Chinese newyear

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 11, 2011

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Flag of Taiwan  ,
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Taiwan, what to say. We went on a Family trip to celebrate the year of the rabbit, or the year of bugs bunny as I call it. So technically this is not really a part of our round the world travels. Still it was quite an experience, the trip was one of those tour operator organized follow the flag trips that I normally despise. The things you do for loved ones family isn't it?

Luckily it is not a very big group just us with about eight people and a handful of others. We showed up far too early at the Macau airport, as group travel is much about waiting. The tour guide was a friendly girl that tried her best to get things moving and a good two hours later we finally boarded the plane and were on our way to Taipei. 

 We were brought to the hotel by bus, yet another thing that I would normally avoid like the plague. In the bus we were joined by another local guide. This is the normal setup for a Chinese field trip, a guide that talks Cantonese or Mandrin, a local guide to explain the sights that pass by the bus and a group of people that follow the flag. 

As we were brought to the city a tiny bit of the country revealed itself outside of the windows of the bus. And even this little bit convinced me that we would have to go back some day to explore this interesting island, but then by ourselves with freedom of movement. 

 I hoped we would be dropped at our hotel so each of us could go their own ways. But unfortunately our first stop was the central train station of Taipei to admire the food court. Yes Taiwan trips are all about food. And I must say, the food is magnificent, especially the delicious pastries and cakes. I was persuaded to buy some nice bites for later at the hotel. 

We arrived at the hotel and I was definitively not impressed. We were told the hotel was a four star establishment, but I would barely give it two stars. The rooms were old and shabby and even a tad dirty, This fitted the whole theme of the hotel, old and shabby. It must have been quite a nice place fifteen years ago, but it does not live up to any standards in these days. We all retreated to our rooms for a bit to freshen up before heading out to a night market. But first we had to call housekeeping to clean the floors. 

 Further the whole trip was a chain of markets, food, bus rides, taxi rides and looking after the elders, not much to report on. Except for one afternoon where Linda and I had some time for ourselves. We wandered around Taipei and found the computer market. Something I have to explore, as Taiwan is the home of some of the best computer gadget brands in the world. The prices of all new and shiny toys where often a bit higher than the markets back in Hong Kong. 

After some geek shopping we made our way to the famous 101 building. The only tall structure in Taipei, but definitively impressive. We had a cute little lunch at a Hong Kong restaurant in Soho and visited the Chiang Kai-shek memorial for a bit. We were both kind of glad to be back home again after a short week of family travel, time for us to decide where to go next for our final trip in our around the world tour.
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