Sunday, November 10, 2013

National Palace, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial & Long Shan Temple

day 6 : 18th Dec 2012

The following three days were reserved for Taipei. No more chauffeur :(
But fret not as in the city, train & buses are ever so convenient in Taipei.

There are so many types of passes to purchase. We got a 3 Day Taipei pass (NT$440) . I forgot what's the reason but I guess it's the most value for money pass as we can have unlimited rides on the MRT & Metro buses around Taipei. We got the attractive looking pass and got excited. It is prettier than the EasyCard. 

We have a pretty ambitious agenda in Taipei. First stop, the National Palace Museum. 

The museum houses precious artifacts. With our audio guide, we spent several hours in the museum alone. The darkened rooms, the cool atmosphere and the soothing voice of my audio guide, pieces of paintings, shining ornaments, twinkling with the room's ambient lightings .......

快 快,我们这里有著名书画  !!!

I was startled by an army of tourists. Hustling their way into the room and the tour guide's voice boomed across the hall giving chop-chop explanations. I looked over at the helpless museum personnel holding the "Quiet" sign. Bla bla bla....then they went as fast as they came. Ahh...back to where I was...

It's past 3PM. We need to get out of here. Fumi? Where's Fumi?

With bad phone signal we kind of lost Fumi. We waited at the lobby, then down at the tourist congregation area. Often, we were asked to step aside by the museum personnels. Group tourists were everywhere. Not sure where to stand and nowhere to sit. Then, we found Fumi or he found us. Yipee...Let's get out of here!

Some snacks from the bakery. Yums...

Finally, we made it to the second stop of the day. The Chiang Kai-shek memorial. Sky was gloomy. Under the drizzling rain, we managed to see the national flag brought down by the guards for safe keep until the next day. Wait a minute...are you saying you're closing already?

Half running and half snapping pictures of what's left of day light, we scurried into the main building. We only have 25 minutes left before closure. All attractions aside, we hopped into the closest elevator and press on the button to bring us to the Chiang Kai-shek statue. The elevator door opened and we were giggling with excitement as we made it into the Chiang Kai-shek hall just in time. There was no one else in the hall (of course) but us. Chatting, posing and taking pictures from every corner of the hall. It's so much better when no one is around to block us.

I went to the far corner to get a better shot and then I heard some ruffling sound behind me. There he was, the museum personnel sitting behind a small podium guarding the hall. Oh dear! And we thought we were alone. *Embarrased*

Oh no, the museum is closing. Halls began to empty and we still have not see everything.

With the speed of Amazing Race, we scoured the late president's memorial rooms. Saw his car and got startled by a life like Chiang Kai-shek sitting on his desk.

Time's up! The museum doors are closing. We squeezed our way out of the door before we were locked inside. Inside with Mr Presiden Chiang Kai-shek, that will be creepy.

Outside, the Chiang Kai-shek entrance, National Concert Hall & Theatre flanking the memorial lit up. With the drizzle of rain, people subsiding and the glimmer or Taipei 101 at the far distance, the view and feel are just simply spectacular.

Attractions in most cities would have been closed by now. But the night is still young in Taipei. 
There were long lines of chairs towards the place where we're heading. 

The Long Shan temple

One of the oldest temple that was built more than 2 centuries ago. Through World War II, the temple had gone through multiple restoration efforts and it stands grand and tall today as a proof of strong hearted Taiwanese believers.

We haven't really had a proper meal today. Nearby the temple was a night market. Sat down for some street style meals before calling it as another eventful day.

Captured By Hobs, Fumi & QQ