Taiwan 2012
International Taipei Travel Fair
October 22nd - 28th, 2012
 


October 22nd – 28th, 2012

October 27th, 2012
After a delicious breakfast we set out to visit the Grand Hotel…a landmark in Taipei and rightly so. It is one of the most impressive and beautiful buildings I have ever seen. The lobby was huge, built for dignitaries and special guests and now a hotel…we wandered around the second level and found shops and two beautiful little gardens and happened upon a room that was set up for a wedding … 400 people is usual for a wedding. The dragon is gilded in 24K gold and are 3 claw instead of the more traditional four or five claw. The ceiling over the orchid display is a plum flower shaped caisson and a symbol of prosperity. The décor of the ceiling also contains various blessings. There are even two underground passages that guests could leave by in case of an emergency. In this 14 story building there are only 107 rooms and suites.

Then the Beitou Hot Springs Museum for a look at how the springs used to be … so classy and the old photographs hung on the walls were haunting. The stain glass windows were beautiful.

Thermal Valley is hot! Just look at it and you can feel the heat rising around you. I could not get far enough away on the sidewalk … a natural sulfur gas geyser. It flows down along the side of the road we used to drive up and you could see people sitting on the rocks soaking their feet…

Then a guided visit and a Japanese lunch…

A wonderful tea shop that is really not open for groups. It is small but has glorious tea and we sat down with the owner – yes that young man now has the responsibility to look after generations of family in the tea business. I loved the way they produced the teas and the little man sitting in front of a basked picking out the stems from the tea leaves left me breathless … sitting there day on day doing this. But they said it was important because those stems caused the teas to be bitter. Then we saw the baskets the teas are roasted in, the oven and how it was heated … truly a labour of love. Of course I bought tea and a Dragon Tea Pot as this was the year of the Dragon and I collect tea pots! Upstairs a musical was presented to us, a treat to enjoy and I loved the musical instruments.

Continue on to Eslite Bookshop, a huge monster bookshop with lots of books in English … then off to Taipei 101 for a tour on the 89th floor. The elevators took 39 seconds to reach the 89th floor and 45 seconds to descend … amazing. When the elevator started moving the ceiling lit up like the night sky with stars in it … magical. The mall here is also huge and very upscale as you can see from the photos. You can have that dragon for a mere 11,000.00 U.S. or the flowers for 3,000.00.

Yum, yum, then it was dinner time and dumplings!!

 

 
 

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