The adventure begins! Most of us arrived on Tuesday, and there was time for some sightseeing before dinner, including the famous Lung-Shan Temple. By 7pm we had all checked into the Sunrise Business Hotel in downtown Taipei, which is only a short walk from the main train station. It’s the same hotel that several of us stayed at back in 2012 before the last celebration. Several bags took alternative routes to Taiwan, but eventually everyone was reunited with their luggage. There was talk of heading to the Night Market, but by 8:30 dinner was done and everyone was ready to head towards bed.
We all met up in the lobby of the hotel at 6am this morning and walked to the Peace Park which is a really nice area about 10 minutes from the hotel with several areas where people regularly practice Tai Chi. We had a great hour and a half practicing Tai Chi, Hsing I and some weapons forms.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Metro Cafe, another familiar place to a few of us from our trip 7 years ago. We all had a great breakfast there and relaxed in the comfort of AC. The temperature here isn’t really all that hot, in the upper 70s and 80s, but it gets humid and muggy pretty early.
We went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and changed, and then went out for four hours of sightseeing around Taipei. We stopped by a Japanese mall nearby, and then walked down to a martial arts store via the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, which was an impressively huge area with several large buildings, one of which was a monument to Chiang Kai-shek.
We arrived in time to see The Changing of the Guard, which was very impressively done. We stopped by the martial arts supply store that Jason found, and a few of us bought collapsible swords and other weapons. We were able to get the Metro back to the main train station and grab a bite to eat before getting on the bus to go to Taichung, which is about a two hour drive south from Taipei.
Excited to be at the fancy Evergreen Hotel in Taichung and looking forward to several great days of martial arts!
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