Trip Start May 08, 2006
Trip End May 21, 2006

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Flag of Taiwan  ,
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

A Much Needed Break in Taipei
We decided to extend our stay in Taiwan for a few extra nights as we felt we needed to rest, recuperate and plan before heading over to Japan. I wasn't expecting much from Taipei, but was pleasantly surprised by the city! I'm sure it was a mix of just needing a few days to sleep and relax - which we did for the first two days in Taipei - and also still being overly excited by a clean bathroom. We found our way rather easily into central Taipei where we camped out in our room at the YMCA for a few days sleeping, doing laundry, working on the internet and watching English TV! We even were able, with a little help from American Express, to find a local travel agency to purchase our rail tickets for Japan. That was quite an accomplishment.

We spent our last few days in a different hotel on the other side of town close to a square that is 'young people' heaven. We found an Italian Restaurant that smelled good and the sign was in English. We made our way to the top of the building to find the menu was only in Chinese characters. We each pointed to one of the pastas and both got dishes we could eat and even got two beers. Not bad. We then found a bar, a relatively foreign concept over there, ordered up a few Budweisers and watched the rain.

When the rain calmed down a bit, we made our way through the thousands of scooters to see some sights in the city. One of the best temples we have seen was Longshan Temple. Not only was it beautiful, but also it was crowded with people paying their respects, praying and respecting everyone around them. A very peaceful and serene place. Then we went over to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, and took in the huge square with a memorial, theatre and concert hall.

Overall Taipei provided a refreshing, clean and friendly city to enjoy our last few days of Chinese culture.
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