This is how our experience started out -- within minutes of leaving the airport, our taxi got a speeding ticket, yay! Welcome to Taiwan. LOL
The wedding ceremony was the next day. Pearl looked gorgeous, as usual. She wore 3 dresses and the following picture was at the end when they give out small gifts to the guests as they leave.
Taking these "glamour shots" is very common in Taiwan. A few of the pictures were chosen and printed as kinda business cards for the guests. They also got this really big (and heavy) photo album. I asked my brother to send me the digital copies of all the pictures cause some of my favourites aren't included below. Interesting fact #1 -- the picture with all the flowers, I totally thought was photoshopped but they really were outside among the flowers. Interesting fact #2 -- the picture on the beach was taken as the typhoon was rolling in, hence all the wind. My favourite is the blue/green one on the far right. Pearl looks stunning.
As for the typhoon warning we got that weekend, Taiwan actually declared the Monday a "Typhoon Day" ie workers were encouraged to stay home, schools were closed, etc. I was actually looking forward to some typhoon action but in Taipei, nothing much happened. Lots of rain at night which ended by Monday afternoon and I've felt stronger winds in Toronto. I was quite disappointed LOL.
OK, onto the touristy pictures!
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. And no, I did not climb all those stairs cause it was hot and I am massively out of shape.
Taipei 101. Currently the tallest building in the world but has technically been surpassed already by one in Dubai as it's still under construction.
There are definitely more cars now but the scooter is still a really popular choice. It's crazy watching seeing the scooters zoom in and out among the traffic. They park the scooters all along the sidewalk.
A common sight complete with those oh so fashionable facemasks. I've seen an entire family of 5 on one of these small scooters.
Of course, the bicycle will never go out of style. This is the bike rack outside one of Taipei's many universities and let me just say, that this picture probably only captured 1/4th of all the bikes that were there.
This is pretty cool. Some of the busier intersections stop all the traffic for a bit so it allows pedestrians to cross diagonally as well. This is one of the many things I've noticed that was adopted from the Japanese as the city modernized (eg. the subway system was also based on the Japanese model).
Some really cool trees on the Taipei University campus.
Guess what this is? The hospital where I was born obviously =)
bauersgirl was the one who introduced me to this theme restaurant, The Modern Toilet, where yes, everything is bathroom-inspired to the point where the food is served in miniature toilets and you drink out of mini urinals. I went there with my brother and cousin and we had dessert served in squat toilets. LOL
The night market. This particular one is the Shilin Night Market, the largest one in Taipei. Night markets usually start opening around 4-5pm, get really busy at around 10pm and close 1-2am. This picture was taken around 6pm as the crowd began to grow.
Longshan Temple. This is one of the oldest and busiest temples in the city. It's been continuously re-built over the years due to fires, earthquakes etc. The last time was after it was bombed during WWII as the Americans thought it was being used to hide Japanese armoury.
Zhinan Temple located in the Maokong region which is famous for its different teas. You get there by a gondola system and, thank goodness, the station is located at the top cause there was no way we were gonna climb up there!
View of Taipei 101 from the temple.
This is a gate at the airport. Yes, an actual Hello Kitty themed gate LOL Eva Airlines even has a Hello Kitty airplane and we were so close to actually choosing that flight.
Next up: Tokyo pictures.