Sunday, December 22, 2013

SunYatSen Memorial, Eslite, WuFengPu & Beitou

day 8 : 20th Dec 2012

It's the last day for us to explore Taipei. We've covered top Taipei spots but still there are more places to see. Unlike the past two gloomy days, today was bright and cheery. Here's the Sun Yat Sen's memorial - first President of Republic of China. He was the predecessor of Chiang Kai-shek. Lesser did I know, Dr Sun Yat Sen was married to one of the Soong Sister - Soong Chingling, while his successor Chiang Kai-shek was married to the youngest Soong Sister - Soong Mayling. This made them brothers-in-law.

Though covering a mass area, the exterior of Sun Yat Sen memorial looks simpler than the Chiang Kai Shek memorial. This building was built earlier back in the days under the orders of Chiang Kai-shek who was a his close ally and of course brother-in-law.

While admiring the giant statue, I heard some clunking noises. Is there a horse coming?

Then, three guards come marching in. Oh! It's that time again! Every hour, there will be a changing of guards. The on the beat marching and rifle spinning stuff pulled all the visitors to the main hall. This event is a must see! It was really impressive. 

Ooo...this guard had to stand like this motionless for 1 hour. What if he has an itch? Or he thought of something funny? Or need to sneeze? Arrgh...must be tough.

The Sun Yat Sen memorial provides one of the best views of Taipei 101. 

We had our late lunch at one of the underground food arena.

We headed to the Eslite Bookstore. There are several Eslite Bookstore/Shopping center in Taiwan. Some were even open for 24 hours for those insomniacs. List of Eslite stores
I am not really sure which Eslite Bookstore was this as we stumbled across it around Taipei City Hall MRT. So I guess it could be Eslite Xinyi Store. 

I could have hang out in this place any time. I love books and they have lots of books. Sometimes, I can't sleep. I could come here too. On top of that, they have several floors to explore. Three of us split up and decided to meet an hour later (wrong move). Walking into one of the floor, I felt like I stepped into the whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland. Everything was soooo pretty. Pretty journals, pretty calendar, pretty passport holders, pretty cups, crystals, cute stuff of all sorts, cozy cafes...omg ... I was really awed by everything

An hour later, I remembered we need to meet up at Level 1 near the escalator. I haven't seen everything yet. So, we extended another hour there. An hour later, I went down again but Fumi & Hobs were nowhere in sight. Waited awhile and decided, meh, they are not coming. So, I went up again to feast my eyes. Then, I saw a glimpse of Fumi from a far as he's a tall dude. Passing through the crowd, I went to his direction but dude...he's gone. Then, I think we spent the next hour looking like 3 stooges trying to find each other.

By the time we got out of Eslite, it's almost dark. I think we spent a good 3 hours there!
We headed to another shopping district at Wu Fen Pu. Again, endless cross roads of stores selling clothes. Suddenly the amount of choices were simply overwhelming. On top of that, we also have a plan to visit Raohe night market. I was beginning to feel like a punctured tyre. Told Fumi that Hobs & I will skip Raohe and slowly make our way back to Shih Lin. Besides, I haven't get a chance to really explore Shih Lin's shops.

This was taken by Fumi. Apparently, he also had a short stroll in Raohe after meeting up with his friend nearby.

Hobs & I walked back to the MRT and decided to check out Sogo. It was rush hour and the MRT was jammed packed. But we made it there any how and had our dinner there.

Fuelled by Taiwan stamps collections, we rode around different stops to collect more stamps from the MRT stations. Crazy?

We even took the train to Beitou. The far end of the train route.

Beitou is famous for its hot springs, which we didn't have the time to visit. Look even the trains are so cute.
So we decided, the night is still young and hop into the train.

The train started to move. 5 minutes later, it's still travelling at a speed of what feels like 10kmph (actually at 25kmph) It's the slowest train ever and we kept laughing at how slow it is. Maybe it's time to relax. 

Beitou train station

We went outside just to see what's there...

Aww too bad, we don't have anymore time to explore Beitou

It's getting late and cold outside. Our feet are also sore. It's time to head back to Shih Lin. When Fumi came back, we were so excited to tell him about our little adventure. That's when he told us that's exactly what he did too. HAHA!

Don't everything look so cute in Taiwan?

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