Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Taiwan (part 3)

Spent Christmas morning on the train to Taipei. Got to the city at around noon and found my hostel. I booked one right next to the main train station for its location. They were also one of the only ones that were offering single rooms. Turns out my room is quite big but probably because they just don't have very many people.

I got a 2 day metro pass, which may have been unnecessary but it saves on having to think about having enough money for the train. My first stop was Taipei 101. I was worried that the day wouldn't stay so nice. As soon as we went past these mountains on the train, the sky became blue. It was very gray and gloomy in Hualien. The line was not long at the tower but the outdoor part wasn't open due to setting up of fireworks for New Years. The indoor part was okay. The elevator was very impressive though, extremely fast.

I came back to the hostel to move my stuff into my room. It wasn't ready before. And got an email from my mom saying that I passed the seismic part my exam but not the surveying part. I had found out a couple of days ago that I passed the 8 hr thing. So didn't manage to pass it all in one go but I was really thinking I had failed both the seismic and surveying. So I guess this is good. Only need to focus on one exam next time. Before I took the test I really thought I would pass the surveying and not the seismic. I would rather have to study the seismic again though because that is more applicable.

I went out to make more use of my metro card and took the mrt to beitou, where they have hot springs. I thought about going to a hotel or spa type place but the prices and packages weren't well advertised and u didn't want to go poke into every one on the street. The public one is very cheap. Only $40 TWD, which is a little over 1 usd but I didn't have a bathing suit and buying one there was expensive compared to everything else. So I just walked a long the stream and put my feet into the water. There were some other people doing this as well. I can see how this could be very relaxing. The sulfur smell wasn't too bad here.

Then I went to the Shilin night market and eat guava, stinky tofu, squid, and a jelly drink for dinner. It's much better to go to these things with 3 or 4 people because then you can try out more food. I really wanted to try out more stuff but was full very quickly. I then walked around the Ximen pedestrian streets, which had a lot of little shops and such.

I think I did a good amount of stuff today. More historical sites tomorrow I think. My flight leaves around 8pm and I have about $500 TWD to spend. Should be enough if I don't buy anything expensive. There are a good number of HSBCs here. Too convenient! I just realized I can withdraw money out of my HSBC account in the US as well.


docey101 said...

Merry Christmas! I keep forgetting how cities really look like because I'm in the States. Ridiculously packed with buildings... Sounds like a relaxing trip :) Congrats on passing half(?) the test.

yalu said...

Great pictures! Yeah, I saw the first pic and my first impression was that it is really packed. What's that golden building in the lower right?

Are you collecting souvenirs from all the tallest buildings in the world? =) Seems like you have been to a lot of them.

Glad you found out about your exams and that you only have to study for 1 next time. Also now you can look at dates and plan flights.

The most exciting part of this post were the hot springs. =) ONSEN