There was no direct flight to Taiwan from Brunei and one could go either through Honk Kong or the more circuitous Bangkok as a transit point .
My sponsor booked the Bangkok one ,so most of the day as spent either in the flight or in Bangkok airport that I reached Taipei only near midnight .
The Brunei to Bangkok stretch was by RBA and as usual the Breakfast came to me with a specially
requested yogurt this time two in numbers !
Though I had been to Thailand earlier Bangkok and its Swarnabhoomi airport has always fascinated me with its long artistic iconic statue of a mahabharatha epic story
After browsing the excellent duty free and swishing in a Singapore sling sitting on a nice bar on the duty free area
the second part of my trip was by Thai airways
I was exited to reach Taipei .
Taiwan is an island off China
For a long time it had aborigines in it and known as the island of Formosa
The Dutch in their quest for riches started a colony and built forts etc later the Spanish took over for a brief time before the Dutch got it back again ,
The Chinese Quing dynasty then drove the Dutch away and it became part of Chinese Empire till 1895 when it was given to Japan as a spoil in a war they won .
Japan ruled Taiwan for almost fifty years when at the end of the second world war they surrendered to the Axis powers after the atom bomb explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki .
There are lot of Japanese influence in Taiwan with plenty of Japanese type of colonial houses
|Mariott hotel Taipei|
|breakfast at Mariott|
|the walk to Mayfull hotel the venue of the conference|
It was a bit chilly and I made a quick walk to the conference venue hotel Mayfull a short distance away
it was an iconic hotel
With the conference going on till late evening i made a getaway as I wanted to see the city ,so I also skipped the banquet dinner and headed to the famous Shilin night market using the Metro which was very convenient
|famous oyster omelette|
|The Sizzling steak|
The freshly baked big rectangular cake each having more than 58 eggs are lifted and turned upside down before cutting into precise portions to be sole ,each piece can be eaten by eight people and the whole process of cutting was almost a ceremony
there is a huge two stroeyed building and it has around 539 food shops in its first floor while its second floor is a parking lot for more than 400 cars .
surrounding this in the nearby streets too there a re plenty of shops many of food again ,
The vendors are friendly and cheerful though English is a language hardly spoken one could manage quite well
the earlier Shilin market got renovated by 2011 to the present area
i made a return by cab as the metro by now was quite crowded and it beginning to drizzle too .
a word about Taiwan and Taipei is the behavior of the people ,they are very civic minded and follow rules meticulously ,even at midnight when streets are empty pedestrians cross the road only when signal comes ,the motorists too are respectful to pedestrians and each other ,there is no obvious theft in crowded metros and its totally safe ,one hardly sees any police but there is no need for them too
These are great lessons for countries like India
|stationary golf center ,here golf ballsa re hit into a ground from two floors|
|Miranmar plaza ear my hotel with a giant wheel|
|the metro is quick efficient safe and gets us anywhere in a jiffy|
|Chian kai shek memorial|
|chian Kai shaek memorial|
he returned and joined the Kuomintang and wasa right hand to sun Yat sen and his successor too
The Kuomintang which ruled China since 1928 ,initially ruthlessly suppressed the communists in a massacre wimping out thousands and called the white terror
and lost to the communists in the Chinese civil war in 1949 retreated to Taiwan and its leader Chian kai shek became the president of the republic of China which they said was the real china and the Chinese mainland under Maos party became the Peoples republic of China .
From 1949 to his death in 1975 he was the sole power of Taiwan
|car of chain Kai Shek|
The whiffs of democracy started blowing in the seventies and by the nineties it became a multi party democracy with he Kuomintang a prominent party even today at present it is in the opposition
though he skyscraper building of Taipei the Taipei 101 was famous I had to give it a skip as i had to see other places of interest
i also couldn't visit the famous Longhuan temple
i took a train changed tracks ato reach Beitou area to see the famous thermal springs ,the last stretch of the metro to this are is by a special tourist train with huge glass roofed viewing windows
i saw there was a relgious procession going on and made a long walk but faile to see the thermal spring
|daily march past ,this was held every hour|
|religous procession on way to Beitou springs|
|a burger in ximen|
a hungry me opted for a fat juicy burger served by a smiling youngster who took a selfie with me