Archive for the ‘Trips’ Category
Have to go to bed as we get up at 445am to get to the airport in the morning,
quick bullet points for the final day.
-Suho Paper Making museum. Fun.
-lunch with Jess’s grandmother and cousin. Beef Noodle soup for the win.
-Ice desert at Eastern Ice Company
-Italian meal at fancy restaurant in Gaundo.
-our New friend Ming-She(SP?) dance concert at the National Taipei Arts University, awesome with a beautiful outdoor setting
Time to come home, see you on the other side.
Going out to night market in a bit for some grub, the fun continues here in Taiwan. Yesterday we ventured out of the city on a curvy wild bus ride to Wulai, an Aboriginal village in the nearby mountains. Theres a beautiful waterfall there, and we walked up lovers lane to it. The town of Wulai has two neat streets filled with all kinds of touristy stuff, and I had the most amazing Ginger flavored meat on a stick ever. We also tried a weird corn mush thing covered in Hershey’s Chocolate. It was strange but delicious. It’s funny how similar the Aytal people who live here are to the Cherokee indians in North Carolina. So many of there clothes look similar and you have to wonder how far back it was when these people may have lived together. Last night we ate at the Japanese food court in a local mall. I wish we had food that was that good in our food court.
Today we had a big lunch to go to with the family one more time. A big duck feast, that was delicious, but of course I ate too much. We then went to Longshan Temple which has been there since the 1600′s. Its really impressive. We wandered the streets some more before heading back to the hotel for some rest before our night out. Tomorrow is our last day here. We are gonna try and hit a paper museum, and we have a friends dance concert to go to tomorrow night to end our Taiwan experience Our last meal here if they have there way will be at a German Restaurant. I’ve had a blast, but am very tired and a little homesick. One more day to go!
We got up this morning and went to the National Palace Museum, a grand museum on the scale of the Smithsonians. Saw lots of ancient Chinese artifacts and two very strange pieces that are really famous here. A piece of Jade shaped like a cabbage, and a rock that looks like a piece of meat. We wondered how the meat rock ever ended up in a museum, and gained its fame. Im sure its a great story.
We wandered the streets some more after the museum, did some shopping and hit Modern Toilet, a theme restaurant based on modern plumbing. You sit on toilets, eat and drink out of urinals and don’t know whether to laugh or be disgusted. But the ice cream and drinks we had were really good and super reasonably priced so no complaining there. Its an experience for sure.
Ended the night with some Bibim-bop, one of my favorite Korean dishes, so I’ll sleep happy tonight. Theres a incoming Typhoon this weekend, so were hoping the storms will hold off so we can go to the Aboriginal town of Wulai tomorrow.
Woke up on Saturday and headed to the flower market in Taipei. Its like a big flea market, except for flowers of every kind. There’s also a artist market there but it’s mostly full of stuff you would find at craft fairs and not alot of unique art there.
We then had a large family dim sum lunch. It’s neat meeting relatives through marriage who don’t even speak the same language as you do. In the afternoon, we ventured to Taipei 101 which is really just a fancy mall. They have a great american bookstore there but I had to put off buying the books I wanted cause they were super pricey.
Jessica’s cousin took us to the Shilin Night Market, which is my favorite experience on the trip so far. There is a building there that is packed with food vendors and the heat and smells are often overwhelming. I was surprised by how much I liked the stinky tofu. But I couldn’t handle the Oyster Omelet.
The streets around the market are packed full of hip and young shops, and the streets were jammed with shoppers. Jess got a hat, and her cousins got all kinds of new clothes. We went home around 1100 pm, but the Market showed no signs of slowing down for the night.
Today, we got up and went to the Jade market, where Jess got a Jade bracelet, before heading to the end of the subway and the Ocean town of Danshui. Its alot like the night market, except at daytime and on the ocean. Ate a great lunch of cold noodles, and visited a temple, the Fish Ball museum(really weird), and a French/Chinese Bakery museum. Also had Turkish Ice cream, which was rather bad actually. Probably shouldn’t try Turkish items in Taiwan right?
Were back at the hotel now, taking a quick break before dinner, and maybe a movie tonight. Trip is almost half over. Seen alot, and have more to see. Love it.
Taking a break before heading out for a shaved ice desert tonight, wanted to write about the past two days before I forget everything.
Our bodies weren’t quite adjusted to Taiwan time as we found out about 4am on Thursday morning. We decided not to try and go back to sleep and just went for a morning stroll around the neighborhood. One thing I love about this city is that every alleyway is full of great little independent shops. Even when the chains come in like Starbucks, they don’t take over like they do in America. I wonder if rent stays affordable and that leads to this creativity in business, or if its more of a reflection of Taiwan’s people to appreciate something unique over something everyone has.
Anyway, at lunch we had way too much dim-sum with Jessica’s mom, her grandmother and great Uncle and Aunt. I hope I’m as happy and full of life as they are at 89. Lunch was a long affair as is custom with dim-sum. I ate way too much and am already fearing the big family lunch tomorrow.
We then went to the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial and watched the changing of the guard. A very solemn and neat experience. After studying him in college it was neat to see the museum, and even though I still hold my doubts about his legacy, it is evident the positive feelings the Chinese people in Taiwan have for him.
