Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Taipei, Taiwan

Having experienced rather a lot of the Bangkok traffic situation we decided to leave early for the airport in case it is a slow ride. In actuality it only takes about 35mins so we have plenty of time to check in, answer a couple of emails and eat the usual airport rip off food for lunch!
The flight with KLM is fine and only takes about three and a half hours which means we get out of the airport around 7pm. After a ride in the poshest taxi so far, a rather large leather seated BMW, we arrive in Taipei just after 8pm. We had already called the Happy Families Hostel from the airport so he was expecting us. Mr Lee tells us that we were on the 5th floor, sorry no elevator! So we drag all our bags up and quickly decided to stay just one night. It's very clean but rather dingy and the two rooms are not close together. After dumping our stuff we realise we need towels and some loo roll as this is a BYO place! Anyway we are all dying to have a walk around our new city.
After Thailand which is crawling with tourists this feels like you are at a really foreign destination. There are not many white people here and we seem to get stared at a lot. The people are lovely though and very friendly and helpful. We find our towels and other stuff and as nobody is very hungry we pop into MacDonalds for some french fries before heading home to guzzle a bottle of Australian wine we have bought at the airport.
Our first impressions of Taipei are that it is very safe and immaculately clean and well kept. Probably something to do with the fact that it was ruled by the Japanese for 50 years until the end of WW2. We are all looking forward to seeing more of it in the daylight tomorrow when we go searching for a better hotel.

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