Taiwan Travels 2.0

I was surprised to learn that I haven’t posted about our Taipei trip last December.  That’s how busy I was the past months.  Anyway, going back to my story – yes, we went to Taipei to watch the little girl compete in a gymnastics meet.  We went the weekend before Christmas, so imagine the long lines at the airport immigration, the craziness of Manila traffic and the…tranquility and cold of Taipei.  I love it there!!!

I went to Taipei a couple of years back with office friends.  I didn’t particularly like the place and I even told myself, I won’t be going back there as there’s nothing much to do.  Lo and behold, I had to eat my words. There are a lot of things to do and we’re looking at going back again to finish all of them.  Sorry for the comparison but it’s like Hong Kong of yesteryears.  I enjoyed my trip this time, albeit short.  And my kids, my hubby had so much fun too.  It never occurred to me that they will enjoy it there, but they did.

Day 1: We got there mid-afternoon and from the airport we were picked by a Fil-Taiwanese driver my sister contracted for airport transfers.  Our hotel is a bit off the central downtown.  We chose Dandy Hotel Tianmu since its the nearest hotel to Taipei American School where the competition will be held.  It’s literally just less than 5 minutes walk!  Dandy Hotel Tianmu is a bit pricey considering the location but it’s worth it.  I like the simplicity and crispness of the color scheme.  I’d say it’s like Taipei’s version of a boutique hotel.  Will share some pics of the hotel in another post.

After checking in and eating snacks from the convenience store, we headed to Taipei 101.  Traffic’s a bit crazy since it was a Friday but the kids enjoyed the lights of Taipei 101 and the food court at the basement.  If there’s anything I learned to appreciate in this trip is Taiwanese food.  We returned to the hotel early as the kids were already sleepy.

Day 2: Since it’s the little girl’s open practice, we didn’t schedule anything else in the morning, plus it was drizzling and cold.  We just walked around the area before heading to the school.  Oh man, Taipei American School is posh!  It’s like the kind you see on TV 🙂  They have complete facilities – huge rooms, big gym, wide football field.  And the student body is really international based on the boards posted on the campus.  Which made the little boy quipped he would want to study there.  I’m pretty sure he’ll blend in with the locals anyway.

After the practice, we took a city tour with another Fil-Taiwanese driver arranged again by my sister.  We went to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial where we chanced upon the changing of the guards.

 

Then we went around the city, stopping by places of interest before heading to one of Taipei’s night markets.  Obviously, the most popular is Shilin.  But we went to another one a bit farther and facing the waters – Tamsui night market.  We didn’t get to stay long though because it was raining but another food adventure trip.

Day 3: It’s the day of the competition!  The little girl got 3 golds and 1 silver…yey!

Right after the competition, we hopped on another rented van and went to explore Taipei Zoo and went atop Maokong Gondola.  It was raining the whole time so the pictures are gloomy and dark.

Day 4: It’s time to bid Taipei goodbye and back to reality in Manila.

It was a good weekend trip, made even better because of the little girl’s win, plus we turned it to a family travel.  Definitely a version 2.0 trip for me!!!

Filed under: Home & Family

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