Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter M at least twice anywhere in the word. As a museum lover, this was a snap.
Since I arrived at 10:30 pm and figured customs, immigration and claiming baggage would take an hour, I booked a night at the Novotel by the airport. The website made it sound like you could walk from the terminal to the hotel, but you can’t. When I arrived I thought there’d be a shuttle, but there wasn’t after 11 pm so I had to take a cab there. I do wish you could call or arrange a ride or that they’d reimburse for a taxi late at night.
The night staff was attentive and kind. They efficiently got me checked in quickly. As a gold status member of Le Club Accor, I was upgraded to the executive floor. It’s certainly wise to join this program.
I was surprised to find a giant stuffed panda in my room and enjoyed the whimsical touch. In addition to the fruit plate, I received some the cute cookies.
The bathroom had a shower and an ample vanity. The toiletries were the same as they offer in Europe. The desk was big enough, but it was placed right under the television, which mystifies me since someone might want to write emails or blog posts while watching TV.
The breakfast was outstanding — great service, presentation and food. I’ve got to check my phone for photos. There weren’t any on my camera.
The only problem I faced was when I went to check out. I planned to leave my bigger bag with the bell boy. It’s a typical service and I’ve done this at the Novotel in Beijing and hotels in Thailand and Europe. The clerk wouldn’t let me and wouldn’t budge no matter how I pleaded. It caused me to miss the next shuttle and was a major headache as I had to spend time figuring out what to do with the bigger bag. Another odd thing was I never received a survey from the hotel as I usually do from Accor. It could be a coincidence. I but I did want to provide feedback on what a hassle it was not to be able to store a bag.
Taipei has a beautiful Confucian temple, which is free to visit. Located a short walk from the Yuan Shan MRT station (Red Line), the temple is free to visit and offers a free film in English, which explains the basics of Confucianism. If you visit when there isn’t a tour, the brochure
The temple’s architecture is based on Qufu religious architecture and southern Fu Jianese architecture. Since I’ve seen a lot of Chinese temples this one didn’t wow me, but I always enjoy the art and symmetry of these temples. It’s a serene sight.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 8:30 am to 9:00 pm
Sunday and Mondays 8:30 to 5:00pm. Closed on Sunday
If you visit Taipei, you really should take a stroll around Huashan 1914, a one time industrial complex that’s now an artsy, creative center. Huashan 1914 has several cafés, galleries, shops and restaurants. The art ranges from the cute to the provocative, with an accent on the cute.
It’s a fun place to stroll and in humid Taiwan it’s nice to go from outside to in when you need some respite.
When I went, I met several gallery workers and shop clerks who spoke English well. I particularly enjoyed the man at the leather exhibition who told me several stories about the history of his leather company.
It’s free to wander around, but some exhibits charge entrance fees.
I’d seen 3D latte art in Taipei on Instagram so when I visited I asked my hotel to suggest where I could find a café that offers it and they came up with The Who Café which is a couple blocks from the Taipei 101 MRT station, exit 2. It’s hard to find as it’s on the second floor and the stairs are between a garage and a cake shop.
When I went there, I passed it the first time I went up the street. I did find it, but didn’t know they didn’t open till 11:00 am so my plan for breakfast there was out. (I wound up going back up the street to a Starbucks.)
Later in the day I returned and got the cat latte above. I got the brown sugar latte which was sweet but not too sweet. The Who Café is best to visit when you’re not in a hurry because the artful lattes do take time and it also seemed like the staff wasn’t all that organized. So though I had to leave in a rush, I would go back and was happy with my drink.