Tuesday, August 2, 2016

EER R&R: Taipei Part Four

The flight from Denpasar to Taipei was scheduled to take of at 15:40 and land at 21:55. No time changes. We took off about 16:20 and landed at 20:40. That's pretty amazing time padding, but it was a super nice surprise. I watched Creed and Dolphin Tale 2 and then started The Good Lie, which I desperately want to see the rest of. Immigration had no line, and my bags made it out pretty quickly. I made a stop for a take away sandwich from Subway and was in the taxi by 21:40. Not bad at all. D was already asleep when I got back, and I got to bed much earlier than planned which made me very happy.

Tuesday I had ambitious plans, and I actually accomplished most of them! I woke up around 9:00 but didn't get going for a while and left the house at 11:00. I went first to Bao'an Temple and Confucius Temple, which are both gorgeous and unique. I especially enjoyed Confucius Temple where there were lots of signs and explanations in English, interactive exhibits, and almost no other visitors. Bao'an had lovely koi ponds and sculptures, but the overwhelming incense smell and smoke in the main temple kept my visit there short. After touring the Confucius Temple I sat down with a laurel flower ice cream popsicle and then headed to the metro to catch the train to the next stop.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is co-located with the National Theater and Concert Hall and Liberty Square. It's a massive piece of land, and I wasn't in the mood for too much exploring - especially with threatening clouds - so I took photos and marveled at the giant buildings before heading on. The two concert halls are very typical of Taiwanese architectural style, and the CKS memorial is an odd, not particularly appealing structure. I wasn't there at the right time for the changing of the guard and didn't feel the need to stick around another 40 minutes, so I moved on to my main destination. There's a great Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center not far from CKS Memorial Hall, just past NTU Hospital. I had yet to purchase anything in Taipei for souvenirs, and I'd heard great things about this place from D and guide books. It was lovely. The prices were fixed, but quality is controlled, and that was worth it to me. I picked up some office gifts, a few last souvenirs for family, and several pieces for myself. I am not a huge fan of jade but fell in love with their turquoise blue jade stone vases so bought a pair of those. I also bought some teacups that I'll repurpose as prep bowls; they're gorgeous ceramic with a floral/glitter finish. Once I dig out the boxes I can provide more info.

Bao'An Temple

Ornate shrine.

Phenomenal carving details.

Year of the Monkey-themed stage at a roundabout.

Entrance to Confucius Temple

The signs explicitly prohibited removing any wildlife from the temple grounds.

The detail on this bridge is pretty amazing - the pillars and connectors represent bamboo.


One of the central buildings, Confucius Temple

Portico roof detail.

National Theater (or maybe Concert Hall; I didn't label these well).

CKS Memorial

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "Don't steal the temple animals" is a bit of a shock - really? I'm jealous of the rain forecast skies, though. Sounds like you had another wonderful adventure of soaking in some lovely local scenes!