Sunday, 20 May 2007

Taipei fine arts museum, Confucius temple & Bao-an temple

Totally cultural day today! After a couple of days feeling really crappy with the worst cold I've had in years I woke up feeling much better and in the mood for exploring. Lara fancied the fine arts museum and Nick fancied some temples, so we decided to do them all.
First of all we headed across town via the MRT for the arts museum. Like most things here it was very reasonable to get in. The first exhibition had work by an artist called Su Hsin-Tien and was amazing. They were called cyclical space paintings and the colours and sheer genius of the man was awesome. The rest of the museum was a little less inspiring.
Next on the agenda was the Confucius temple. Having been to a couple of Wats in Thailand I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely colours and elaborate dragon carvings in these Chinese temples. Both the Confucius & Bao-an temples were equally beautiful, though highly pagan as Lara so aptly pointed out! Seeing the local people worshiping there and being the only visitors and westerners was quite an experience. It was amazing seeing something so totally different and alien to anything we have ever seen before. As the smoke from the incense swirled around we almost felt like intruders as this was definitely not a tourist attraction but was just a glimpse of Taiwanese life.
When we got back to the hotel we all felt like we had walked at least 1000 miles but had learnt much more about the country we are in for a couple of weeks. We were all too tired to go out for a meal so instead had a snack of bread & salad from the local supermarket washed down of course with some lovely Australian wine. The girls watched a couple of episodes of Lost 3 and we watched some more of 24 (Kevin -it's better than ever!!! We'll send it on!).
Great day - again!

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