Two salespeople from the company Cathy works for had to entertain a couple of their company’s customers in Taipei on Sunday. Through some unusual series of events Cathy and myself were roped into the task, too. Our free time was exchanged for free meals, various entrance tickets, and a ride home on the High Speed Rail as opposed to our usual luxurious choice: the Kuo-Kuang Bus Company [國光客運] . Our first destination was the National Palace Museum [國立故宮博物院]. Before strolling through the museum we ate lunch at the San-hsi t’ang Teahouse [三希堂], located on the fourth floor of the main exhibition hall.
The atmosphere is very relaxing while the prices and portions are what you would expect at a teahouse atop a museum. I was unimpressed with the wait staff as we had a table of three westerners and at a major tourist destination there wasn’t a single English-speaking server on staff. Even Macarroni Grill will send an English-speaking server to the table if it is one westerner in the company of several Taiwanese.
After the museum was a brief walk through its nearby Chih-shan Garden [至善園].
Everyone I was with was trying to walk through fast enough to save time to go to 101, so although the garden was very photogenic, I didn’t walk home with many shots.
Next up was a cab ride to 101, the view from the top hasn’t changed much since my previous visit, except this time with weather was lousy:
Taipei 101’s 730-ton tuned mass damper:
A huge rainbow formed over Xinyi District, I’m sure this would have looked great from the top of 101, but we were already in cabs on our way to Taipei Train Station.
The shot above was from inside the HSR while it was approaching Taichung Station. The picture was darkened a bit to not see so much dirt on the window or my faint reflection. Cathy took the picture below while we were in a cab escorting her company’s customers to their hotel.