First time in Taipei, Taiwan

May 20, 2006 at 3:40 pm Leave a comment

It’s been an interesting experience being here in Taipei. I wasn’t sure what to expect after being in Hong Kong. You can definitely tell the difference in being exposed exposed to the British and/or Western influences like Hong Kong. Much of the signage is purely in Chinese and people here speak mostly only Mandarin. I imagine this is something like what Beijing or other parts of China must be like. The place is definitely flatter and more spread out than Hong Kong.

There are a few things that I noticed while here. There are literally thousands and thousands of motorcycles everywhere. These are not your rice rockets or Harleys but rather more like mopeds or scooters. Everyone rides them, from young people to old people, kids, male and female. They are parked everywhere and people speed along in them just like cars. I saw one guy who had a little stool with his son sitting on it in front of him while they rode the scooter. I saw another with 3 people on one and then right after that one with 4 people on it (imagine that, an entire family on a scooter). The other thing I noticed is that there are many food stalls and little hole in the wall restuarants where people eat. They eat many things like noodles and dumplings. I saw people making dumplings or wontons right on the street. They were making them so fast it was unbelievable. People cook right on the side of the street in a little retail outlet. You’re never too far away from food. Also these places look relatively clean, unlike Hong Kong where some can be sketchy. Disposable chopsticks are the norm here. No live animals or too many raw meats kicking around. In addition to that the area we were at today had many little shops that sold all kinds of knick knacks. Clothes, slippers, Hello Kitty stuff, watches, handbags, etc. Truly the capitalist environment. There are so many shops it’s just overwhelming. You don’t know what to buy as there is too much choice, yet there is so much that you can just buy nothing. I mean I really don’t know what to buy and at the same time have nothing to buy. Also there are numerous arcades. These arcades are not filled with video games per se but bright lights and machines that spit out tiny stuffed animals or other little cute toys. Taxis are dirt cheap here. We rode from our hotel to the noodle house for $4 USD. 4 of us ate for a total of $20 USD (4 bowls of noodles, some pork and pickled cabbage).

Tonight we had a wonderful Japanese all you can eat buffet. This place called Jogoya (http://www.jogoya.com.tw) puts Todai to shame. The food is fresh and tasty. You can get a lot of seafood soups and casseroles. Also there is a not only great sushi but many other cooked foods (ex. peppered shrimp, lamb chops). All you can drink beer, juices and good desserts too. I think the total cost was $3000 NT (or <$24/person). The service is a little less to be desired but at least the food made up for it.

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Entry filed under: Taiwan.

Sydney the first day Day 2 in Taipei

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