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At the beginning of January, we decided to take a last minute trip to Taipei, Taiwan since we had free time before school began. We went for about four days and had a fantastic time!

I was able to use Delta miles to book a Business Class ticket roundtrip, which was my first time ever! Kenji, unfortunately, wasn’t able to even get a seat on the plane for a decent price, so he went on a completely separate flight. So we had to coordinate arriving and departing and separate times, which was a little bit difficult, but not too bad.

So on the 3rd, we left for the airport together, but his flight left first, so I hung out in the lounge for a few hours before my flight. And since he arrived before me, he went ahead and checked into the hotel. My flight landed pretty late at night, so the first night we didn’t do anything.

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Lounge and snacks at Narita

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Business class seats = fantastic!

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Dinner in business class

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business class selfie

Our first full day started off with walking from our hotel to the 2/28 Peace Park close to our hotel, after an ok breakfast at the hotel. We continued on to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Plaza, a HUGE place with the memorial, the archway, and the National Theater and National Library on each side. At both of the National buildings there were many separate groups practicing dancing of different kinds, everything from ballroom dancing to jazz to modern. It was fun to watch! The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial is free to enter, and features at the top of the steps a statue of Chiang Kai-Shek, guarded by two motionless guards. There are other things in the building, but besides checking out the gift shop and sending a postcard from the post office, we didn’t visit the housed museums.

From there, we grabbed a snack, then went back to the hotel to ask about lunch. We walked in the direction of the hotel’s recommendation, but decided on a basic workers lunch place instead. It was good, if a little difficult with the language barrier. Then, bubble tea!

In the afternoon we took the metro to the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial, in contrast to the Chiang Kai-Shek one. The Sun Yat-Sen Memorial is one building and is close to Taipei 101, which we went to after seeing the memorial. After walking around a bit in the building, we met our friend Terry, and his friends Tony and Hugo at the famous dumpling place at the bottom. We would have gone up the tower, but it was cloudy so we put it off. After eating at the frankly fantastic restaurant, we walked a bit around the area to get drinks at the fancy W hotel, then took the metro to Tony’s apartment. Terry went off to grab some street food, we bought some drinks at a local grocery store, and Hugo got us some tea, and we met up at the apartment to talk and drink and eat before heading back to our hotel after a long day.

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Being silly in the morning

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Peace park entrance

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The pond had some adorable baby ducks

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And cool looking pigeons and cute finches too!

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A temple-like building surrounded by a moat

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I noticed this procession on a lot of buildings in Taipei, but I’m not sure of the meaning. This one had a white crane joining in the back!

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Peace Park Monument

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And the sign

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Walking along to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, we saw this giant building crossing the street

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The Archway, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, the National Library, and the National Theater in the plaza

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Taking photos

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Details on the National Library sign

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Kenji & the Memorial

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Looking down from the top of the stairs

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Inside the Memorial

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Guard and tourists

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Post office inside

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Lanterns

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There’s that procession again!

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Lunch, and bubble tea in a convenient bag!

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Around the hotel

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Subway and the electronic token

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Sun Yat-Sen Memorial and statue

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Taipei 101 from the Memorial… can you see the kite in the first picture? Lots of kites flying!

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Pretty flower… the weather was around 70F for the whole trip, SO NICE!

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Kenji at the Memorial

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Walking to Taipei 101, this cow reminded me of the ones in Austin!

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Taipei 101

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Waiting for Terry

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Lights around Taipei 101

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Famous restaurant for dinner… whew look at that wait time! Luckily, Tony got there before us and got our party’s name down!

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Menu

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Walking around at night, I saw this unicorn and had to get a picture!

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Hotel for drinks

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Tea and yummy food at Tony’s!

It was a good first day!