Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 1 in Taipei

We had a great flight to Taipei. Eva Air is the best! I've used to be a travel agent, and have flown on many airlines, but they were the best airline I've ever flown on. The service and food were excellent. However, the 13 hour flight seemed to last forever. Anyway, we arrived safely and were relieved to find our driver waiting to take us to our hotel. We arrived at our hotel around midnight.
We got up really early and were ready to go. After breakfast and a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood, we were ready for some sightseeing.
First off, we stopped at the Taiwan National Museum. We were able to view incredible artifacts and learn much about Taiwan culture. Anyone that comes here must come on Friday as a Taiwan English speaking tour guide that calls himself "Michael", was excellent. Friday is the only day he works. We had fun visiting with a group of 5 from Wyoming - that we also ended up running into later in the day.

For lunch, we headed to Taipei 101. This is the 2nd tallest building in the world. We thought we would splurge on a nice meal before we pick up the baby. So, we ate lunch in the 85th floor Chinese restaurant. It was a 7 course meal and cost $ 1700 each. Well, don't faint it's $ 1700 NRT which equals about $ 60 each. That will definitely be our most expensive meal, but the views were priceless. It also took about 2 hours to eat the meal. Gerry is not one to try foreign or unknown foods, but he was determined to try it all and he did eat it all. I actually had a harder time with some of the foods. Here are the visuals of what we ate:
Course 1 - Quartet of cold appetizers:
Chilled Hokkaido scallop, poached fresh squid, baby abalone and crispy king oyster mushroom.

Course 2-Double boiled frish maw with eight treasures.

Course 3 - Fillet of round cod with sweet and sour sauce.

Course 4 - Braised pork knuckle with oyster sauce and broccoli.

Course 5 - Sauteed mustard leaf with bait herring fish. (The mini fish were whole with eyes.)

Course 6 - Beef fried rice

Course 7 - Seasonal fresh fruits and sweets

After Taipei 101, we headed to the Taiwan Handicraft Market for some shopping. Everything in there is made in Taiwan and they sell traditional items. Gerry was so happy as I promised him I would do most of my shopping here and we really found some cool things such as jade necklaces, coral necklaces, traditional toys and items our daughter will love as she gets older. It's a bit more expensive that the night markets, but he's not too crazy about crowds, so it was worth it.

Our first impressions about Taiwan is that we are finding it very modern and much cleaner than we imagined. The Taiwanese people are extremely nice and helpful. The hotel people have gone out of their way to help us and offer suggestions to save us money. Although we are both very tall, we don't feel made fun of or out of place. Scooters and taxis are the main forms of transportation. We will do most of our traveling by taxis and we've had some scary rides today including a driver that ran a red light and one that almost ran over someone. The scooters are everywhere and dash in and out of traffic like crazy.


Devan & Emily Thorne said...

That food looked so good! haha, If you get tired of that food you can have some McDonald's. I attached a link but have no idea the language.

Robin said...

Wow- You really did a ton of fun stuff on your first day. You were very adventurous with your meal. What a great idea to have a special meal before you have your daughter in your arms. Enjoy your day (or night for you now:)

Tonya said...

Wow!! Sounds great! I love it--takes me back to September when I traveled for Janie!!! We had some scary taxi rides too--and loved 101 building!! Didn't know about that restaurant though! Darn!!

Annie said...

I'm away for a couple weeks, and here you are in Taiwan! Love that you are keeping us up on all your sight-seeing and eating. I know my husband will love all of that food. I am going to try my best to try it all!

MO said...

Did your hotel provide your driver from the airport or did you arrange this on your own.

Sarah said...

Way to go, guys!!! Way to be adventurous!