Day 8, Taipei
11th December 2010, Saturday
Withered tree… what a waste!
We woke up a little earlier to make our way to Yangmingshan. We got down at Jiantan Station, took exit 1 and turn left to go to the bus stop, for bus heading to Yangmingshan. As we waited for Bus R5 (R stands for red), we spoke to a stranger asking if this is the right bus stop. To our delight, he offered to be a tour guide to the 10 of us! We encountered many good people during our trip to Taiwan but this one takes the cake!
The bus took about 30 minutes to reach Yangmingshan. I think we stopped at Yangmingshan’s park bus stop. At first, we wanted to take a bus to go around the area because it’s simply too huge to explore on foot. But the gentleman told us, if we explore by bus, we would have missed a number of stops, so he suggested to us to explore on foot. As I was grumbling about having to hike – I saw an old auntie, probably in her 70s walking even faster than me! And she climbed the staircases without a problem and stopped to look at me with smirk on her face! Cis! I was being mocked by a hunchback ah ma! Haha! Hats off to her!
For those who ask.. no, I didn’t climb this!
Here, we walked up the hill for a little for about 20 minutes before we reach the flower clock. Along the way, we saw many withered sakura trees. This made me want to return to Taiwan during spring time just to see the flowers!
It was a rather boring outing, considering there weren’t many flowers to see because of winter, we decided to have something to eat before going to our next stop. The Gentleman suggested that we go to Yangmingshanwu – a summer villa for the late Chiang Khai Shek. Mr Chiang, being rather sickly towards the end of his life, preferred to spend his last few years here during the summer to avoid the heat. When he was still alive, the place was heavily guarded. This place kinda reminds me of Vinmannek Mansion in Bangkok. It was still beautifully preserved. We had an hour guided tour here – costing only NT50. You can choose your choice of language – English or Mandarin.
After an hour walkabout Chiang Khai Shek’s old summer home, we boarded a bus back to Taipei. It was already almost 4 pm. We visited the 101 briefly and went back to Ximending for a short walkabout.
The next day, before flying home to Kuala Lumpur, I went out for a walkabout at Ximending. Ximending in the morning is totally different from night! There’s hardly anybody around, except for cleaners and a handful of commuters going to work. Shops were not opened at all.
The many graffiti decorating Ximending walls
Well, this post sums up my trip to Taiwan and also last post for the year 2010. Looks like I bore some of you to death. Haha! My apologies.
Happy New Year 2011, everyone! Wishing all of you much happiness, love and laughter!