We ended the day having dinner at Sushi Express. Whoever owns this chain needs to bring it to America ASAP. You sit and a conveyor belt brings sushi around for you. You see a plate you like you grab it. At the end of the meal they total your plate number and you pay 30 NT (about $1) per plate. Four of us ate there. Our total bill $17 dollars. Amazing good stuff, and the way I wish Sushi was in America. Me and Jess walked for a while through the neon streets after dinner, but our 4am wake up caught up with us and we headed home.
Today, we got up and took the subway to Sun Yat Sen memorial. It’s a lot like the Kai-Shek one, except devoted to Sun Yat Sen. There was a modern art show inside that had some amazing paintings in it. I can’t wait to show you some of the pictures. Jessicas mom had arranged for a friend to take us on a excursion today, and we headed out of Taipei up the coast to Yehliu. Before we got there we stopped at an oceanside fishing town and had some of the best tasting fresh fish I’ve every had.
Yehliu is a tourist spot in Taiwan that features really neat rock formations on the beach, that have been shaped by thousands of years of wind and weather. The rock that is most famous is the Queen’s Head, which is shaped like a queens head. Its really a cool thing to see and a great park along the pacific ocean, just for walking.
Our guide Arthur next to us to the awesome Juming museum which features the work of Sculptor Ju Ming. Its a neat place nestled in the mountains, and work I’m very interested in learning more about. The sculptures carry a lot of expression and are often funny and sometimes disturbing. Great stuff.
Got back into Taipei a while ago and had some amazing beef noodle soup, at an unmarked, undecorated restaurant. The kind of place that would never make it in America. Good thing were not there. It was delicious.
Im loving the trip so far, and ready for more!
Got up this morning to a lovely breakfast at our hotel, the Deja Vu, which is right in the heart of Tapei. We went for a long morning walk with Jess’s mom & grandmother around the surrounding neighborhoods and through a subway shopping complex. Every alley is packed with stores and signs advertising the wares sold inside jut out of every space possible. You could live here your entire life and never see every nook and cranny We ended for lunch at the Sogo department store, a massive shopping Mecca, with three locations in just about ten blocks. The food court has all kinds of greatness. I got some kind of sizzling beef and egg dish here that was pretty darn good and only cost 5$
After lunch we went to the bank to exchange our money for NT, the Tawainese standard. While there a loud siren went off and all the people hurried into stores, cars stopped and the stores shut their doors, keeping everyone inside, and making the streets strangely empty. A security guard informed us it was a drill for national defense. Seems there is some constant fear of the Chinese invasion, and its better to be prepared than not. Seeing a city of bustling millions stop and go silent for about 15 mins is strange and eerie for sure.
We took the Subway to another area later where Jess hit a letterpress print store MB More. She had corresponded with one of the artists and he took us a few blocks to the last remaining type foundry in all of Taiwan. Jess had plenty of time with the owner and hopes to include him in her upcoming book. She bought some chinese type, but thankfully nothing super heavy.
Before we knew it was time for dinner, and he had another great meal with Jess’s Mom and Grandmother. We parted ways after that and me & Jess just wandered the streets around our hotel looking at all the neon, and buying candy. (I also got a blind boxed Star Trek ship, which turned out to be the Shuttle). The neon here makes Times Square look pretty minor by comparison, lights up the streets, which far as I can tell are busy all night long.
All in all a great first day here. Tomorrow we have a big family lunch to go to, and I have to figure out how to politely decline food, or I will either be super heavy after this trip, or really really full.
So were heading to Taiwan on Monday morning, so my blogging might be eratic during the trip. Hopefully we have good internet and I can post here nightly with some awesome shots, but if not I wanted to list a few things that are preloaded and will happen anyway.
Con-news is ready to go with daily posts for the next two weeks, so if thats how you know me, your fine.
Peas will run as usual on Fridays. Next week we have the final part of the Swamp Couple story and the following week we have a strip that will be posted while I’m on the airplane home.
Placebo will continue every Tuesday right here. Theres only four parts to the story left with the final chapter coming June 7th.
So that’s what will be happening here on the blog. I’ve tried to blog about something daily here, and surprisingly its gone o.k. Might not happen on this trip, but I will try.
February is upon us and my little car engine is getting ready to go. Every other weekend is a trip to conlandia. Here’s where I know for sure Ill be the next couple of weeks.
Sat Feb 5th WTH CON at Guilford College. I’ve heard rumors of this con for the past couple of years now. I heard its free, and its good. I’m going on Saturday to check out the show and see MC Frontalot.
Feb 18th-20th, 2011 Connooga, Chattanooga, TN
We went to this last year at historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. Its one of the better conventions since we moved away from the midwest. This year we are staying away from the convetion on a riverboat Delta Queen which may be haunted. OOOHHHH. Going as fans.
March 4th-6th. Shevacon in Roanoke, Va. Me & Jess are Guests at this years con. We will be doing a letterpress printing demo, and I will be competing in the Iron Artist as well as having work in the art show.
And then March gets even crazier but thats a post for another day.