When I first left for Asia, I kept hearing about the futuristic/cheap cell phones and bandwidth immersion – which is great for a geek like me. While one panned out (I now owned an iPhone and didn’t have to sell my soul to AT&T!), the bandwidth part sucks if you want free internet through your apartment here. While download speeds are good for anything including videos, they severely limit uploads for some reason in my complex… hence why I’m posting Taipei photos in batches.
Anyway, enough with me whining – on to some photos. The first set includes some sights around Taipei Main Station. It’s a huge Grand Central Terminal-esque building that is much, much nicer on the inside than its Cold War-era bleak architecture on the outside… for some reason Flickr didn’t let me upload the one photo I have of the outside, and I don’t mind too much – it was ugly, anyway :)
The second set will be mentioned in a bit…
The second set for today includes some photos from the National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院). This complex of museums is east of the city and takes its name from Beijing’s Palace Museum. Apparently, the art collection here is pretty much half of what was in Beijing prior to the Japanese invasion during the Sino-Chinese War. Chiang Kai-shek decided it should be kept in Taiwan as a result of the Chinese Revolution and later, the Cultural Revolution. While its collections were impressive, so was the outdoor architecture – I saw a Tiananmen Square-esque idea with CKS Memorial Hall, and it seems that this museum is also important to Taiwan’s identity… and for a country which is seen as a province of China by the USA, that identity is pretty important.
Notice the nun on the far left smiling. I didn’t mean to take their picture, honestly – and find it hilarious that monks and/or nuns ALWAYS smile when they see a tourist pointing a camera in their direction.