A Travellerspoint blog

July 2007

Chiang Kai-Shek

china in a really hot, tropical, bustling micro-form

overcast 37 °C

Well greetings from Taipei, where I literally feel like I am wasting away from the sweat. It's bleedin' hot here....I feel like I'm swimming through the air.

A few things:

- Hostelling International? Brilliant. A cheap, clean bed for about $15 a night. Granted, the last time I stayed in a hotel, it was the same price, but a 2-star in Vietnam. But that was Vietnam. Taipei is not Vietnam. Everything is booked for this holiday...who knew there would be so many Koreans migrating to Taiwan's capital?

- The National Palace Museum is incredible. It contains the artwork confiscated by the Chinese government and held in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Or I just made that up....but I'm pretty sure I read it somewhere. It's amazing to realize how short America's history when compared with nearly 6,000 years of artifacts, pottery, and other handiwork. The grounds are beautiful as well, and for about $5 entry. There are 3 floors, 2 filled with the museum's permanent display, and one with the temporary.
My favorites: tiny tiny, fingernail-sized ivory boxes connected by chains, carved with intricate designes, with each link independent of each other.
Seventeen concentric ivory balls, all carved from the same piece of ivory.
The grounds...palm trees, shrubbery, and huge ornate buildings.

- Taipei is nothing like I've ever seen before. It reminds me of Fukuoka, HaNoi, and Seoul all in one. But really, it's completely different. Don't let me fool you.

What I don't like is the lack of planning on my part, but really that's my own fault. I wasn't too excited about my destination and didn't really try too hard to plan. Bad idea. All I care about is the beach and going for a SCUBA. That's it, that's all.

So tomorrow, I'm headed off on a 6-hour slow train ride to Kaoshiung in the south, close to Kenting National Park, where there is supposedly scuba. Hopefully my 11pm arrival will still give me some leeway to get a room.

Posted by lrbergen 02:20 Archived in Taiwan Comments (0)

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