Monday, August 30, 2010

Taipei, Taiwan!

Why did I bothered to leave the Taiwan Taoyuan airport?! If you ever have a long layover in Taipei and it is pouring rain outside, do not leave the airport!! I think I flew into Terminal 1, where all the Asia flights get into. That terminal is super nice. There were showers in the bathroom, hot water (for drinking), an internet lounge with computers, all for free!! Yes, that's right, FREE. I totally should have taken advantage of the showering because I need one. Now I'm sitting in Terminal 2 and there are no showers. So sad.

I decided to go out to Taipei for a couple of hours. I ended up spending a couple of hours in transit on the bus. One hour taking the MRT to the Sun-Yet Sen Memorial and walking around there. Then about an hour being lost in the main train/bus station. I guess it would've been lame for me to sit at the airport for all those hours just being on my computer. But I'm still sad about the lack of showers in this terminal. I took out 500 Taiwanese Dollars (less than $20 USD) and used nearly all of it. I have a $10 coin left. It's not worth very much and I don't think I can use it for anything. Probably not even a piece of gum.

Taipei is a pretty interesting city. I would really like to go back and explore some more. All the street are clearly labeled with their street names. All the signs have Chinese and English. There are no lack of signs and directions. There are plenty of big maps all around the MRT stations and tourist street signs. The city is well connected by metro and buses. Other cities can be easily reached by long distance buses and trains (including high speed rail). I even picked up a really nice tourist map for free at the airport. They have a whole series of maps for major cities in the country. The maps are bilingual in Chinese and English. They're super helpful in terms of pointing out all the attractions, including the night markets.

I didn't make it to a night market unfortunately. Didn't even make it to Taipei 101. If it was a dry day, I would've gone to the memorial, walked to Taipei 101, and made a quick trip to a night market before going back to the airport. But it was raining with a hint of typhoon  and I didn't have an umbrella (not that it would've helped very much). I had a rain jacket with me luckily. Didn't even have time to find a good food court and eat some Taiwanese food. I got some really good cheese bread though. That was all I could afford on my budget. But I guess I'm glad I went out to see the city. Now I know for sure I want to come back.

1 comment:

Yalu said...

I know what you mean about the rain. I think vacations all need to be planned with 2days+ in an area, in case of rain ;-) But at least you know you've got to come back sometime!