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    • Day 9

      Typhoon and hotsprings

      October 5 in Taiwan ⋅ 🌬 29 °C

      Had to leave Hsieh and the family early as the typhoon meant basically lockdown in South Taiwan 😓, so he stuck me back on the train to Taipei so I could enjoy sightseeing and actually catch my flight!
      So unplanned day trip to an area called Beitou where there are natural hot springs and several museums...
      Just had a ganda around for a bit, including the thermal valley where I bumped into Silvia (Taiwanese but lives in Aus) and Orna (from Isreal) while burning the back of my legs on some hot seats (I didn't realise they were hot in my defence)...
      We went to a local foot spa to chill with feet in hot water, and quiz Silvia on how to get to various locations (honestly, she was so patient with us!) before going for dumplings.
      Went to the hot springs museum before saying goodbye to Silvia (honestly, she could have a career change and become a tour guide!), and Orna and I jumped into the public hot springs for a soak in the rain... very hot, but relaxing!
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    • Day 61

      Yangmingshan park & Betiou hot springs

      November 9, 2019 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Morning hike to the top of Mt Quxing. Great hike although probably took longer to get to the start, as missed the bus stop. The hike up is concrete steps which is hard on the legs but it's an interesting route through tall grasses on the mountain side and then a bamboo forest with the path carved through it. I had to wear all my layers and I was still cold - no views from the top due to swirling fog! I head back down and caught the bus to Betiou hot springs. The town has a large turquoise thermal pond and more hotels than you can count but we took the local option and headed the public thermal baths. They were hot (I didn't make it into the 45C pool) and freezing and the locals made sure we totally submerged ourselves in the cold pools!Read more

    • Day 36

      Nationales Palastmuseum Taipeh

      July 28 in Taiwan ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

      Ein Highlight in Taipeh soll das Nationale Palastmuseum sein, denn es beherbergt eine Sammlung von knapp 700.000 Kunstwerken, die aus dem Schatz der chinesischen Kaiser, unter anderem aus der Verbotenen Stadt stammen und durch Chiang Kai-shek hierhin gebracht wurden. Es gilt als größtes Museum chinesischer Kunst.

      Allerdings musste ich feststellen, dass mich chinesische Kunst nicht so umwerfend interessiert. Unzählige Ming-Vasen (oder auch welche aus anderen Epochen), Jade-Kunstwerke, Elfenbeinschnitzereien oder Buddha-Statuen wurden mir per Audioguide erklärt, fanden aber nur bedingt meine Aufmerksamkeit. Vielleicht war es nun auch langsam einfach zu viel....
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    • Day 26


      September 16, 2022 in Taiwan ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Aus dem Süden an der Küste hoch in den Norden, 4 Tage Taipei. 🏙

      Wenn man Deutschland und Taiwan vergleicht stellt man fest, dass es nur so groß wie Baden-Württemberg ist. Daher ist es möglich das ganze Land aus dem Süden bis in den Norden bereits in knapp 4,5 Stunden zu durchqueren.

      Mit dem High speed train der die größten Städte Taiwans miteinander verbindet kann man das ganze beschleunigen und ist bereits innerhalb 1,5 Stunden in Deutschland. 🚉
      So haben auch wir für unseren Trip in die Hauptstadt den Highspeed Train genommen und waren erstaunt von der Verlässlichkeit in Abfahrt und Ankunft, hier kann sich die DB was abschauen. 😉

      Highlight :
      Die Sitzen im Highspeed train sind multifunctional sodass man die Stuhlreihen beliebig um 360° drehen kann. (direkt mal ausprobiert 😉)

      (6) Revealed secret: Turning seats on Taiwan High Speed Rail - YouTube
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    • Day 153

      Nationales Palast Museum

      March 30 in Taiwan ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Mehrere Stunden sind nicht genug. Da muss man schon fast froh sein wenn man die chinesische Schrift nicht lesen kann und somit die Bücher, Schriftrollen und Kalligraphie Abteilungen nur kurz anschaut. Bei hundertausenden (!) Exponaten raucht einem der Kopf schnell mal.

      Wunderbares Museum, vor allem für alle die Porzellan und Handwerkskunst aller Art zu schätzen wissen.

      ###### english ######

      Several hours are not enough. You almost have to be happy if you can't read the Chinese script and therefore only look at the books, scrolls and calligraphy departments briefly. With hundreds of thousands (!) of exhibits, it's easy to get your head spinning.

      Wonderful museum, especially for those who appreciate porcelain and craftsmanship of all kinds.
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    • Day 63

      National Palace Museum

      November 11, 2019 in Taiwan ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Last day! Packed up and stowed our luggage at train station before heading to the National Palace Museum. One of the most visited museums in the world. The museum was started to safely store the Chinese artefacts of the Forbidden City, so the focus is art and artefacts from the great Chinese dynasties Lots of beautifully made items in all mediums some of it dating back to 200ad. The two most popular items are a jade stone carved into the shape of a Chinese cabbage and the other a polished stone which looks like a piece of pork belly. Not sure why they're so popular but it is a nation of food lovers! After the museum there was just time for a final bubble tea before heading to the airport.Read more

