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I have not been paid by any entity in any way (financially, benefits) to write the following review.

Taipei: a city I was always curious over but never had an opportunity to visit. So how did I end up in the beautiful capital of Taiwan? I arranged my trip to Germany to allow some time in any country before getting to Europe, and I am so glad it ended up being Taiwan.

I ended up booking a one-way ticket through Google Flights from San Francisco on United Airlines. You can see my flight experience in United’s new Polaris Business Class cabin here. I then managed to get a First Class Award ticket in Lufthansa’s fantastic product for 110,000 MileagePlus miles. But enough about the booking and flying, lets get to Taipei.

After landing and leaving the airport, I got a taxi to take me to the Courtyard by Marriott Taipei. I was unable to get an Uber or Lyft at the airport, which I typically prefer over taxis due to cheaper rates, but with no other option, I got in a yellow cab and headed out to my hotel.

On the way, I was able to spot a tall, colorful building in the distance that I imagined could’ve been Taipei 101, but being jet lagged and disoriented, I couldn’t say for sure if I was right or wrong (spoiler: I was right).

Potato-quality if Taipei 101 at night

Rolling up past the Intel building in Taipei, the taxi stopped in front of the CenturyLink mall. Confused, I found the Courtyard sign that showed the hotel was attached to the mall. After getting to my room and dropping my stuff off, I was determined to see the new Deadpool 2 movie. After getting some info from the concierge, I headed out to the Century Asia movie theatre in the CenturyLink mall, and got a ticket for a 10PM showing of Deadpool 2 in English.

Potato-quality picture of the theatre

I was surprised by the size of theatre, as it had only four rows of seats, and I was in the fourth row. So in my potato quality pic above, that is a picture of the whole movie theatre room. I’m used to having a huge theatre in the United States, but I actually prefer this smaller version of the theatre!

After the end of the hilarious movie, I dragged my jet-lagged body back to my room for the night and fell asleep in what seemed like a minute.

My bed for the night at the Courtyard by Marriott Taipei

Waking up in the early morning, I headed to the concierge to ask for some sightseeing places of interest in Taipei. I soon headed out to explore Taipei.

The National Palace Museum

Taking Taipei’s public transportation, I got to the National Palace Museum. I must say that the exterior of the museum is absolutely beautiful and relaxing, with beautiful buildings and amazing greenery. It was at this moment though, under the blaring sun in the high humidity, that I realized it was way hotter than I expected. Sweating profusely, I made my way into the museum, not really knowing what to expect.

Upon entering, I was hit with the glorious coolness from the air conditioning, and I promptly purchased a ticket and placed my items in storage locker. I then headed into the amazing palace and was unfortunately disappointed. Not because the items inside weren’t awesome, they definitely were. I am simply not a person that seeks out pottery and artwork (sorry if that sounds ignorant). I typically seek out military museums and museums that lay out the history of the area or the history of the nation.

So after viewing some exhibits in the palace, I collected my stuff and called an Uber and headed to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. This museum was definitely of more interest according to my personal taste.

Side of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Upon entering, I ended up walking into the history of Chiang Kai-shek, including his personal items and awards.

Chiang Kai-shek was the Generalissimo and head of state of the Republic of China (ROC), the former government of mainland China and the current government of Taiwan, also known as the current Republic of China. After the communist revolution in China began overtaking ROC military forces, Chiang Kai-shek began moving important pieces of historical China and the Chinese government to the island of Formosa, an island off the coast of mainland China. After the communists prevailed on the mainland, Chiang Kai-shek moved the exiled the ROC government to Formosa, creating a competition for international recognition amongst the world’s powers.

Throughout this time until his death, Chiang Kai-shek ruled over the ROC (Taiwan), maintaining close official ties with the United States and the western powers that feared the expansion of communist powers such as the Soviet Union (USSR) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The hall had a mock exhibit created, depicting what Chiang Kai-shek’s office looked like during his time as President of the ROC.

Kai-shek was a big fan of Cadillac cars, and imported them from the United States to use as his official state transport. He then went on to receive awards of honor and distinction from various nations for his leadership during the Second World War.

Statue of Chiang Kai-shek

Afterwards, I was visited the statue of Kai-shek and waited until the changing of the guard ceremony.

I always feel its great to experience these moments, as you’ll never know when or if you’ll ever have the opportunity again!

Post-ceremony, I ordered another Uber and enjoyed the trip to Taipei 101.

Taipei 101 entrance

Dropped off close to an entrance, I looked up at what was the world’s tallest structure.

Taipei 101

I walked around the shopping area for a while, and then made my way to the Taipei 101 Observatory. As you enter the line to get to the elevator, you have the option of taking a picture in front of a green screen which puts you right next to the Taipei 101. Afterwards, you make your way to the elevator and get in one of the most stylish elevators I’ve ever been in. Also, its the world’s fastest elevator, shoots up towards the deck at nearly 38 miles per hour (61 km/h)!

Taipei 101 Observatory Deck view of Taipei City

After you get out, you are met with a view like no other. Surrounded by mountains, city, and everything in between. You even had the option of going outside, however I opted to skip it (afraid of heights).

While at the Observatory Deck, you are able to see the wind damper that keeps the building from swaying too much when there are high winds or earthquakes.

Here, you can also buy some souvenirs and a refreshing frozen goodies, such as ice cream and a mango smoothie drink!

Taipei 101 Mango smoothie

After finishing my smoothie and taking in the deck of Taipei 101, I decided it was time to get some grub, so I took the elevator back down to the food court area. I ended up getting food from Din Tai Fung, a michelin star restaurant. My recommendation is to order food to go unless you have the time (and patience) to wait in line for what looked like hours. It is an extremely popular eating spot, and as a result it is always full.

Din Tai Fung take-out boxes

As my day of adventures was coming to a close, I decided to call another Uber to head back to the hotel to rest up for my trip to Hamburg the next day. Taipei’s Taoyuan airport is pretty far away, and I wanted to have time to experience and review the EVA Air lounge.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it, and if you didn’t, then please let me know what I can improve on in the future!

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