Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sights to See: Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan


Taipei 101  in Xinyi District.  This landmark skyscraper was the world's tallest from 2004 until 2010, when the Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai.  In 2011 it became the tallest and largest green building in the world, with eco-friendly double windows tinted to reflect UV.  It has 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground, and a multi-level shopping mall adjoins with hundreds of stores, restaurants, and clubs.  This landmark can be seen from around the city and was even visible way across town from my hotel room.  


Tapei 101 seen from across town, in Taipei, Taiwan
Tapei 101 seen from across town, in Taipei, Taiwan


LOVE sculpture, in front of Tapei 101, in Taipei, Taiwan
LOVE sculpture, in front of Tapei 101, in Taipei, Taiwan


view from Tapei 101, in Taipei, Taiwan
view from Tapei 101, in Taipei, Taiwan


Hello Kitty souvenirs at Tapei 101, in Taipei, Taiwan
Hello Kitty souvenirs at Tapei 101, in Taipei, Taiwan

More things to do in Taipei.

More things to do in Taiwan.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sights to See: National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan


National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall  No.21, Zhongshan S.Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., 886-2-2343-1100.  Daily 9am-6pm.  Situated in the heart of Taipei, the main hall here, built in 1980, is dominated by a large bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek.  It is reminiscent of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Inscriptions on the wall above and behind the seated figure are the Chinese characters for Ethics, Democracy, and Science--considered the Three Principles of the People.  Grey marble in this hall is from Taroko National Park, and white marble is from the U.S.  Time your visit to see the impressive changing of the guards.  The large crowd quiets for the ceremony, but once it is done the echoing in the gigantic chamber is very loud.  Guards are not supposed to blink, but I did, indeed, catch one blinking, though, unfortunately, not on camera.  A museum with some interesting historical paintings is situated on the first floor.  

exterior of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
exterior of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan

interior of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
interior of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan

visitors filming changing of the guard ceremony at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
visitors filming changing of the guard ceremony at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan

guard at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
guard at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan






art museum at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
art museum at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan

More things to do in Taipei.

More things to do in Taiwan.

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images & video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sights to See: Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan


Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple  No. 211 Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District.  Daily 6am-10:20pm.  Free.  Located in the historic Wanhua District--the old village part of Taipei--this Buddhist-Taoist temple has been here nearly 300 years, since 1738.  Though small, it is busy and is the best known temple in Taiwan.  The temple has stood through natural disasters and several wars, including a bombing by Americans in World War II (it was thought that in error that the Japanese were hiding weapons inside).  Three decorative gates with curling swallowtail eaves are positioned one within the next, and visitors are greeted when they walk through the first by an expansive courtyard with waterfall.

interior gate at Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan
interior gate at Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan


When I visited, the exterior was lined with hundreds of yellow lanterns, and the courtyard was filled with lantern decorations that were part of the Taiwan Lantern Festival extravaganza.

yellow lanterns decorate exterior of Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan
yellow lanterns decorate exterior of Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan


Features include elaborate stone and wood carvings.  Dedicated to Guanyin, the god of mercy, people come to the temple to worship more than 100 other gods and goddesses in side halls, including Matsu, goddess of the sea, and Wenchang Dijun, god of literature (exam periods are particularly busy here).  Worshipers bring their offerings to leave on large tables,

offerings table at Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan
offerings table at Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan


and anyone can ask at a window for a stick of incense to light as they make requests of gods.  Chanting occurs at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., and 5 p.m. 


lighting candles at Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan
lighting candles at Longshan Temple/Mengjia Longshan Temple in Tapei, Taiwan

More things to do in Taipei.

More things to do in Taiwan.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sights to See: Taiwan--10 surprising facts


On my recent visit to Taiwan, I found it to be a kinder, nicer, slower China. Here are

10 facts about Taiwan that might surprise you:

●Taiwan is not a part of China.

●Taiwan is slightly bigger than Belgium.

●Taiwan was formerly known as Formosa.

●Taiwan has reached its 100th birthday in 2011.

●Taiwan has the world’s lowest birthrate.

●Taiwan is the first democratic country in Asia.

●Taiwan has the highest density of convenience stores (7-11s are everywhere).

●Taiwan is second only to Italy in the production of marble.

●Taiwan prohibits cutting down trees; all wood is imported.

●Director Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Eat Drink Man Woman,” “Brokeback Mountain”) is a native of Taiwan.

More information:  Taiwan Tourism Bureau 



city of Taipei as seen from Taipei 101 interior observation deck
city of Taipei as seen from Taipei 101 interior observation deck


time for ice cream at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
time for ice cream at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan


taking pictures beside the entrance stone at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
taking pictures beside the entrance stone at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

More things to do in Taiwan.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Friday, July 8, 2016

Good Eats: Pio Pio, NYC--Queens--Jackson Heights


Pio Pio 2  84-02 Northern Blvd., (718) 426-4900.  $$$.  This well-known, popular spot for Peruvian cuisine has many locations around New York City.  Here it operates in an airplane-hangar-size room.  Well, not quite, but it is BIG.  Sangria is reputedly very good, especially the white version, but I favor the Pisco sour cocktail.  Many large groups come here, and ordering family-style is encouraged.  A good choice is the Matador Combo, which has been known to feed a family of four--it includes a whole rotisserie chicken, salchipapa (hot dogs on top of french fries), avocado salad, saffron rice, red beans, and tostones.  Camarones Cuzco features shrimp in a creamy aji amarillo sauce.  Paella, filet mignon, and several ceviches are also options.  Aji verde green sauce is complimentary and seems to go with everything.  


fruit bowl at bar at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
fruit bowl at bar at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York


bartender at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
bartender at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York


interior at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
interior at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York

Pisco sour at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
Pisco sour at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York

papa a la huancaina at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
papa a la huancaina at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York

chupe de camarones at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
chupe de camarones at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York

saffron rice and red beans at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
saffron rice and red beans at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York


Camarones Cuzco at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
Camarones Cuzco at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York

ceviche at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
ceviche at Pio Pio 2 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
Pio Pio 2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers