Saturday I went to Taipei with Yvonne. We took a bus from Hsinchu to Taipei, rode the metro, then walked to Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.

The day was perfect. We got an early start, so we were mostly able to avoid the insane masses of tourists, and the weather was cooperating. Since most major cultural places, like the Memorial Halls, Longshan Temple, and museums are either free or cheap, and transportation was inexpensive, I think the entire excursion (minus the random stuff I bought) cost roughly 640nt ($22 US). Good ol’ Taiwan.

Yvonne and I managed to time our visit to SYSMH perfectly and arrived just before the changing of the guard in front of the massive statue of Sun Yat-Sen. Afterward we wandered the grounds, which are just blocks from Taipei 101, and then made our way to 101 for lunch. On the way we walked through two open markets. We stopped at a booth showcasing artwork by handicapped artists in Taiwan, where I bought a fan and had a “tattoo” painted on my hand.

We met our friend Polly at Espressamente illy, a small bistro on the 35th floor on the office side of 101. The food was cheap and delicious, and the view was good enough that we scrapped our original idea of going to the top of 101. After lunch we headed down to the 4th floor of the commercial side of 101, took some ridiculous pictures, then went to Page One, a large bookstore with lots of English titles. Apparently Page One used to be twice as big, but when an Eslite bookstore moved in near the Taipei City Hall metro station, Page One halved its floorspace. Bummer.

(Right click on the first picture and open it on a new page if you want to read the descriptions.)