Friday, July 29, 2011

Taipei 101 (臺北101), Elephant Mountain (象山) and Orientation Day 1

Okay, okay, okay. A more serious blog entry for you... 

Taipei Zoo was very impressive and one of the best zoos we have been to. 

We ended Wednesday on the observation deck of Taipei 101. It costs $400 NT/person to go up but the views were well worth it. I had my camera with me but no tripod which was a real disappointment when presented with such beautiful panoramas but luckily I still managed to snap a couple shots by resting my camera on a ledge. Two such pictures can be seen at the end of my previous post. 

The following day Amanda and I ran some errands, in particular to Carrefour so that I could buy some smarter pants for teaching (no shorts allowed). While there I also decided to buy a camera tripod, albeit a very cheap one that will be a throw-away / give-away when it comes to leaving Taiwan. 

In the afternoon I decided to take advantage of the clear skies and my new tripod and go for a trail hike on Elephant Mountain in the hopes of getting some good pictures of Taipei 101 and the Taipei skyline. The hike was a pretty steep set of stone steps that I climbed for about 30 minutes going at a quick pace (racing not to miss the setting sun!). When I reached a good lookout I found myself in the company of about 10-20 other photographers, some of whom had climbed atop great boulders and set-up their tripods and camera gear waiting for the the ideal late-afternoon / early-evening light. I had to go a little off-trail to find a decent perch but, once found, I set-up my gear and waited from about 6pm to 7:30pm. The wait was worth it and I think I got a few decent pictures right near the end of my stay. 

Today we had our first day of orientation consisting of our medical exams, a short city bus tour and a delicious lunch. We’ve begun to meet some of the other foreigners that will be training alongside us and it is clearly a very diverse and friendly group of people that we look forward to getting to know better.

This evening Amanda and I went for Cantonese style dim sum at a restaurant in Brother Hotel just a little way down Nanjing East Rd. Amanda had read about the restaurant via a Taiwan food blogger called a hungry girl's guide to taipei. The food was excellent and it was the first time that we have had Cantonese style dim sum since leaving Canada. I definitely hope we will be able to visit again before leaving Taipei.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bret/Amanda,

    I stumbled upon your blog in my research on travelling to Taiwan/Taipei. How do you get to Elephant Mountain from say, Taipei 101?

    And where would you recommend for reliable and reasonably cheap hotels in Taipei?

    Hope to hear from you soon! :)