Results tagged “Museums” from Hong Kong and Taipei 2014

Another very slow start. Didn't get out the door til after 11:00 :/

Train approaching Zhongshan station
Train approaching Zhongshan station

Took a train down to go see Chiang Kai-Shek memorial hall and the buildings and gardens. Had a good long wander through the museum there which was interesting.

Freedom Square Memorial Arch
Freedom Square Memorial Arch

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

National Concert Hall
National Concert Hall

Zhongzheng Memorial Park
Zhongzheng Memorial Park

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Tortoise in Zhongzheng Memorial Park
Tortoise in Zhongzheng Memorial Park

Pigeon in Zhongzheng Memorial Park
Pigeon in Zhongzheng Memorial Park

This could be a young Black-crowned Night Heron
This could be a young Black-crowned Night Heron

Zhongzheng Memorial Park
Zhongzheng Memorial Park

Probably a Eurasian Magpie
Probably a Eurasian Magpie

Model of Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and surrounds
Model of Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and surrounds

The Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon, the highest civil order of the Republic of China, awarded to Chiang on Septebmer 27, 1943
The Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon, the highest civil order of the Republic of China, awarded to Chiang on Septebmer 27, 1943

One of Chiang's official state cars.  Chiang only used the vehicle once.
One of Chiang's official state cars. Chiang only used the vehicle once.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Sedan chairs used to carry Chiang when he visited Jiaobanshan Guestouse, his residence in Taoyuan
Sedan chairs used to carry Chiang when he visited Jiaobanshan Guestouse, his residence in Taoyuan

Had some lunch in the cafe downstairs.

When we came out, the sky was yellow. In the space of an hour or two the sky had gone from clear and blue to a really strange colour. Don't know if it was pollution or dust or just clouds. Very odd.

Door knocker on Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Door knocker on Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Guard in Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Guard in Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall area
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall area

Freedom Square Memorial Arch from Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Freedom Square Memorial Arch from Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

The sweetie taking a selfie
The sweetie taking a selfie

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

The sweetie and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
The sweetie and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

The sweetie headed back to the hotel, and I went to go see Longshan Temple.

Fountain at Longshan Temple
Fountain at Longshan Temple

Lots and lots of people just standing around
Lots and lots of people just standing around

Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple

Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple

Waterfall at Longshan Temple
Waterfall at Longshan Temple

Bird sculpture at Longshan Temple
Bird sculpture at Longshan Temple

Dragon sculpture at Longshan Temple
Dragon sculpture at Longshan Temple

Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple

Fountains at Longshan Temple
Fountains at Longshan Temple

Petrol stations in Taipei are in these drive-thru buildings
Petrol stations in Taipei are in these drive-thru buildings

When I got back to the hotel, the sweetie was feeling very blah - intestines playing up. So I went out by myself when it got dark to go climb Elephant Mountain at night. 914 steps. With 655 to the first lookout. Yikes. My bowels were a bit upset at this point too. So maybe something we ate in the past day.

Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night
Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night

Taipei from Xiangshan by night
Taipei from Xiangshan by night

Taipei from Xiangshan by night
Taipei from Xiangshan by night

Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night
Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night

Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night
Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night

This spider terrorised everyone both during the day a couple of days back and at night too
This spider terrorised everyone both during the day a couple of days back and at night too

Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night
Taipei 101 from Xiangshan by night

Got some snackages from 7-Eleven on the way back to the hotel and watched the end of Paycheck.

6:30 - woke up from a dream I was on tour in outback queensland and there was complications with flooded roads and then I found the Holy Grail. Yup. But tried a different pillow and slept somewhat better.

Got up at 7:30 and we went down for breakfast at 9:15.

South-east Asia doesn't really do dairy - too many people just never got the mutation that lets people digest lactose.  This was pretty much the only cheese we saw.
South-east Asia doesn't really do dairy - too many people just never got the mutation that lets people digest lactose. This was pretty much the only cheese we saw.

At 10:00 we met two of Stu's friends from when he was studying Japanese in Japan two years ago. They brought along a friend who spoke better english, and one of the girl's dads, who became our chauffuer for the day. Yup we got driven around all day :) The drive out of Taipei was a crazy crazy mix of English, Japanese and Mandarin. Fun stuff :)

They first took us up to Jiufen, a little tourist village in the hills. We walked up the "old street" seeing lots of cool stuff, and tasting all sorts of food including taro balls, pineapple cake, peanut and ice cream rolls, bubble tea and Stu got an ice coffee.

