2011-MAR-06 to 2011-MAR-10 Taiwan

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Susan's Blog
I wasn't sure what to get everyone as a typical souvenir from Taiwan, and then it hit me the first time we ventured out from our hostel - A SACK OF PIGEONS.
After being the object of a lot of ridicule (thank you Susan and facebook), I managed to finally find an alternative to my white runners. In my defence, I had been in Asisa for two years and wore out the ones I brought with me, and couldn't find a replacement pair to fit even though I tried on about a hundred pairs in 4 different countries. I was quite thrilled with them untikl the soles fell off both shoes about two weeks later...about 2 km into an 18 km hike.
Longshan Temple and nearby market, and a few from the Ximending area.
I have always wondered why China spends so much time and effort claiming that Taiwan is actually part off China, but has never done anything about it despite its apparent overwhelming military might. I think I finally know the reason...Taiwan's little known weapon, the Semen Bazooka. It is certainly not something I would want to face on the field of battle. I was quite amazed by the amount of porn available in every market, placed front and center, men shopping with no shame. The fact that it was placed right next to children's DVDs, or period costume dramas, was even odder. The ice cream and underwear store was another unusual combination. Susan got a cone and I got some boxers. Susan was lucky to get two sweet sweet treats from one store.
Under the restaurant section, Lonely Planet lists Hooters as a "Top End" establishment. I'm not sure if this says more about Taiwan, the author, or the intended readers. Perhaps it is actually meant literally, and there is a "Bottom End" section with restaurants featuring waitresses with nice asses.

The Shilin Night Market.
Took the gondola up to Maokong to see the tea fields etc.
Confucious temple and Bao-An temple.
Beitou Hot Springs
HAM FLAVOURED CHEESE. I am angry for two reasons. First, I am only finding out about this now. Second, the fine scientists at laughing cow have been disgustingly snubbed by the nobel committee.

And some pictures of Taipei 101. Sure its prettytall, but what really makes it stand out from other tall buildings I've seen is that there is nothing comparable around it. Notrmally they're in amongst a pile of other skyscapers.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall