2010-07-11 -- Taipei

Today, we saw the Taipei Confucius Temple (official site), the changing of the guards at National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine (we were supposed to visit the shrine, but it was recently closed, so look here instead), went to the top of Taipei 101 (official site), and after a rest, visited the fabulous National Palace Museum, (official site) but I left early (after picking up a couple of books on carvings) for more camera/electronics shopping on Bo Ai Street. We finished the day with another fun Chinese dinner, though I never heard the name of the place.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 85.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
The inside of the front wall of the temple.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 60.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
Dragon outside the Gate of Ceremonies.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/1600 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
More dragons decorate the roof.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/5000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Thanks to Steve for demonstrating this shot (I'm now slightly blind, too).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Taipei Confucius Temple, with no people!



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/1600 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Changing of the Guards at National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
I was a bit slow on the trigger here, and only got guards walking away.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100
Ye gads! Look at this beast! (The yellow thing, not Dad.) A tri-wheeled road roller. Here is one sold at auction, and here is another one (scroll down to near the bottom).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Taipei 101. The guide said this was the best place to get a picture of the tower. I disagree. It's still pretty far away, there's a bunch of crud in the way (even if you try to not get the crud, you get it) and, well, it's a boring picture. So I threw in a street light for interest. I honestly did not notice that City Hall was right next door, nor was it pointed out.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/2500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
Now this is an exciting picture of Taipei 101.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/2500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
And this one is exciting too!



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
On the very top, outside, a sign telling us to not jump off Taipei 101. Or what?



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/2000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Around the perimeter of the top is a metal cage (to prevent jumping? to give birds a place to rest?). In the wind, at one specific spot, it was howling from the wind. Spooky noise.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 82.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Looking doooooown the staircase in Taipei 101. It's a long way down. I probably should have stopped in the middle of the staircase (it was a bit crowded at times) to center this properly. Instead, I stopped just before a barricade stopping us from going down any more. D'oh! (The black is the floor, nothing I could do about that.)



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
On the way down, at the 'exit' from the top, was a HUGE shopping area -- an entire floor. It was at least neat shiny stuff, jewelry mostly. There were a lot of items carved out of coral, like this. I took a picture of the sign, but all it said was "momo coral" and "please enquire 88F sales staff if interested" (really, "88F") and "chii lih coral" (OK, I guess that was rather informative after all).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 70.0 mm; 1/20 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Camel Back Amethyst Cave; Uruguay. This chunk was around a meter in diameter. Huge.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
The National Palace Museum didn't allow photography inside (which is why I bought those couple of books on carving) but certainly allows it outside. Shame.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
The gate is at least somewhat interesting. If only we could get rid of the people posing. "And this is me in front of the museum..."; OK, not a whole lot better than "and this is the front of the museum".



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/100 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Bo Ai Street, Taipei. Camera shops.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
In case you get lost, the sidewalk had a plaque with directions on it. This is the only one I found; I'm not sure if all of Taipei is like this.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Like I said, camera shops. Lenses for all!



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
The classic Bo Ai Street picture. There was no correlation between signage and product.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/7.0, ISO 200
Around the block from Bo Ai is the Nova Computer Arcade. Over a hundred small shops in one building. Most shops are about 100 square feet, enough for a couple of display cases and some space for the vendor behind them. I wasn't exactly impressed; too much duplication in products. Then again, I wasn't seriously looking for anything, so I only really noticed the big and/or common stuff.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/30 sec, f/2.7, ISO 320
Jeffrey treated us to drinks....



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/30 sec, f/2.7, ISO 320
...and dinner, too.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/30 sec, f/2.7, ISO 400
Dad even got his "High Quality Milk", for once verified to be from an actual cow.



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