last saturday, Husband and I went into Taipei for a short visit. one of the parents who took us to Costco our first day here wanted to take us to a special exhibit being held commemorating the 60th anniversary of the peace treaty between Japan and China. her husband works for the foreign affairs office, so was able to give us an informative tour and explain how these documents affect Taiwan and it's history. among the documents on display were original copies of the Cairo Declaration and the Instrument of Surrender signed by Japan at the end of World War II. the exhibit was held in the Taipei Guest House which was originally built in 1899 for the Japanese Governor who [at that time] oversaw the island. it was a beautiful mix of European and Oriental design and furnishings, complete with a garden and pond in the rear grounds.
after the exhibit, we made a brief stop at Taipei 101. this skyscraper held the world record for tallest building for a stretch of 6 years, and boasts expensive shopping [Tiffany's Gucci, Chanel, etc.] and two observation decks. rain and clouds rolled in so we decided to save the observation deck for another day and took the high-speed rail back to Hsinchu.
to be honest, I'm not that impressed with Taipei so far. it seems like a larger Hsinchu with the added convenience of a subway system. I guess I was expecting something a little more like New York... but then again there maybe not be any other city on earth like New York. [I may just be a little biased there.] I definitely think Taipei is worth some more exploring to see what we can find there.
and I will say the high-speed rail was faster, quieter, and cleaner than any NJ transit train I've been on.
Asia wins on railways. hands down.