15 May 2011 A Day in Taipei

Taipei 101

Our two weeks in Taiwan started with some great outings around Taipei. At Mudan House, more of a hotel than a hostel, both Doris the owner and her dad, Stephen, gave us suggestions for day tours. Stephen teaches tourism at the University; during our homemade breakfast of egg pancakes with onion and cheese, created by Aunt Acco, he told us about Alishan, Sun Moon Lake and Taroko Gorge. As is usual for us, we only had one night of accommodation planned and a rough sketch to guide our two-week visit.

Mudan House  is in a great neighborhood; it does not feel like we are in a major city. Doris’s family lives on floors 5 and 6. Doris says in the summer they have many natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons in Taiwan. She says it is good we are here now in April. She was so helpful and friendly and we would soon realize that nearly everyone in Taiwan shared these same qualities.

Video: A day in Taipei

We met an Indonesian couple at breakfast who are from Sumatra and now live in Singapore. They can’t believe how many places we have been in Sumatra that they have yet to see in their own country, such as Lake Toba, and Pualau Wei! They are also shockingly impressed with our Chinese (I mean 5 words which is even less than I speak in Moroccan Arabic, but at least we try.) They were very impressed with George’s Indonesian. He can have a real conversation, not just mumble through “Thank you,” and “Where is the bathroom?”

Taipei was full of very friendly people, and a very clean city. It was incredibly simple to use the MRT rapid transit and everything was written and announced in Chinese and English. At 20NT (New Taiwan Dollar; 29NT is $1) for most rides, transport was also very economical.

Our first stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and national theater. The grounds are beautiful but we heard there are discussions underway to change the name. So when you visit, the site may have a different name and no longer be that of the former leader, who used heavy governmental control and intervention to control the country. When you arrive and see the beautiful buildings, large garden area, red roofs and ornate gate structure, you will find the attraction well worth visiting.

We were confused about 2-28 Peace Park, and on our video we called it the War Memorial. This site is in memory of the massacre that began on February 28, 1947 and ushered in Taiwan’s era of martial law. The park is beautiful, and shares its grounds with the National Taiwan Museum.

Later in the day we traveled by metro to Taipei 101, at 508 meters the second tallest building in the world (after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa) but we chose not to go to the top. The exterior was completed in 2003; construction began in 1997. The world’s fastest elevator is in this building and travels at 1010 meters per minute, rocketing passengers on a 40 second ride from ground level to the 89th floor observation deck.

More videos to come about our trip in Taiwan. See more travel stories at We Said Go Travel.

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Lisa Niver

Lisa Niver is a travel expert, writer, artist, entrepreneur, and on-camera host who has explored 99 countries. Niver has established a following through her written and video content, garnering over one million video views on YouTube, Amazon Fire Tv and Roku. She is the Adventure Correspondent for The Jet Set, the first travel based TV Talk show. She was a winner in the 59th annual 2016 Southern California Journalism Awards for her print column in The Jewish Journal. Niver is the founder of a top 100 travel blog, We Said Go Travel, that reaches more than 200,000 annually and is in the top 1/8 of the top 1% of all sites in the United States. In her tri-annual international travel writing competitions, she has published nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries. She was invited to the United Nations as a Champions of Humanity ambassador, to the red carpet at the Oscars with United Airlines and to New Orleans for a project with American Express and Starwood Hotels. Her recent stories include Dutch designer villas for Luxury Magazine, interviewing Fabien Cousteau for Delta Sky, skiing with the blind for Sierra, Ubud cremation ceremony for National Geographic and scuba diving in the Solomon Islands for Smithsonian. She also contributes to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, the Jewish Journal and is verified on Twitter and Facebook. Niver was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize and a finalist in two categories for the 59th annual Southern California Journalism Awards.

2 Comments
  • Lisa and George Rajna
    Posted at 03:25h, 16 May Reply

    "love the anecdotes!

    J."

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 07:53h, 21 May Reply

    Hi !!! Good job!
    Wuzzap?

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