TAIWAN

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19 September:  It was a long travel day so we didnít arrive at the airport outside Taipei until 6:30PM.  Then, due to rain and heavy traffic, the ride into town took about 2 hours.  We arrived at our hotel (directly across from the main train station) and the city was bustling.  The hotel management knew about our experience with the typhoon in Korea since we had to change our arrival date.  They were very understanding and sympathetic and put us into a huge suite that was beautiful.  After settling in, we headed out on the town.  It was jammed!  There were lots of kids studying in Starbucks and other coffee shops.  Also, there were tons of food vendors, each of them doing a booming business.  We finally returned to the hotel near midnight after a great introduction to Taipei. 

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The bustling streets of Taipei at night

20 September:  Taipei is a shopping mecca so we spent our morning taking advantage of the various shops.  We found some great buys and had fun looking at all that was available.  After a quick break around noon, and then decided to do a bit of sightseeing.  We took the subway (incredibly cheap) to Lang Sham Temple.  Itís right in the heart of the city.  In fact, new buildings come within inches of its roof.  It was very, very crowded with people saying prayers.  After photographing, we did some additional shopping in this part of town. Some good bargains were to be had on silk.  Then, we returned back to the hotel and went out for take-out from a street vendor that had been in operation since 1928.  Great!

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The major means of transportation
in Taipei - scooters!
A side street loaded with shopping
The entry to Lang Sham Temple
The main building in the temple complex
Worshippers lighting incense and
placing it in the huge incense burner

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