei, Taiwan.  Taipei rocks.  Even in the pouring down rain, Taipei rocks.

We got to Taiwan and took a cab ride into the city to our fantastic hotel, The Landis Hotel Taipei.  Loved it.

Of course it was pouring down rain, but we didn't let that stop us.  We warmed ourselves with some yummy local Taipei beer and then grabbed umbrellas from the hotel to explore.

We figured out yet another subway system in a snap and headed over to the famous Taipei 101.  This city skyscraper is a major landmark and it's 101 floors made the tallest building in the world (until Dubai beat it in 2010).  This building is also home to a mind blowingly nice mall.  For the merchandise deprived living in Okinawa it was like sensory overload.  I forced myself to only window shop!

We used the subway to get across the city so we could go see the Longshan Temple and street markets.

Next we made a stop at the National Museum of History.  I love museums and miss them a lot in Okinawa, and while Brad isn't a fan, it gave him a break from the rain and plus they let us in for free since it was late in the day and close to closing time.  They had beautiful paintings and a photography exhibit of the Taiwanese that I particularly enjoyed.  The museum was in a lovely Botanical Garden.

Our last stop was at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, National Theater and National Concert Hall area.  We went down this incredible Wedding Shop Street with these gorgeous gowns in every window and I thought I could seriously easily go broke in this city! 

We walked around and looked at the pretty buildings.  Brad (being a huge music enthusiast) wanted to see inside the Concert Hall.  We decided to see if anything happened to be playing that night and it just so happened they still had a couple of seats available for that nights symphony performance!  We got great seats and got to see/hear the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and famous pianist from Ireland, Barry Douglas perform All and None about Love.  Shopping, Buddhist temple, art museum and symphony all in the same afternoon/evening!  Bliss.  

Next stop and part II of vacation - Hanoi, Vietnam!

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