Saturday, 12 September 2015

Day 3 - Xinyi

What a cracking day - over 30 degrees warm with clear skies. It really makes a welcome change from Dublin. 

We stayed local today exploring East Taipei. We are based in the Xinyi district which is where new Taipei and its commercial districts are being built. The Taipei 101 building dominates the skyline which when opened was the worlds tallest building. 

We visited the Discovery Centre first to learn about the history of this "young" country. Like Ireland The Republic was only formed around 100 years ago after many civil wars. The Japanese occupied. The Chinese occupied. And now they are independent. However China still claims ownership. 

The Discovery Center is located inside the City Hall. They were overstaffed and so excited to see English speaking visitors. We had our own guide to take us around and tell us first hand about Taiwan. 

After we visited the nearby Taipei 101 mall before exploring the many other malls and shops in this up market shopping area. 

We found a wonderful vegan restaurant in the basement of the Eslite Mall. It was pay by weight and all this food below cost around €8. Delicious too. 

We took a stroll over to the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, considered the father of the nation. He was the first president and founder of The Republic of China. His memorial is located in a large square in which people gather to fly kites. We timed our arrival with the lowering of the national flag complete with guards on parade and the playing of the national anthem. 

Inside the memorial hall is a 19 foot statue of the man himself. 

Taking in sunset we explored the nearby commercial district before taking the underground to the Ximen District to go grocery shopping in Carrefour. 

The first full day here was rounded off with an outdoor beer in the red house area. A relaxing first full day. 

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