BootsnAll Travel Network

trains, buses and bikes…

Before leaving Taipei I went up the “Taipei 101”, which is the worlds tallest building. It also has the worlds fastest lift to get you to the lookout floor, a decent view from up there of the surrounding area and some mountains. It’s strange though compared to other skyscrapers I’ve been up, because the 101 is the only tall skyscraper on the horizon. It’s not in a district with a bunch of really tall buildings like you would see in Chicago, New York, Tokyo etc, it’s the only only really tall building in the city and it’s also the biggest in the world.

view from 101

After that I caught a bus to Sun Moon lake, got there in the evening and just stumbled into a hotel that looked nice. With the weekday discount it cost me what a basic motel room costs in the US. Reasonably expensive here, it’s the nicest place I’ve stayed on the trip so far. I even had a hot tub in my room.

The next day was basically irritating, with nothing going as I expected. First, the lake area was over rated in my opinion and it was even to hot & humid to hike anywhere. So I caught a bus out of the mountains, had to change in Taichung so I jumped on one of the high speed trains which was really nice even though I was only on it for 30 minutes.


The place I was going is the starting point of the Alishan Forest Railway, a narrow gauge rail that goes to the mountains. So I arrive in town (after a 30 minute bus ride from the HSR station) and discover that the railway is not running due to damage from the typhoon the other week. Closed for the rest of the year. I could’ve gotten a bus to the same destination the next morning, but the train ride and scenery was supposed to be half the experience. So then I decided to grab another train farther South to Tainan. This was just a regular express train, but perfectly nice and dirt cheap. I got to Tainan around 7:00 after spending 5 hours in transit and only gone around 90 miles. Good thing none of the travel cost me much. Found an adequate cheap hotel and walked around the city in the evening, had some good noodles for dinner and spent the rest of the night walking around the technology shops until they closed…


After that less than enjoyable day I had decided to spend 2 nights here in Tainan, but in the morning I decided to change hotels. I found a very nice one not far from my first one, considerably more money but it included internet, breakfast and a bike for the day. I jumped on the bike and rode over most of Tainan, stopping to see the main sights. It’s pretty compact, about 3/4 of a million people live here so nothing like Taipei. Quite a few temples to see here, some old city walls and a fort. I saw all of that easily in the day, I enjoyed seeing the city by bike, the only downside is the air on the street is quite polluted due to all the scooters. Sooo many scooters here.

old city gate

I still don’t really have a plan for the rest of my time in Taiwan, probably just going to head to the East coast after this and see what happens…

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