Thursday, November 20, 2014

Time to Count My Money, Taiwan

Or whatever is left of it.

Here's the breakdown of my expenses for five days in Taipei, Taiwan (not included below are the expenses for plane tickets and visa).


Where did most of my money go? FOOD! I spent NT$2908 (around Php 4400) for five days of eating. Before the trip, when we asked friends who have been to Taipei for recommendations on what to see and do in the city, they all answered: Eat! And eat is what we mostly did.

Note: The Mactan International Airport terminal fee increased to Php 750 starting last November 1, 2014.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life in Mini

If you find miniatures fascinating, a visit to the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan would be worth your while and your NT$180 (admission fee).

B1, No 96 JianGuo N. Rd. Sec 1, Taipei City
Tuesday to Sunday 10AM to 6PM
Admission Fee NT$180 (about Php 270)


Dolls made of corn husks and engraved egg shells.

 Miniatures of stories we've heard during our childhood

Of history and culture

Of working chandeliers and TV set (the size of a postage stamp! with sound too!)

 Of street food carts

The pictures above are just a few of what you will see in the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan. There were models of houses from different countries (with tons of details inside), restaurants, historical scenes, everyday scenes, and so many things mini.

The Miniatures Museum of Taiwan is small, just one floor, but I think I spent a good hour and a half in there peering at the minute details inside each model. The work poured into each model was just astonishing. It must have taken weeks and a lot of patience to create just one model. Bravo to the hands, eyes, and brains behind these mini wonders!


Directions to Miniatures Museum of Taiwan: Take the Zhonghe–Xinlu (Yellow) Line to Songjiang Nanjian Station, Exit 4. Miniatures Museum of Taiwan is about 6 minutes by foot from Songjiang Nanjian Station (see map below; click to enlarge).




Taiwan Series:
Tourist Visa for Taiwan
Taiwan Preparations
What's in a (Business) Name? Taiwan
Wisdom from the Road #20
Welcome to Taiwan
Taipei Accommodation: Fun Taipei Backpackers
Free Taipei Tourist Stops
Jiufen
Wisdom from the Road #21
Taipei: An Artist's Playground
House Visits: Shilin Main Presidential Residence and Lin Family Mansion and Garden
Life in Mini (you're here!)
Time to Count My Money, Taiwan

Sunday, November 16, 2014

House Visits: Shilin Main Presidential Residence and Lin Family Mansion and Garden

No. 60 Fulin Road, Shilin District, Taipei City
Tuesday to Sunday 930AM to 12NN and 1PM to 5PM
Admission Fee NT$100 (about Php150)
English audio guide available (ID required)
No picture taking inside the house

 
The Shilin Main Presidential Residence (left) and Chiang Kai–Shek's car (right)

Chiang Kai–Shek lived in this house for 26 years, starting in 1950. Not the entire house is open to the public, but the areas open to the public, like the living rooms, banquet hall, dens, studies, bedrooms, with the help of the audio guide, provide insight into the life and work of Chiang Kai–Shek and his wife. 

I found the tour interesting (did you know that Chiang Kai–Shek was Christian? and that his wife liked to read English books and liked to paint?) and would recommend a visit to this house (don't forget to borrow the audio guide).

Directions to the Shilin Main Presidential Residence: Take the Tamsui–Xinyi (Red) Line to Shilin Station, Exit 2. The Shilin Main Presidential Residence is about 10 minutes by foot from Shilin Station (see map below).




No.9, Ximen St., Banqiao Dist., New Taipei City
Daily 9AM to 5PM
(Closed every first Monday of the month, Chinese New Year's Eve, and Chinese New Year's Day)
Free admission
English guided tours must be booked a week in advance.



The main house was closed for repair work during my visit and visitors were only allowed in the garden...which was quite big and maze–like. The large garden with its halls, pavilions, studies, ponds, walls with windows of different shapes, and engravings on wood, stone, brick, bombarded my senses. It was unfortunate that I was not able to book an English tour in advance and had to look at all these details with a big question mark on my forehead.

Visit the Lin Family Mansion if you are interested in history and architecture as the Lin Family Mansion is "one of the finest examples of Qing period houses" (according to a brochure I read) in Taiwan. Be sure to book their English guided tour a week in advance.

Directions to Lin Family Mansion and Garden: Take any of these buses: 264 / 701 / 702 / 1073 and get off at Lin Family Mansion and Garden. OR take the Bannan (Blue) Line to Fuzhong Station, Exit 1. Lin Family Mansion and Garden is about 8 minutes by foot from Fuzhong Station (see map below).



Taiwan Series:
Tourist Visa for Taiwan
Taiwan Preparations
What's in a (Business) Name? Taiwan
Wisdom from the Road #20
Welcome to Taiwan
Taipei Accommodation: Fun Taipei Backpackers
Free Taipei Tourist Stops
Jiufen
Wisdom from the Road #21
Taipei: An Artist's Playground
House Visits: Shilin Main Presidential Residence and Lin Family Mansion and Garden (you're here!)
Life in Mini
Time to Count My Money, Taiwan