I made my first trip to Taiwan to visit some customers in January. I tried to also
get a "flavour" for the city, which turned out to taste poorly, in part since the
Taiwanese eat ANYTHING! I added some pics from Joe Yi too.


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Here is the view at Taipei airport. I think the little cartoon characters on everything are entertaining.


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This is the view from my four star hotel. Pretty awe-inspring, eh?

National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan


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The first stop on my whirlwind trip of Taipei was the National Palace Museum. It was under renovation,
but the building itself was interesting on its own. Since Taipei was the first real Asian city I've toured
(Singapore doesn't really count), I enjoyed seeing the Asian architecture.


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A few of the other tourists seeing the Museum.


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These people were practicing Falun Gong in front of the Museum.


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The Museum itself is quite extensive, focusing on a range of Chinese art and artifacts that were
brought to the Museum for safe-keeping prior to the Japanese attacks of WWII. The Museum has a vast
collection of bronzes, ceramics, artwork, jades, and sculptures from a broad range of Chinese dynasties.
There was also a bunch of calligraphy, but that's really difficult for a non-Chinese writer to appreciate.
More about the museum can be found HERE . Most of the
time in a foreign museum, I spend my time browsing the exhibits, but really only take pictures of the
entertaining pieces. This one is blurry, but this bronze woman is obviously unhappy.


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This is a statue outside one of the exhibition halls. I'm not sure who it is, but I thought it
was cool.


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This is the main exhibition hall, which was under construction while I was there. I think the building
itself will look great when it's finished.


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Blurry shot from the main exhibition area. I call this one, "He farted, I swear!".


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An old brooch from early Chinese history for Natalia who loves brooches.


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Chinese seem to really like koi. This is a garden outside the Palace Museum, and you can buy
fish food to feed the fish. The koi themselves were massive and fun to watch.


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Me, in front of the main entrance to the Museum.


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Very few people have cars in Taipei. A lot of people take the subway, ride buses, or drop their
child in front of them on the scooter.

Confucius Temple, Taipei, Taiwan


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My next stop was the Confucius Temple. It sounds like most cities have a Temple like this,
and this is Taipei's. This is one of the front buildings prior to the actual temple.


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I thoroughly enjoyed the roofs of this Temple (and yes, Renee, I checked and 'roofs' is the correct word -
I have every intention of using it in Boggle as well).


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The inside of the Temple main area. Of the three Temples I visited in China and Taiwan, they all
seemed to have the Temple inside an open area with walls around it. I think they must have
enjoyed flooding a moat and playing castle inside it...


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The inside of the Temple.


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I thought this picture was awesome. This is a monk (one of the ones who is responsible for this
monastery) talking on a cell phone. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but that seemed funny.


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A great sign outside the men's room.


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Seriously, I just about lost it when I saw this. I mean, how about the splash?


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A great dragon across the street from Confucius Temple. It deserves a thumbs up.


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The Paoan temple, just down the road from Confucius Temple. For more information about these temples,
check out TEMPLE WEBSITE .


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A cool painting on the back of the Temple.

So, one of the things that made me laugh in Taipei was their traffic signals. Instead of just
a picture of a walker and a stopped guy, they actually have moving images on their crosswalks.
I took a video of one of them: VIDEO .


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I don't know what they're teaching at this school...


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Kids were learning how to rollerblade at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall area. Here is a really
great Wiki entry on Chiang: WIKI LINK .

Short video showing the public space of the CKS Hall: VIDEO CLIP


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The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. He was the first President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and this
memorial felt like the Lincoln Memorial in DC.


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The Hall itself is at the far end of this property with two theatres flanking the entry. This is one
of them.


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Renee, I took this one for you.


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A nice view out to the entryway showing the two theatres.


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This trip to Asia will be marked as one of the best in terms of funny signs. This is just one of
many I found in Taipei and Shanghai.


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Abe, is that you?


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What a sweet trophy! A "hump pilot" was considered someone who flew the "hump route" across the
Himalayas from India and Burma to China.


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From the Memorial, I trekked over to a giant flower and goods market, under the freeway of course.
I didn't buy any flowers, but I found some giant firecrackers (watch the mail Erik...), some weird food
(man, I am NEVER putting samples of something in my mouth that I don't know what it is), and some
interesting jade pieces. I wound up buying a cool door knocker for my house.


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Don't ask me what this is, but I tried it and just about gagged. They tell me it's supposed to
make a sore throat go away, but I almost vomited on the spot.


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A nice shot of Taipei 101 - the new skyscraper in Taipei that is considered the tallest building in the world
at 508 m from ground to structural top. Another great wiki entry on it is here: WIKI LINK . The coolest thing about this building is its pressurized elevators,
allowing it to travel from ground to 89th floor in under 39 seconds (1010 m/min). Another cool thing
though about Taipei 101 is the 660 ton tuned mass damper used to keep the building
steady in the wind.


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A great sign attached to the outside of the building at the 91st floor observation deck.


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At the bottom of the building is a giant shopping mall, and I thought "Le Fatte" was a funny
name for a store.


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Natalia really likes cake, so I took this picture for her. This was served at our hotel buffet.
The lettering is actually in frosting I think, so that makes for more fun. The nice thing about it
is that you know what you're eating! "Hmm, I'd like some cake, but I don't know what it is..."
"Oh, how about that, it's tiramisu!".


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Here's a double peace sign for you Renee. This is at the Snake Market in Taipei.


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Those are frog legs I'm pointing at. Most of the rest of the table is filled with
organ meat. Did I mention the Taiwanese eat anything?


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This is a cab just happily driving right through people at the market. I swiftly learned that pedestrians
do NOT have the right of way anywhere in Asia. Watch all five directions (four around you and one above you
for construction stuff falling on you).


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This was meant to showcase the weirdness of the Snake Market. Behind this guy (who walked in front
of me at the last minute) is a guy decapitating turtles and serving turtle and snake blood. To my
foreground is a sex shop. In the middle is a restaurant. Welcome to Taipei.


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Here's my buddy Joe Yi standing in front of a very large python that this woman is handling and
playing with in order to drum up business for her snake soup restaurant.


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Yeah, that's a cigarette and DVD shop right next to the porn shop.


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Just showing some of the chaos of the night markets. And yes, that's a scooter barrelling through
there as well.


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The inside of the Longshan Temple, which is conveniently located right by the Snake Market.


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I don't even know what to say to this sign. Just disturbing really.


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Memo to self - dump the coke before I come to Taiwan next time.


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This guy was outside the duty free cigar shop where I picked up some cubans.


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Natalia - here's one more for you on the flight to Shanghai on DRAGONAIR!! Gotta love a little
Haagen Dazs on the plane.

Joe's pics


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Arriving in Taipei.


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Both Joe and I thought it appropriate to do the Asian welcome here.


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Looking up at Taipei 101.


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Looking at Taipei 101 from a distance.


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I liked the sign for the Golden Hat Shop in the market here.


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Even Betty Boop made an appearance here.


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This is the sex shop right next to the cigar shop.


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Just in case you were thinking about it...

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