On the Friday of our visit to Taipei Wade and Mo went off to Chi Mountain! That is their last name, because Wade’s family is originally from Taiwan. We were actually staying in the apartment his mother grew up in, right in the middle of Shilin Night Market. It happens to be one of the biggest in Asia which makes it pretty big in the grand scheme of things. So while they were off exploring the countryside with his Family, Iris and I struck out on our own. First stop, the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial. For those who do not know, he is the father of modern Taiwan. The island has a complicated history, a complicated present, and an unknown future. Here it is in short.
Lots of people living in Taiwan, most likely they came from Malaysia or other places further south a long time ago. Eventually the Han Chinese start to come over. In modern times, the Japanese ran the island for about 50 years BEFORE World War 2. During the war, the KMT or Kuomintang or Nationalist stopped fighting the Civil War against the Communists to unite against the Japanese. Shek was the leader of the KMT. After the Japanese are defeated, the war is back on and the Communists were beating the KMT. The Nationalist started to flew en masse to Taiwan, when they managed to stop the Communists from crossing the Straits and destroying them. That’s how it stands today. So maybe 30 percent of the population is descended from the KMT and those who fled with them. But if you ask almost anyone today in Taipei, they will say they are Taiwanese. This has not always been the case, since Taiwanese historically means a different group of people. But they do not like mainland China, and do not want to become part of it. China obviously feels different, which is why we have a perpetual stand off in this part of the world and the whole One China policy that has lead to Taiwan being recognized by only 22 or so countries.
Enough yapping, let’s see some pictures!
Next up, a hot spring! There is a little area of the city that is apparently famous for the hot springs. It was…an experience to say the least. Everyone has their own little spots in the bathes they clearly like, and they rush in when the doors open to get their spot. We were some of the youngest people in the springs by a few decades!
That night we went to a temple whose name I cannot remember. Perhaps I am jaded by having been to a lot of amazing temples during my time in Asia. So this was an amazing temple,without question, but I am sure if it was the first one of it’s kind I had been to I would have been even more impressed. Again, still amazing, had a lot of fun, totally glad we went.
That’s all for now. Phew, there is just so much more to talk about. I am not really sure how many more posts there are, but hopefully everyone is enjoying reading and seeing all about our trip to Taiwan.