It’s been a little over 2 weeks since I came back from Taiwan, but I didn’t have to wait that long to realize that I want to go back already. It was my first time traveling outside of the country but hopefully won’t be my last. Although the trip was a personal trip, 2 of my brother’s friends and I actually met up with my brother who had already been in Taiwan for a week now, and ran a race together, the New Balance Taipei Zoo 13K Run. So this photo post will be mostly vacation pics, but a few from the race.
Check out the full album on my Flickr.
For the geographically unaware (like myself), Taiwan is a tiny island off the coast of China, about 7,000 miles west of California. And for some odd reason, I thought that the island was similar in size to that of Japan. However, it is actually closer (in terms of sq ft) to that of Maryland, while Japan is more like the size of Montana, just a little bit smaller than California! This is your online education in geography for the day! The good thing about going to a smaller area is that we would have a better chance of going to all the main hot spots within the 11 days we were in Taiwan, which I think we did a pretty good job at.
I had a different perception of what Taiwan was really like. But when I got there, I realized it was a lot more developed and in some cases more technologically advanced than what we are used to in the states. But because of their limited space, high rises are common throughout the city.
Taiwan is known for what they call Night Markets, basically food stands and shops all centrally located in one area. There are night markets all around the city and are open late, it’s like the Asian version of Time Square!
Easy pre-meet run before tomorrow’s 13K at Taipei Zoo.
Most unorganized race packet pickup…EVER!
Taipei 101: former world’s tallest building (currently #3)
Busy MRT subway station, very New York-esque.
Photoshoot with the New Balance mascot before our race.
The 2011 Taipei Zoo 13K Run
I’m the one in the back. I can summarize this race in a few words: challenging, humid, and an experience. I definitely didn’t prepare for this race, I didn’t even know there were going to be hills and honestly, who has ever trained for a 13K?! But it was fun to be across the world to find other dedicated runners working their butt off to get to the finish line!
Most likely the finishing stretch of the race..
Post race pic with our finishing ‘cards’. I actually placed 81st, but flipped my card around to have it say 18; I wish!
Relaxing while pedal boating at the lake.
Trying to stay active with some one-on-one basketball with a local. Unfortunately, his mom made him leave to get to school..
I’m looking surprisingly happy even though I’m standing over a river on a pretty shaky bridge!
A random hot spring that we found while hiking at Taroko Gorge. And when I say hot spring, I mean HOT! Everyone else is smiling, but I’m cringing, trying not to move..
And just a couple of hours later we get to the peak of the mountain which was pretty cold according to the sign (7.3 C, 45.2 F)
We did our best to smile and keep our eyes open while shivering to death!
But it was worth it, this is probably the best shot I took during my trip. Such a beautiful sunset!
We took a gondola to the top of another mountain and had tea while enjoying the view of the city.
The engagement brunch took place on the 2nd to last day we were there, it’s the main reason we traveled 7,000 from California. Definitely worth it though!
Everyone dressed up and ready to go before lunch.
Final group pic outside our hotel before heading straight to the airport, 10 hours on a plane and back to the states.
You actually made it to the end! I’m so glad I took the time off to take this trip, it was the most memorable and enjoyable vacation I’ve had in a very long time. Every day was an adventure; although we had some idea of what we wanted to do, there was always something new to enjoy and laugh at. A question I had been asked since then is would I go back again? The short answer is yes, but I’d definitely want to explore a few other countries before, but I would not mind a 2nd trip here again.