|Down Town Taipei! Look Coffee!|
We arrived the night before after hopping a train from Chiayi. We only had a ticket to Taichung but stayed on and then paid for the rest of the journey when we got to Taipei. We had to sit in between the train cars for a while and also had to stand for a bit but we paid for our full tickets despite having a seat and got to Taipei around 8pm. I was still feeling sick due to my peanut incident. Michael being a man and always being hungry got a small snack from the Family Mart and the 7-11 next to our hostel. Our Hostel was called "The World Scholar House". We were staying in the private room for the price of the dorm because when I called and booked the room I asked if she had a room available she said yes. We got there and she realized she had given it to someone else so we got the private for the price of the dorm. A very happy accident and the private room had one of the most comfortable mattresses in the world!!! YEA! After sleeping on Tatami mats at the Winson House for two nights this was going to feel like HEAVEN! We snuggled into the hostel with our good tv and good bed and free internet and went to sleep.
|The ditches in Beitou have steamy hot spring water in them!|
The next morning we awoke to go to Beitou. Beitou is the closest hot spring to Taipei. It is about one hour away and can be reached completely by foot and metro. Extremely convenient and easy access although much more crowded than the previous hot spring I had been to before. The signs at the hot spring and the guide books say that the hot spring is open from 9-5. This is not a hundred percent true. They take periodic 1/2 hour breaks to thin out the crowds and clean. We arrived when they were just about to take a break. FOILED! I was so mad. I hate when guide books and signs tell you one thing and then it turns out to be something else... I was irritated. We walked around for a bit and took some photos and went to the free Beitou Hot Spring Museum. By the time we were finished we had about 10 minutes left before they opened. We fought the crowds and got in, spent our hour in the hot springs, took a shower and headed back to Taipei to meet Patrick for lunch.
|The free hot spring museum in Beitou. Definitely worth a look!|
|Public Hot Springs in Beitou|
|Kismet and Cake! What could be better?|
|Our tour guides for Taipei!|
|The Cheng Kai Shek Memorial Hall.|
Off to the city center we went to see the part of the city that is most influenced by the Japanese. We went to the Red Theatre so that Mike could see it. And I walked through a small hand made arts/crafts fair. I got an awesome ring, handmade by a local artist! Then we walked through and saw all the crowds, the buildings, the ads and the worlds tallest karaoke tower of doom. Even living in HK we have never seen a place so large or opulent dedicated to the "empty orchestra".
|The Red Theatre, last year at CNY. Note the horrible weather...|