It’s Day 2 in Taiwan and our first day with Ownrides. In our itinerary: Longshan Temple, Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial, Taipei 101, National Palace Museum, and Shilin Market
Our day started with us practically hunting for breakfast in Ximending because our hotel didn’t provide it. Because of our lack of research, we ended up buying random things from stalls in the area. A few grandpas and grandmas run food stalls here in commercial strip of Ximending which is practically a ghost town in the morning. Tian Tian Li was our best option, however our Ownrides driver arrives at 9am, precisely the time Tian Tian Li opens.
We ate this pancake-omelet-burrito which was quite yummy but very very filling, some dumplings, xiao long bao, something like –taho-, and capped it with iced coffee from 7-11.
Our driver, Stanley, arrived just a little before 9am, and he messaged my mom through Viber. By the way, details and contact of your driver will be sent to your email after booking.
We started with Longshan Temple, about five minutes from Ximending. Longshan temple is one of the the largest and oldest temples in Taiwan, and it is still very much full of life, frequently visited by locals practicing their faith.
I personally kind of felt very conscious not to disturb them as they did their prayers/rituals, and roamed around quietly and quickly. We just spent time taking pictures in front of the temple. We spend around 20-30 minutes here, and we simply messaged for our driver to pick us up again.
Our next stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial. As we went, Stanley told us that Chiang Kai Shek was one of the most important political and military leaders of China.
One thing that I would never forget about this memorial is its scale. Everything was huge and grand in human scale, that people looked tiny. Even the expanse of the grounds were amazing. You could only imagine the number of people and amount of resources needed to keep it as beautiful and clean as it is every day. I suppose this is their way of expressing the importance of the person being commemorated. With their architecture I felt how much they respected and gave effort to commemorate Chiang Kai Shek.
The changing of the guards was also quite mesmerizing for me, despite my lack of expectations. I appreciate now why they call it a “ceremony”. The discipline, as well as the movements itself seemed to tell a story. I tried very hard to take just a few seconds on video, so as to enjoy the moment itself. Everyone around me practically filmed the whole thing.
After picture-taking around the memorial, we headed somewhere near Taipei 101, because Stanley said it was the perfect spot for picture-taking. And indeed it was! 😀
We ate our lunch and roamed around a bit at Taipei 101 mall, but we skipped the elevator ride to the top as we felt that it would be better to go during sunset.
After lunch was part 2 of our Taipei City tour: National Palace Museum, Shilin Residence, Shilin Night Market. Check it out in the next post! 🙂
Please feel free to share your own experiences, suggestions, whatever! 🙂