EX-100 goes Taipei

Started 1 month ago | Photos thread
Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 30,845

Anders_Nilsson wrote:

.....presume it's worse....yeah, well, the mainland relates to Taiwan and Oz like Castle Bravo did to the Trinity shot. Now, most Westerners go to Shanghai which is tolerable even most days in the winter but northern China is horrible due to heavy industry and the fact that old inefficient coal plants are still in operation. Also farmers have a tendency to burn agricultural waste in cold weather and use low grade coal for heating.

Taiwan's got alpine air is my take. Nothing gets close to Sweden of course but Taiwan is a nice place to be.

Yes, air cleaner in places, down south it was bad as they had revived some bad coal power plants. My wife wants to visit China, but for me it has no appeal. Japan is my favourite, could go back any time.

My guess is that I could go back to Taipei again to explore further, but not so keen on down south. It is after all an industrial powerhouse and before China really came online with goods it was Taiwan supplying the world, we keep finding so much older stuff in the house with the "made in Taiwan" label.

Where I buy machinery equipment, the "good stuff" comes from Taiwan, the not so good from China. An over-generalisation I know, but Chinese goods vary from excellent to trash, buyer beware.

Also very nice people, no que jumping, polite manners, things you don't see in the mainland except for a well educated elite clique.

Yes, indeed, the people were so helpful and friendly. Just pause on the street for any reason and someone was sure to ask "can we help?" Never had anything like that in any other country. They are extremely proud of their democracy and reminded us a few times about that in general conversation. A surprising number do speak good English.

In Australia we have plenty of migrants from China and yes they are the queue jumping type. Generally nice but shopping is a serious business it seems.

What disappointed me in Taiwan in general was the food on offer, it mostly looked and smelled so unappetising. Of course me with sodium intolerance (Menieres disease) had to avoid the usual food and pick and choose carefully or just buy sandwiches from the 7-11 shops. Boring but I survived with no vertigo attacks at all.

As for airlines to get there, we ended up with Singapore Airlines (= excellent), reason being my wife investigated all the bargain fares and by the time you add in all the hidden fees it was about the same price as regular tickets from a recognised major airline.

Accommodation all booked through Internet booking services and all worked out OK. We booked only one organised day trip into the Taroko Gorge and that turned out to be the usual organised tour fiasco with various people late to pick up and various others not getting back on time at each stop, so parts of the tour were hastened unnecessarily. Normally we avoid organised travel like the plague, it just does not work for us as wandering interested photographers.

As usual it was the smartphone selfie people clogging most scenic spots and Taiwan even makes jokes of that with at least one street bronze statue of a selfie taking pair, plus an October 10 National Day street float depicting a selfie taking bear. We were in Taipei just after the National Day and the floats were all on display in front of the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial.

And the usual pop-up stall selling "eggs" cooked for us on the spot and  cheap and tasty.....

Regards.... Guy

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