So today I got up a little earlier to see all the things I wanted to see today. Once I got rollin, at about 10 AM, I headed to the Martyrs Shrine. I arrived just in time to see the changing of the guard ceremony. The cool thing was I got a video of the entire thing. The purpose of the shine is to honor the dead of different wars fought on behalf of the Republic of China (ROC).
After the Martyrs Shrine, I went to the National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. I didn’t go inside, but this building is commonly used for art exhibitions. I did meet a cool guy from Belgium and he was nice enough to take a photo for me.
Now, I originally was not going to go to the Taipei 101 observatory because of the crappy weather, but a friend I was chatting with said I should because I may never be in Taiwan again. So, off I made the short walk over to the the tower. But, not before I got that Belgian guy to snap a decent photo of me with the Taipei 101 tower!!
Now, this building is supposed to be the second tallest building in the world with the fastest elevator in the world. I believe these stats may be off a bit now because taller buildings and faster elevators are always in competition to beat any previous records. Going up the elevator was pretty cool and learning why the building doesn’t have problems with typhoons and earthquakes was interesting. There is a huge ball at the top of the building that stabilizes the tower.
After Taipei 101, I headed over to the Xingtain Temple. This temple is dedicated to the patron god of businessmen, Guan Yu, and is one of the most popular temples in Northern Taiwan. My visit there was ver brief because there really was not much to see. The Longshan Temple I saw the day before was much more elaborate and massive. Anyway, here is a pic of what the temple looks like from the outside.
At this point I was getting freaking tired. My legs, feel, and back were killing me from walking around the last couple days. I did not let this stop me from going to the last place I wanted to see. Off to the Chian Kai-Shek Memorial Hall I go!! This place was built to commemorate the late President Chian Kai-Shek and is a leisure place many Taiwanese go to hang out. When I got there it looked like they were setting up for a concert. Hopefully this rain lets up so it can be enjoyable for people. I did end up meeting a Korean guy and had a chat with him and was able to use a little bit of my very poor Hangul. He mentioned a changing of the guard ceremony inside one of the buildings, so we walked over to see it. It was very similar to the ceremony I saw earlier in the day, just this time the guards do their thing, enter an elevator, and go bye-bye. The Korean guy and I separated ways and I headed back to my hostel for some R&R. I am so sore right now as a write this.
So, as for the rest of my evening, I may be heading out to the Shida Market for a bit and perhaps plan for a trip down to Hualien, Taiwan to see the Taroko Gorge. I found out I have to get a pass for the day because it is a National Park, so I’m hoping I can book on with a tour group for that. There was a French guy I was talking to last night that was heading down that way, and I planned to join him. I guess I can just hope to run into him tonight, otherwise I’ll just head down myself and hope for the best!!
UPDATE: So I did end up meeting up with Stu and one of his flat mates for a couple beers outside 7-11 before meeting another friend of Stu’s that used to live in Korea. I was starving, so we walked to KGB Burger so I could indulge in western food again (haha) and then went looking for a bar that had decent prices. It was a bit of a journey, but me ended up at a place called Bob Wun Daye for an open mic night. Before I knew it, it was 2 AM and I needed to get back to the hostel to hopefully meet up with the French guy and head to the Taroko Gorge area!