North coast of Taiwan from Jiufen
North coast of Taiwan from Jiufen

This dude is shaving off peanut brittle onto ice cream in a wrap - sooo good!!
This dude is shaving off peanut brittle onto ice cream in a wrap - sooo good!!

The peanut brittle ice cream before being wrapped
The peanut brittle ice cream before being wrapped

The group at Jiufen
The group at Jiufen

Then the real foodie tour began. At the end of the street they took us into a "local" place (apparently the tourists don't know about it) where we had taro balls and beans on ice (I think I would have preffered them warm but they were nice enough anyway). Also a moichi cake with a radish filling which was a nice mix of sweet and savoury. I forgot to take a photo of the taro ball dish, but we had an amazing view from where we sat.

View from lunch
View from lunch

Then we dropped in to see the old Shengping movie theatre which used to entertain the gold miners.

Lanterns in Jiufen Old Street
Lanterns in Jiufen Old Street

Entrance to ShengPing Theatre
Entrance to ShengPing Theatre

Restored ShengPing Theatre interior
Restored ShengPing Theatre interior

Announcing a movie - or something - we don't actually know what!
Announcing a movie - or something - we don't actually know what!

Next foodie stop we had these jelly meatballs which had a jelly coating around some meat. Also a rice cake which was quite nice.

Rice cake and jelly meatballs
Rice cake and jelly meatballs

And finally another place that did fish balls, which had four different things in it.

Fish balls
Fish balls

All three restaurants were those crazy places that are always super crowded, but they specialise in one thing and it's super quick service so you're in and out quite quickly so doesn't take too long to get a table of six free. Otherwise you just join some other people until they're done and leave heh.

After that we were quite full, and then we went down to the Gold Ecological Park, a museum setup on the site of an old gold mine. That was all quite interesting.

The group at the Gold Mine
The group at the Gold Mine

Gold mine entrance
Gold mine entrance

Gold in the museum
Gold in the museum

Gold crabs in the museum
Gold crabs in the museum

Gold bar in the museum
Gold bar in the museum

Air compressor used in the mine
Air compressor used in the mine

Chamber used by Crown Prince Hirohito for his visit in 1922
Chamber used by Crown Prince Hirohito for his visit in 1922

Chalet used by Crown Prince Hirohito for his visit in 1922
Chalet used by Crown Prince Hirohito for his visit in 1922

Chalet used by Crown Prince Hirohito for his visit in 1922
Chalet used by Crown Prince Hirohito for his visit in 1922

Jiufen village
Jiufen village

Further down the valley we stopped at a nice waterfall (in a no stopping zone, but everyone else was stopping anyway).

waterfall north of Jiufen
waterfall north of Jiufen

Us at the waterfall
Us at the waterfall

And then onto the coast. It was such a lovely day and the mountains and the ocean looked glorious.

Mountains in northern Taiwan
Mountains in northern Taiwan

Mountains in northern Taiwan
Mountains in northern Taiwan

We dropped off one of the girls at the station as she had to go to work, then headed back into the mountains. We ended up at Pingxi where - Sky Lanterns!! We actually decorated this huge sky lantern with wishes (I couldn't think of anything to write so wrote something pretty inane). Then they lit it and we set it off. So much fun, but there must be hundreds of the things littering the surrounding countryside!

Siguangtandiao Bridge over the Keelung River, near PingXi
Siguangtandiao Bridge over the Keelung River, near PingXi

Us on the Siguangtandiao Bridge
Us on the Siguangtandiao Bridge

Keelung River in PingXi
Keelung River in PingXi

Railway bridge over the Keelung River
Railway bridge over the Keelung River

Sky lantern in flight
Sky lantern in flight

What the different colours are supposed to mean
What the different colours are supposed to mean

Us painting wishes on our lantern
Us painting wishes on our lantern

Stu's wishes
Stu's wishes

Train approaching
Train approaching

Lantern alit, about to take off
Lantern alit, about to take off

Letting go
Letting go

Flying away
Flying away

Flying away
Flying away

Lantern sculpture in PingXi
Lantern sculpture in PingXi

Then a fairly long drive back into Taipei. It was nearly 6pm by this point and we went to Din Tai Fung for dumplings (xiaolongbao). This place was very much organised chaos. You (apparently, I didn't see this part) go and get a number for the number of people in your group (1-2, 3-5 or 6+), along with a menu and an ordering sheet, then wait around outside. When your number is called you can go in. The restaurant is like four storeys high! Although the room we were in was fairly small - it had tables for six. We didn't have to wait long outside, but apparently the wait on the weekends can be like two hours! We got six dishes - three lots of dumplings (pork, chicken and vegetable), as well as some sort of chicken schnitzel, a noodle dish with "pork mince" that had some beans and tofu in it, and a noodle dish with peanut sauce. All thoroughly delicious.

Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung

Xiao Long Bao - soooo good!
Xiao Long Bao - soooo good! NT200 ($8.50AUD) for ten pieces - amazing value

Eating a Xiao Long Bao
Eating a Xiao Long Bao

Chicken schnitzel
Chicken schnitzel

Pork mince noodles
Pork mince noodles

Taipei 101 from near Din Tai Fung
Taipei 101 from near Din Tai Fung

Coloured pool in Daan Park
Coloured pool in Daan Park

And finally we got dropped off at our hotel.

It was a wonderful day and we saw stuff we would *never* have seen doing things by ourselves.

Collapsed in front of Jack the Giant Slayer before bed.

Slept like crap. The pillow was too squishy, my spine kept hurting, the bowels decided to get upset, and it was either too hot or too cold depending on if I had the doona on or not.

And it turns out the bathroom *does* have an interior blind that you can close to the bedroom. But there's almost nowhere to hang anything and no spare toilet paper. And the Tripadvisor website is blocked here. Go figure.

The view from our hotel room by day
The view from our hotel room by day

We had a very slow morning. We went downstairs for the hotel breakfast which was ok, but then the sweetie wanted to take it easy because he was feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and he wanted to do some uni reading. I, on the other hand, was feeling anxious like a caged animal might.

The breakfast room in the hotel
The breakfast room in the hotel

Taipei currency
Taipei currency

Left the hotel around 11:30. We walked up to Songjiang Nanjing station and caught two trains to Shilin. Turns out passport stamps are just as big a thing here as in Japan. Really kicking myself I didn't bring a nice Field Notes notepad to put them in!

Station sign in Songjiang Nanjing
Station sign in Songjiang Nanjing

From Shilin we were meant to catch a R30 (or I30 on all the timetables) bus to the museum, but according to the timetables they only went every 30-60 minutes on weekdays. So we decided to jump on a 855 which said it was going there anyway. It went straight there so glad we did that.

Entrance to the National Palace Museum
Entrance to the National Palace Museum

Stu at the National Palace Museum
Stu at the National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum

We had to put our bags in a locker (10NT deposit) and I think it was 250NT entry each ($10). Except we went in before we realised we didn't have any sort of guide book or map. And Stu didn't really even know what was in there either. So we were kinda flying blind. We ended up in the pottery/porcelin section and took a good long while to walk through and look at all the beautiful porcelin. We stopped then and looked up the internet for what else was at the museum and where things were. Had a bit of a look at the calligraphy then split up to do things at our own pace. I had a quick walk through the paintings and the bronze work, then found the snuff box exhibition which was super cool.

Met up with the sweetie for a late lunch of steamed pork buns and dumplings in the tea house upstairs.

Dumplings in the museum cafe
Dumplings in the museum cafe

Steamed pork buns in the museum cafe
Steamed pork buns in the museum cafe

Continued on, having a look at all the Jade (this was super popular with the tourists) and the orientation room, and finally the stunning collection of "precious crafts" in a special collection downstairs. I've decided "openwork" was my favourite thing. Just amazing.

There's no photography which was a bit of a bummer, but you can kind of understand why. The place was *crawling* with people. Soooo many people. Many of them in tour groups that would all rush to a window, pushing you out of the way so they could all see, then they'd be off again to the next thing. I found it all to be super stressful. The sweetie was worn out by it all too, so instead of seeing what else there was to see around the place, we just headed back to the hotel.

The National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum

Entrance to the National Palace Museum
Entrance to the National Palace Museum

Traffic control at Songjiang Nanjing station
Traffic control at Songjiang Nanjing station

We picked up some snacks and a sandwich and a salad and some beer from a 7-Eleven on the way and then flopped in front of You've Got Mail before bed.

Dinner at the hotel (we didn't have all those beers at once!)
Dinner at the hotel (we didn't have all those beers at once!)

Grape flavoured beer
Grape flavoured beer