Last days in Taiwan: Taipei 101, City life and MTV - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Last days in Taiwan: Taipei 101, City life and MTV

Today me and Adoara are continuing our adventure with a trip to Bangkok, Thailand. So here comes my last blog post from Taiwan! We have had a really stay here, and much thanks to our friends Lois and Alan we have got to try a lot of interesting and delicious Taiwanese food, seen a lot and in general had a really good time here. I know I speak for us both when I say that we are  really thankful.

On Monday we met up with Alan, our guide for the day. He and his friend took us around in Taipei to many different places, and thanks to them we got to see a lot of the city.

Me, Adaora and our travel guide for the day, Alan, in the middle.
Though our main goal was the Chiang Kai-shek memorial hall, we decided to walk there from our meeting point at the Taipei Railway Station. Thanks to this we got the chance to take a look at the Presidential Office Building, which was build during the time the Japanese ruled Taiwan in the early 1900s.
Every day they have parades outside the building; one in the morning when the Taiwanese flag is raised and one in the afternoon when the flag is taken down, and we just got in time to see the second one. Lucky!
After a short walk, and after a quick stop at Alan's university, we arrived at the memorial hall of Chiang Kai-shek. This place was build after the president died in 1975, and inside the memorial hall you can see a big Chiang Kai-shek statue. 
If you go up the stairs to take a closer look at the statue, you also get a nice view of the square in front of it. The building to the left is the National Theater and Concert Hall.
After our visit to the memorial hall Alan took us to Shilin market, which is considered the largest market in Taipei. The trip by the metro is easy and cheap, it usually costs between 20 and 25 Taiwanese Dollars to get there by metro depending on where in the city you are. You should try to avoid going there on weekends though, cause the place will be crammed.

Private cinemas in Taipei
Another interesting thing we tried out during our stay in Taiwan was a MTV cinema. When that is said, this MTV has nothing to do with the TV-channel most people probably would think of when hearing this word. On the contrary, a Taiwanese MTV is a place where you can rent your own room to watch movies!
It kind of felt like the Japanese karaoke-boxes where you hire a room for yourself and your friends, and then spend the evening there singing.
The MTV we tried out was situated in the top of the shopping center U2 in Ximending, and offered a wide selection of DVDs that one could choose from, including both old and new ones.
Since they had a special offer going on, we payed 210 Taiwanese Dollars to watch two movies instead of 180 Dollars for one.
You can order both the room and  the movies you want to watch simply by using the machines here. Luckily our friend Lois handled the ordering, since its all in Chinese (I'm actually not certain if the machine has English text as well, since we let her handle it. But I'm pretty sure some of the staff should be able to help.)
Adaora, Lois and her boyfriend in our private cinema with two big and comfy coaches.!
A picture of Adaora, the screen and the table with our snack for the evening. Though we decided to bring our own snack with us, it is also possible to order snack and even some meals from the counter.
Here is one of the hallways where the private movie rooms are located.

Ohh, and by the way if you want to watch movies there in the evening, make sure to bring your ID! In order to prevent youngsters from watching movies all night apparently there has been made some restrictions so that people under 18 can't watch movies that ends after 12 o'clock.

Last days in Taiwan
We stayed in Taipei for a total of 9 days, which honestly speaking is more then enough to see what there is to see on the island.
Unfortunately the weather was not that good, so when we went to Taipei 101 we didn't get to see much.

Adaora in front of Taipei 101, which is a combined shopping center and observatory.

A closer picture of Taipei 101. Though it has an observatory in one of the upper floors we decided not to check it out. It wouldn't be possible to see much because of the weather anyway.
But we did walk around inside the building though! Mainly it consists of really expensive shops such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and so forth, but the are also an area where they sell food in the basement.

On our last evening here we met up with Alan again, and he and another friend took us to the National Palace Museum.
Every Saturday between 18:30-20:30 the entrance is free, so we just payed a total of 50 Taiwanese Dollars for the metro to Shilin and then 30 TD for the bus from there to the museum tour-retour.
Arriving at night, the museum looks more like a palace than a museum.
The gate to the museum.
And the museum itself lit up by night looks really pretty. The museum itself contains paintings, ceramics, calligraphy and much more, mostly originating from China. If you go on a Saturday to get the free entrance you sure have to hurry if you want to see it all!

A visit to the museum can easily be combined with a trip to the market in Shiling. Just beware that it is going to be crowded if you choose to go there on a Saturday;)

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. Det er flaks at dikke er i Japan for øyeblikket, og du må snarest ta kontakt med universitetet i Bergen, eller UD for å rådføre deg om hvordan du skal forholde deg til den situasjonen som har oppstatt vedr. atomulykken! Det er mulig at du må ta kontakt med ANSA vedr. kostnader også (forsikring). Alle nordmenn er i flg VG/ UD oppfordret å forlate Japan - dvs at du pr dags dato ikke får returnere til Japan. TA kontakt!

  2. "We stayed in Taipei for a total of 9 days, which honestly speaking is more then enough to see what there is to see on the island."

    well I disagree but I see how you might think that. You need a local to take you around to the less-traveled places

    1. Well, I think I must have made a mistake in that sentence though; as you can see I even referred to Taipei as an island.. We were stuck in the city for too long and I probably meant that 9 days was enough for the city.
      But yeah, you're right, there is a lot more to see on the island and we did not actually see enough of the other areas. I wouldn't mind going back to Taiwan in the future and explore it more :)


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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