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.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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