Today I embarked on my first day of touring Taipei. I of course got a late start! Not only because I slept later than I planned, but also because it was raining really hard in the morning. When I left the hostel around 11:30, I went to McDonald’s for lunch. I was Skyping my friend, Nicole, from there and she pointed out that it seems to be a tradition of mine to eat at McDonald’s in every country I go to, that has one. From there I got on the subway and headed to the National Palace Museum.
When I got to the subway stop near the National Palace Museum, I then had to figure out how to take the bus there. I worked it out and wondered around a little garden area outside of the main building first and then went inside the museum. Now to be honest, the first two floors bored the crap out of me. It was full of old pottery, paintings, and calligraphy. It wasn’t until I got to the third floor where ancient weapons along with jade, ivory, and marble sculptures were on display that my interest was sparked. It amazed me how anyone could create some of these detailed pieces of work. When I left the museum, I then headed off to the Shilin Official Residence.
After I got to the residence, I realized I probably could have skipped this place. I think during the summer the garden would have been really neat to see. But, because of the winter season, there wasn’t much to see outside for floral arrangements. There were a few cool indoor botanical gardens that were pretty amazing though. Next, I headed back to the subway station to head off to the Lin Family Mansion and Garden.
The Lin Mansion was built during the Qing Dynasty and was one of the largest building of the time and is one of the few places that has been preserved from that time. I really enjoyed taking pictures at this place. The trees, sculptures, ponds, and buildings were very beautiful. That is about all there is to see here, so I moved on to the Longshan Temple.
The Longshan Temple was built in 1738. It’s a Buddhist temple and when I arrived there people were praying and singing. It was very busy. I do love the smell of incense in the air and I took some cool picture when I could. I do feel strange taking photos in these places sometimes. But, when I see a tour group walking through and everyone is taking pictures, I don’t feel so bad anymore! When I was done making my way through the temple, I headed back to my hostel because it was to dark to see anything else. I of course had to grab a beer so I could relax for a bit. My legs are killing me!
When I got back to the hostel, I ended up chatting with a few other travelers and they asked me loads of questions about Korea, Korean people, and what it is like living there. Now, I like living in Korea and my life there, but why is it when I describe how people are and how things are done there, it sounds so bad, negative, and depressing. I guess it has a lot to do with the study/ work culture along with I describe.
Well, that pretty much sums up todays adventures!! Until tomorrow 🙂