Taipei 101

We had a brief planning session on Saturday morning with the aid of some helpful English speaking people at an information desk in Ximen tube station, and visited a local greasy spoon where we ate pig ears (amongst other things) for lunch. Then we caught a bus to the famous Palace Museum, which displays hundreds of valuable items that were taken from Beijing by the Nationalist Party when they were forced into exile. On the bus journey back we jumped off at Shilin, the largest night market in Taipei. There were hundreds of stalls for fairground games, food and cheap goods. It was very crowded, but I enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere and taking in the sights and smells. After we finished roaming the market we headed over to the other side of town to go to the top of the 101 tower, which I now know is the highest skyscraper in the world. It also boasts the fastest ascending elevator in the world – I was startled when we got into the lift and were at the top of the tower within minutes (1010 metres/min). We were ushered into a viewing gallery at the top where you can see right across the flat cityscape. After a short while, viewing hours ended and we headed back to the main station to purchase train tickets to Chisyi City. It was a bit of a rush as we ran to the nearest McD’s to grab a takeaway before catching the last available train at 11:30, but we just about made it.

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