Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner/Weekend in Taipei

So on November 15th, Fulbright Taiwan had all the ETAs go to Taipei for a Thanksgiving dinner. That day was a friday so we had to take that day off of school and go early to Taipei. Whenever we go to Taipei, we always take the High Speed Rail, which gets us to Taipei is about 45-50 minutes compared to a regular train which takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes. It's really nice that Fulbright pays for our transportation since a HSR ticket is pretty expensive in Taiwanese dollars (NT 700-NT750 one way) which is around 25 US dollars. Once we got to Taipei, we had to take the MRT(Taipei's subway lines) to Danshui and that took about 35 minutes. From Danshui we took a bus to Tamkung University and had lunch there. Here we had the most expensive lunch box I have had so far in Taiwan (NT280).
We then had two speakers who came to talk to us. The first one talked to us about the quality of Taiwan's education. She was kind of advertising how great it is to attend a university in Taiwan and wants us to consider doing our graduate studies in Taiwan after our ETA year. The second speaker talked about Taiwan and US relations and about how Taiwan is in between two big powers: the US and China. The talk was interesting, but a lot of it was very political so it was sometimes hard to follow. After this, we left to go to our dinner which was an hour bus ride. 

Our dinner was held in a fancy hotel ballroom. We had full on turkey, ham, and mashed potatoes. The dinner was very good and it was nice to celebrate Thanksgiving :) 

After our dinner, we were free to go to our hotel rooms, which were located in a different hotel. We took the MRT back to Just Sleep Hotel. This hotel is so nice and comfortable. I literally am excited every time we get the chance to sleep in this hotel because its beds are soooo comfortable that I don't want to get up the next morning. They provide you with everything you need from toothbrush to indoor slippers. Here's a picture of what the room looks like. The room is very plain, but it's so nice. I had the room all to myself since my roommate for that night did not sleep in that room :D
The view from my window :)
That night, I went to sleep early because the next day was going to be a long adventure day as well. 

The next morning, I had to wake up at 7 to get ready to go on an adventure to the east coast, Juifeng. I, along with 5 other ETAs took the train and then a bus to Bitou first where we hiked a beautiful stair hike trail. It was so breath-taking even though it was sprinkling the whole time. 
After Bitou, we went to Juifeng, an old traditional Japanese style street filled with snacks and cute little stores. 

Juifeng was so crowded that it was very hard to explore with ease. However, after an hour or so, we were all cold and tired so we decided to go back to catch a bus. We finally caught a bus which took us back to the train station where we took the train back to Taipei and from Taipei we took the HSR back to Taichung and the from there we took a free shuttle to Fengjia University where we then took the bus which took us home. The journey we had was very worth it, but we were all so tired at the end of the day. I will be back to visit Taipei at least two more times this year so I hope to have more adventures next time. Thank you for reading :)

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