    • Day 56

      Termas de Xinbeitou + Elephant mountain

      August 11, 2019 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      Hoy me he despertado pronto y he desayunado un plátano en casa con Ella (la anfitriona). Después Ella se ha ido a trabajar y yo he ido a misa. Después de misa he ido al barrio de Xinbeitou, donde hay termas naturales. No sé en qué momento pensé que sería buena idea meterse en aguas a cuarenta y pico grados con el calor que hace aquí, pero lo hice. Fui a las termas públicas, que costaban 40 ntd (1€ y pico). Un show. Básicamente el sitio estaba lleno de abuelos en bañadores apretados 🙃. Solo vi a dos mujeres y poco más y se ponían el neopreno: iban en manga larga y pantalones. Y yo en bikini lol. También era la única turista en las termas. Dentro de mi cabeza me estuve riendo las casi dos horas que estuve ahí: estaba sentada en una piscina llena de señores asiáticos con toallas en la cabeza y que parecían estar desmayados. Una experiencia curiosa. Después fui a un mercadillo de cosas de segunda mano que me había recomendado Ella entre Xinbeitou y el centro de la ciudad. No entiendo por qué me recomendó eso pero ahí estaba yo xddd. Muy cutre, pero me compré dos anillos por 2€ de recuerdo. Después fui a la Montaña del Elefante y sudé muuuucho subiéndola, para variar. Desde la cima, vi el atardecer y volví a bajarla para quedar con Ella. Juntas, fuimos al mercado nocturno y probé el «stinky tofu», muy típico en Taiwán, y el hielo picado con bolas gelatinosas de taro, boniato, cacahuetes y alubias. Curiosa mezcla, pero estaba rico. Después dimos una vuelta por la ciudad de noche en bici y volvimos a casa, donde sudé más (mirad las gotas de sudor en mi cuello en la foto). Me duché —no sé para qué lol— y seguí sudando hasta quedarme dormida.Read more

    • Day 57

      Happy early Qingming festival (清明節)

      March 26, 2019 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Qingmingjie is an important Chinese festival for paying respect to deceased ancestors. It is a time to come together to visit and clean清 the old family tombs. We were very lucky with the sabbatical (and side-trip) timing to have the chance to be in Taipei just a week before the actual festival (which is on the 4th of April) to visit the final resting place of Nai-nai and Yeh-yeh in Yangmingshan.

      Fortunately, Nai-nai and Yeh-yeh's urns are located such that we could knock politely on their little doors to say hi. Neither of them had met Davy or Meg yet - Yeh-yeh had barely even met Mommy! We hope that they were happy to meet the next generation and are satisfied with how we all turned out. After chatting a bit about death and cremation, whether the people buried in the big tombs outside were all there with their skin and bones intact, etc., we spoke briefly of what Mommy and Poppy wanted to do after dying, aside from give them all our money to buy Teslas.

      Meg then became rather fascinated by the fact that she was named after Nai-nai and shares both her family name Su蘇 and middle name Yu玉. She may actually turn out to have a lot in common with her great grandma when she grows up - both are stubborn queens and of course never wrong! Hopefully Nai-nai will be able to look in on Meg from time to time and keep her on the right track. Davy was a bit sad about not being named after a family member. Thankfully, he then found out that he was named after a great Chinese engineering master who designed and built the first railways. He was pensive for a moment after that - perhaps even suitably pleased.
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    • Day 3

      World Tourism Day

      September 27, 2018 in Taiwan ⋅ 🌧 29 °C

      Today's plan is to take advantage of being a tourist by going on a free Historic City walking tour and then to the National Palace Museum which is normally around £10 but free today!

      After an amazing night sleep we went for our Historic Walking tour. Molly out tour guide spoke fantastic English and really knew her stuff. We saw the Longshan Temple, bought ice cream at the oldest ice cream shop in Taiwan, learnt about the various rulers of Taiwan, saw Taiwan's equivalent of Times Square, learnt why the Chinese design curvy streets (to prevent attackers and the Chinese Zombie), saw and heard about history of the 228 Peace Park and the stories of Chiang kai-shek. During the break me and Will ran to a bakery where we had a voucher for a free tourist gift, a pineapple cake and two nougat bars. Then we saw the Presendital Parliamentary building, the concert hall, theatre Hall and finally the Chiang kai-shek memorial.

      For lunch we headed to Nanmen market hall for beef noodle soup and then to the National Palace Museum. By the time we got to the museum it was about 4pm and we had been wandering round since 9:30am so we were quite tired with pretty sore feet. The museum was free so we decided to make the most of it anyway. Overall it was quite interesting and had a few pieces of interest but I was very much looking forward to a proper sit down. At the museum we saw various paintings with calligraphy, a meat shaped stone that looked like pork belly but was actually a mineral known as banded jasper, a jade bokchoy and much much more. The museum was huge, we only got round one section before having to stop due to throbbing feet.

      We are now both starving for dinner so it's time to head off in hunt of food. We tried Raohe Night Market and having been to 3 night markets in Taiwan, I'm convinced they are the same with different names and size. We had beef bone soup, pan fried dumplings and a Peppered Pork Bun again and then headed home to plane for our next day.

      The original plan was to stay one more day and do a day trip to Jiufen, a neighbouring town. However the hostel tried charging us double as its a Friday and the rain from the passing typhoon is supposed to be worse tomorrow and therefore worse on the north east of the island. So we are going to go to Taichung, famous for its food and on the west of the island. We've also booked in for our very first couchsurfing experience! Bit of an adventure so let's see how it goes 😊
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    • Day 56

      Modern sculpture techniques

      March 25, 2019 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Perhaps the most memorable room in the National Palace Museum, aside from the block of jade that really does look like a piece of red stewed pork, is the (new? temporary?) 3D optical illusions exhibit. These pieces of potentially 3D-printed plastic are designed to have the property of looking completely different head-on vs. reflected in a mirror. We were particularly impressed by the fish and butterflies sculpture, as well as the right-left arrow one! Pretty impressive what creative minds can do when inspiration strikes.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Beitou District, Beitou, 北投區

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