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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Half-day Taipei City Tour

The middle building is the hotel I'm staying at.

DongHwa Hotel

Second day of dad's conference. Mom, Uncle Beau and I went for a half-day city tour. The first place we went to was the nice-looking Jingfu Temple.

Sign of Jingfu Temple

Courtyard of Jingfu Temple

Jingfu Temple

Inside Jingfu Temple

Jingfu Temple was more Taoist than Buddhist, what caught my attention was its 'ghost money furnace' which looked totally high-tech and environmentally friendly.

Someone burning ghost money at the eco-friendly burner in Jingfu

Next stop was the Martyrs' Shrine, built for those who had given their lives for the nation over the years.

Its entrance is guarded by two unmoving military police officers.

Military Police Guarding the entrance 2

Military Police Guarding The Entrance

They are highly disciplined and do not move at all. Even when there are hundreds of pesky tourists taking photos with them everyday... like the guy below.

Me and a Military Police

Each hour, there is a changing of guards, and it's really an elaborate process. I was there just in time to witness one.

Changing of Guards

Changing of Guards 2

Changing of Guards 3

Changing of Guards 4

The crowd dispersed after the changing of guards ended...

The crowd dispersing after change of guards

I also went to the National Palace Museum, but since we weren't allowed to take photos inside the museum, all I have is the photo below. I saw lots of ancient palace treasures of the past, and many cute Japanese tourists around.

National Palace Museum

The 3-hour tour ended at the Chiang Kai-Shek Culture Center, a place I looked forward to visiting...

... only to realize that the Memorial Hall is closed for renovation!!!

National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (under renovation)

Since there wasn't much to see around the area, I just figured I would take some nice-looking photos.

Music Hall and the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, both under renovation
The cultural center and the Music Hall, both under renovation

I was told by the tour guide that the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall had been renamed earlier this year to 'Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall', the whole issue had been pretty complicated. Told me that the place might even be demolished, so I hurriedly took a photo of myself with the memorial hall behind me.

Me in front of the Culture center

So did Uncle Beau and mom.

Mom, Uncle Beau and me

And then, the tour ended.

Taiwanese flags flying proudly

Lots of Pigeons

For dinner, we went off to a place called Dian Shui Lou.

Dian Shui Lou

Like the Ding Tai Feng restaurant I visited the day before (but without the ridiculously cute and hot waitresses) the place had some really great xiaolongbaos.

Xiao Long Bao from Dian Shui Lou

I also liked the yellow wine chicken and its pork with dumplings.

Yellow Wine Chicken

Pork and Dumpling

Night had fallen upon us when we traversed to the Taipei Arena near my hotel. A David Tao concert MIGHT have been was being held then. When in the building, I heard his songs, and sounds of audiences cheering and clapping, wasn't sure whether they were just live recordings of a song blaring loudly through the speakers, or it was really a concert... (UPDATE: Yeah, it WAS a David Tao concert)

Taipei Arena

Taipei Arena 2

(Yes, this is my most photo-heavy post ever)