Friday, 13 September 2013

Day 38 - Waking up in Taiwan

After getting woken up by the Chinese travel groups having a chat in the hallway at 5am, I decided to go out and see if I can get some photos of the sunset.  Unfortunately it was cloudy so the sunset was not really all that spectacular so I headed back to get a bit more sleep.

I stepped out on deck again before breakfast and could see Taiwan a few miles off in the distance. The other people on board were also out and taking pictures, talking or drying clothes.

We arrived on time in Keelung and after a quick pass through immigration I walked down the road to the Keelung train station to get the train to Taipei. The port and train station in Keelung are ideally located from each other so it was nice not to have to bother with taxis or having to take buses just to get to the train station.

At first look, Taiwan felt quite different from China, it was quieter, cleaner an people and cars actually stopped at traffic lights. Only one thing seemed not to fit, the noise and exhaust from the scooters as the are not electric as in China.

Once I arrived in Taipei and walked to my hotel, I arranged to meetup with my friend Jenny for lunch and to show me round a bit. We had a great lunch and long lunch at that but it was great to catch up. Afterwards we headed to the Ximen area for a walk around and to take some photos.

The Ximen area is quite hip and the fashion district from the looks of it, it makes for and interesting walk around and is good for photography. Taiwan feels indeed very different from China and I would say it reminded me more of Seoul than any city in China.

In the evening, I went to the National Taiwan Democracy Hall (or Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall) to take some pictures. They had a protest going on with some very nice live music. It was very nice and as usual in this part of the world, people were relaxed and enjoyed the music.

After going to the flower and jade markets tomorrow, I will be heading down South to Kaoshiung for the weekend.

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