Results tagged “Stress” from Hong Kong and Taipei 2014

The Ambience Hotel sometimes had *ambience* in the form of a violinist playing during breakfast!
The Ambience Hotel sometimes had *ambience* in the form of a violinist playing during breakfast!

After breakfast I walked up to the Regent Hotel so I could make a "been-there" out of the opening scene in Lucy.

Statue in Linsen Park
Statue in Linsen Park

The Regent Hotel
The Regent Hotel

Me standing where Scarlett Johansson did at the beginning of Lucy.  <br/>Forty years ago yesterday that Lucy was discovered.
Me standing where Scarlett Johansson did at the beginning of Lucy.
Forty years ago yesterday that Lucy was discovered.

Street down from the Regent Hotel, seen in Lucy
Street down from the Regent Hotel, seen in Lucy

Regent Hotel entrance, as seen in Lucy
Regent Hotel entrance, as seen in Lucy

Then came back and we packed and sorted ourselves out for coming home.

We went back to the Evergreen Hotel to catch the shuttle bus to the airport.

Elevated railway outside of Taipei
Elevated railway outside of Taipei

Arrived at the airport at around 12:20, and the lady checking us in said we only had an hour turnaround in Hong Kong, and normally our ticket wouldn't allow for an earlier flight but she got approval from her supervisor and put us on a flight two hours earlier. This turned out to be brilliant because our other plane ended up being an hour late and we'd likely have missed our plane back to Australia.

Taipei airport departures hall
Taipei airport departures hall

Orchids in Taipei airport
Orchids in Taipei airport

Had lunch at the airport in Taipei before boarding. Turns out the plane was quite empty - there were only like half a dozen people in the whole back section. I played (and won) a game of p0ker.

Our lunch at Taipei airport
Our lunch at Taipei airport

This, believe it or not, is an *airbag* !!
This, believe it or not, is an *airbag* !!

A very empty plane
A very empty plane

Leaving Taiwan
Leaving Taiwan

Lunch on the plane (the opened box looked quite *blah* for a photo)
Lunch on the plane (the opened box looked quite *blah* for a photo)

I loves me any plane that has power points in the seats!
I loves me any plane that has power points in the seats!

I think the air traffic controller was playing Flight Control for our approach into Hong Kong
I think the air traffic controller was playing Flight Control for our approach into Hong Kong

Park Island, approach into Hong Kong
Park Island, approach into Hong Kong

Looking towards Hong Kong Disneyland
Looking towards Hong Kong Disneyland

Forward cam view
Forward cam view

Hong Kong airport
Hong Kong airport

Our plane from Taipei to Hong Kong - Cathay Pacific A330-300 - B-HNI
Our plane from Taipei to Hong Kong - Cathay Pacific A330-300 - B-HNI

In Hong Kong we had time to go to the Qantas club for a couple of glasses of bubbly (after we found it - I don't know if they're in a temporary spot, but there's no signage whatsoever to welcome you)..

Don't look only at your mobile phone
Don't look only at your mobile phone

Hong Kong airport
Hong Kong airport

Sunset at Hong Kong airport
Sunset at Hong Kong airport

Sunset at Hong Kong airport
Sunset at Hong Kong airport

Our plane arriving at Hong Kong airport - Qantas A330-300 - VH-QPG
Our plane arriving at Hong Kong airport - Qantas A330-300 - VH-QPG

Christmas tree in Hong Kong airport
Christmas tree in Hong Kong airport

Then the tortuous trip home. Mum cursed me with restless legs, so couldn't even sit still, let alone get any sleep :(

Can you tell the sweetie is thrilled to be on another plane?
Can you tell the sweetie is thrilled to be on another plane?

I watched Lucy first up, because "been there!". Then Blended, which I liked a lot more than I thought I would, on account of it being an Adam Sandler movie and all.

Dinner on the plane
Dinner on the plane

Then just sat there miserably for a few hours.

We flew over Manilla and Darwin which was pretty cool.

Over Manilla
Over Manilla

They turned the lights on for breakfast at 2:50. Urggghh. I could barely stomach breakfast. Far too early to be eating a full meal.

Breakfast on the plane at 3:27am
Breakfast on the plane at 3:27am

Bendigo, Victoria
Bendigo, Victoria

Got to Melbourne and had some juice in the Qantas club.

A380 landing at Tullamarine
A380 landing at Tullamarine

Then our last plane home.

Calder Park, Melbourne
Calder Park, Melbourne

Lake Hume
Lake Hume

Talbingo Reservoir
Talbingo Reservoir

Approaching Canberra
Approaching Canberra

Our last plane - Qantas 717-200 - VH-YQW
Our last plane - Qantas 717-200 - VH-YQW

Got home and mostly unpacked, then crashed for a couple of hours.

Sorted out all the various paperwork from the trip, then we had pizza for dinner (on account of no food in the house).

