Posted by: David Stewart | November 14, 2008

Sunday morning stroll in Taipei

I had business trips to Seoul and Taipei that spanned over a weekend. So I came to Taipei on a Saturday night to check out a couple of the sights on Sunday.

Sunday morning race, Taipei

I got out of the hotel a few minutes before 7AM, and bang, there was a race, right in front of the hotel! I couldn’t tell much about the race from the signage, except that Samsung was the sponsor, and the starting line was in the plaza in front of Taipei City Hall. The above couple was pretty cute – when I asked to take their photo as they were working on getting their race bibs pinned on, they suddenly flashed a pair of big beautiful grins, like they thought I was with a magazine or something. Note the puppy in the woman’s purse. Wonder whether she was going to run with the dog. I half considered running back to my room and changing into running things, but I suspected that I would be unable to register with such short notice, and I didn’t want to be a race bandit in a foreign country.

Longshan Temple, Taipei

Next I took the subway to Longshan Temple. This place was humming along – quite literally – with a good-sized crowd, chanting, burning incense and singing.

Then I started a hike towards Taipei Main Station, to absorb some of the street life. One of the areas I passed through is Ximending, which has a cute little pocket temple called Tien-Ho Temple.

Tien-Ho Temple, Ximending, Taipei

Tien-Ho Temple, Ximending, Taipei

The Ximending area is jammed with all manner of restaurants, theaters, shops and what-not. But in the Sunday morning hours, it is pretty much deserted. But one place that was open was the Olympia Bakery.

Bakery in Ximending, Taipei

I saw a number of bakeries like this in Taipei, with baked goods and dim sum. More hiking, and I made it to Taipei Main Station.

Taipei main stations

My goal was to reach a technology shopping area close to the station. The sad truth is that I left my laptop power cord in Seoul, and I needed a new one. I figured that a hip, high-tech center like Taipei would have something I could use.

Nova computer arcade, Taipei

Unfortunately, the technology mall close to the station wasn’t open so early on Sunday, so I walked around to a few other places close to the station and then took the subway up to the other huge technology area called Guanghua. There I found a Lenovo dealer who sold me an original equipment Thinkpad power adaptor. Yeah!

Taipei Lenovo dealer, Guanghua

There was also a Baptist Church across the street from Guanghua, where a service was in progress. Of course, the service was being held in Mandarin Chinese, so I didn’t understand anything and didn’t stay too long. But one of the guys I met there pointed out that they would have a visit to the island from Bill Grahm’s son soon.

Taipei baptist church near Guanghua

There was also a large jade market across from Guanghua. But from the things I read about jade these days (it mostly comes from slave labor in Burma), I decided not to buy any.

Taipei Jade market

That pretty much sums up my Sunday morning in Taipei. I think I must have eaten lunch at that point, though I can’t remember exactly where…

More photos on my Flickr photo page


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