TAIPEI DAY 1 – KICKOFF & TAIPEI CITY ORIENTATION

Flight — Grand Hotel – HuaShan 1914 Creative Park — Night Market/ Soupy Buns

Our journey in Taipei began as soon as we landed at the Taipei airport at 5:30 am. An hour later, we were very warn-heartedly greeted by the architecture students of Nation Chiao Tung University. Our friends from NCTU then led us to Shin-Kong Life Education and Training Resort. It was on our way there that we got our first taste of Taiwanese culture and first experience of the humble-hearted generosity of our new Taiwanese friends as we did karaoke on the bus to break the ice.

After reaching the Resort, we decided to put our luggage away in one of the rooms in order to start exploring as soon and as much as we can. We agreed to meet the NCTU students in the resort lobby at 9:30 so they could take us to our next destination.

Photo Credit: Ensam Lee

Photo Credit: Ensam Lee

Photo Credit: Angela Co

Photo Credit: Angela Co

The Grand Hotel – The Grand Hotel is a luxurious hotel that was built in 1952. “Supported by red columns and with golden roof tiling, the Grand Hotel stands midway up Yuanshan, much like a majestic 14- storied palace. Facing Keelung River, the hotel offers amazing view of the Songshan District to the East, and Danshui to the West.”
Everything was grand about the Grand Hotel…even our walk there. Here, we met Dr. David Tseng – the professor from NCTU Institute of Architecture, and also our mentor during our time in Taipei.

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After, spending some time in the Grand Hotel, we took the MRT to Taipei Main Station, for some delicious Taiwanese Lunch. Thereafter, we walked to our next destination, which was the HuaShan 1914 Creative Park. The Creative Park has been founded on the site of an abandoned distillery. The Park now serves as a stage for artists in Taiwan to cultivate and experiment with their creative interests. The park has everything from restaurants to art galleries and artist work spaces to cinema halls.

Photo Credit: Angela Co

Photo Credit: Angela Co

Here, we were lectured by Anais KAHN, the Deputy Manager of the HuaShan 1914 Creative Park as well Professor Tseng about what goes into converting an industrial district into a cultural space with regards to laws of Taiwan.

Photo Credit: Angela Co

Photo Credit: Angela Co

After the lectures, we took a walking tour of the HuaShan 1914 Creative Park and learned about the history of the place, its transformation from an abandoned warehouse to a creative park, as well as the kind of businesses that operate within the park today.

Photo Credit: Angela Co

Photo Credit: Angela Co

Photo Credit: Angela Co

Photo Credit: Angela Co

After a very eventful yet tiring day, we decided to disperse and go back to our own hotels. While some of us stuck to the original plan of dining at Ding Tai Fung (Soupy Buns), most of us returned to the hotel and went about exploring the culture of night market in Taipei.

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