So a pretty good trip. The weather was certainly fantastic, if a little hot sometimes. Saw lots of cool stuff and did some hot but good hikes. And towers, always towers :)

Had an up and down day today. Literally. And figuratively.

Up at 7:30 to do photos and blogging. Breakfast downstairs then left some time after 10:00.

Breakfast bar at the Ambience Hotel
Breakfast bar at the Ambience Hotel

Gardens outside Taipei City Hall
Gardens outside Taipei City Hall

Walking along Songzhi Road
Walking along Songzhi Road

Our first stop was Taipei 101. And we had an amazing day for it. The view was spec-fricking-tacular. Totally amazing.

But.

The whole rigmarole of getting up there was a pain. Buying tickets was easy enough, but they give you allocated times that you can go up. We got there at 11:30 (after stopping at Starbucks for a coffee for Stu), but our ticket was for 12:00. So we had to sit around waiting for half an hour. And the mall underneath the tower is a brandname only mall, so there's nothing for normal people like us to look at. So we just sat for half an hour. Then you go queue to get through the time check, then queue again to get the lift. I think they want to restrict the numbers of people up there, but why they don't let you just queue as you get there I don't know. It was all pretty painful, but we got up around 12:15.

Entrance to Taipei 101
Entrance to Taipei 101

Stu with the 'Lucky Red' Damper Baby
Stu with the 'Lucky Red' Damper Baby

Boring shopping mall under Taipei 101
Boring shopping mall under Taipei 101

View north-west from Taipei 101
View north-west from Taipei 101

View north-west from Taipei 101
View north-west from Taipei 101

Looking north towards Songshan airport
Looking north towards Songshan airport

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

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

Taipei Arena
Taipei Arena

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and the Taipei Dome
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and the Taipei Dome

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei Dome
Taipei Dome

Songshan Airport
Songshan Airport

Taipei 101 sundial - taken on the iPhone
Taipei 101 sundial - taken on the iPhone

Looking north - taken on the iPhone
Looking north - taken on the iPhone

Looking north - taken on the iPhone
Looking north - taken on the iPhone

Taipei 101 Damper Ball
Taipei 101 Damper Ball

Taipei 101 Damper Ball and the 'Smart Silver' Damper Baby
Taipei 101 Damper Ball and the 'Smart Silver' Damper Baby

Outside viewing area at Taipei 101
Outside viewing area at Taipei 101

View west using random camera from outside
View west using random camera from outside

View north-west using random camera from outside
View north-west using random camera from outside

View north-west using random camera from outside
View north-west using random camera from outside

Top of the outside observation deck
Top of the outside observation deck

Top of Taipei 101
Top of Taipei 101

Model of World Trade Centre and Taipei 101
Model of World Trade Centre and Taipei 101

Looking dowwwwwwwn
Looking dowwwwwwwn

Came back down (more queuing for lifts) around 13:20.

Went to the food court for lunch but it was super crowded and we had to wait quite a while. Even at Mos Burger they gave me a flashing order thingie to wait for a single burger. Sheesh. So there goes another hour.

Then I went outside to get a photo of the building in the sun. And this is where I discovered my camera was still on night mode settings from last night. -1 exposure on all my photos up the tower. All ruined. So upsetting :(:(:(

Taipei 101 - -1 AV
Taipei 101 - -1 AV

Taipei 101 - normal AV
Taipei 101 - normal AV

Top of Taipei 101
Top of Taipei 101

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

I also discovered there was a station *right there*. This wasn't on the main two maps we had been using, because the line is so new. So we could have saved ourselves a fairly long walk in the heat (both directions - because Stu wanted to sit down and have a coffee at Starbucks near the first station so he'd gone back separately).

Election rally - this one for Candidate 6
Election rally - this one for Candidate 6

So eventually we got back to the station near our hotel, and it was like 15:30. So doing just one thing took up most of the day. And of course by this time we were running out of energy. So the thing that Stu wanted to do today (wander through the "creative park"), we didn't really have the energy for. So we were both feeling pretty bad at this point.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Manhole cover
Manhole cover

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

We got back to the hotel and chilled briefly. I toyed with the idea of going up Elephant Mountain by myself, but Stu said we'd go another night. So I did a bit of a wander through the Guanghua Electronics plaza. But it wasn't too exciting.

Footpaths are for scooter parking
Footpaths are for scooter parking

Guanghua Electronics Plaza
Guanghua Electronics Plaza

Guanghua Electronics Plaza
Guanghua Electronics Plaza

Came back and Stu had put on some washing which was nice. But it took forever. And ever. And ever. We'd been planning to go to the night markets, but it just got too late. At 21:00 we gave up waiting for everything to dry and went out to get some dinner. We got beer and pizza. Because we're classy like that.

Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza
Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza

Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza
Dominos parmesan stuffed crust pizza

Finished watching The Matrix then went to bed completely frustrated with the day.

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