February 09
More Sights Around Town

Another day, another itinerary. This time to Taiwan National University, the Shilin Official Residence, and other places nearby.

Da'an Forest Park

I had some time before I would meet up with my friend again, so I took a short walk to Da'an (Great Peace) Forest Park,one of the largest parks in the city, and a favorite of the locals. Here, one family kicks a soccer ball and tosses a frisbee on the grass. In the distance is The Taipei 101, now the tallest building in the world, a distinction previously held by the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


As I've commented before, the city is very foreigner-friendly. Note that here, too, the signs in the park are bilingual.

Greek Temple in the Jungle?

The first stop on my friend's tour was her alma mater, the Taiwan National University. Here's a clever little oddity tucked away in one corner of the campus: what appears to be a Greek temple and Egyptian obelisk, situated in jungle-like surroundings. Despite the somewhat contradictory juxtaposition, it's actually a rather peaceful and introspective place.

Chinese Garden

Later, we headed to Chiang Kai Shek's presidential residence in Taipei, a secluded estate with numerous gardens on premises; here we see a simple Chinese garden. Also to be seen are western (Italian, English) gardens, a rose garden, a fruit-tree garden, and many other themed areas.


One of the exhibit halls had a flower-arrangement exhibit, and here is a profusion of stargazer lillies...


A nearby orchid exhibit showed off many clever and artistic arrangements.

Lunchtime in Shilin

Since the Official Residence just happened to be a short walk from the Shilin station, it made plenty of sense to stop for lunch (where else? ;) at the Shilin market. Yup... good stuff.

"Storybook" House

And just when you thought you've seen everything, you come to this, a tudor-style house in the middle of an Asian capital. Yes, there's a bit of history surrounding this place, and interestingly, it's Japanese in origin. Curious? Read about the Taipei Story House.

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