New Years Eve Taipei style - Taiwan - CycleBlaze

December 31, 2019

New Years Eve Taipei style

This morning we pedalled across Taipei from our posh accommodation to a hotel closer to the railway station, and also closer to New Year’s Eve festivities. After storing our panniers at the new accommodation, The Green Worlds Hotel, we rode to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and spent several hours wandering its various exhibitions, including one of beautiful Taiwanese Indigenous art.

 I was fortunate not to be hurt when a driver in a shiny black sedan shot out of a side street and T-boned me when we riding on the bike path. Fortunately I rolled off the bonnet (hood) onto the ground well clear of the moving car, and my bike wasn’t badly damaged. So all good, and we were soon on our way again. 

The displays of Chiang Kai Shek memorabilia were interesting. He clearly was an amazing leader even if he didn’t succeed in his ultimate goal. From long distant school days, I recall some snippets of the turbulent times China had throughout much of the 20th century, but I hadn’t realised just how deadly the civil war was between the Nationalists and Communists, before Chiang Kai Shek withdrew the Nationalists to Taiwan (Formosa).  About 1.5 million of the Nationalists troops were killed. No mention in the display of how many of Mao’s side perished. This was just in the Civil War, let alone the number of Chinese who died in WWII. The scale of the North Asian conflicts in the first half of the 1900s is hard to comprehend, and makes one feel thankful for the relative peace in this region nowadays.

There was sombre news from home as the massive bushfires continue to rage not far from home. Today several people were killed, and a number towns were badly burned on the NSW South Coast. Truly awful and unprecedented fire conditions in South East Australia are making for a less than happy New Year. I’m grateful we are here in cool, damp conditions but sad for friends and relatives in Australia.

The day in pics:

Loaded and ready to roll across Taipei
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The massive Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.
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One of many contemporary Indigenous Taiwanese art pieces on show in the CKS Memorial Hall
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These words caught my attention as bad news about bushfire deaths and damage from home came in. A more positive spin about natural disaster from an Indigenous perspective.
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An amazing piece of Indigenous woven art
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Textile art
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Clever combination of 3-D and 2-D forms
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Changing of the guard. Very precise and coordinated movements.
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Part of a visiting modern sculpture exhibition in the memorial hall. Ching-Lung Chen is the artist, and also some sort of self proclaimed cosmologist.
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A famous image of WWII leaders with Chiang Kai Shek, and Madam Shek.
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Recreation of Chiang’s office complete with a wax effigy.
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Attempt at a selfie near the NYE celebrations in Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park
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Myriads of lights on boulevard trees
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Happy New Year from Taipei 101.
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Today's ride: 15 km (9 miles)
Total: 70 km (43 miles)

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Scott AndersonOh my gosh. I’m so glad you weren’t seriously hurt. That’s really scary. You really have to keep alert there, including in the smaller cities. And watch out for the scooters, coming at you from all directions at once.
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7 months ago
Graham SmithThanks Scott. The bikes fine and I’m OK, but it was a surprise to be hit side-on in a bicycle lane!

The driver was highly apologetic with lots of bowing and fussing. He simply didn’t see me even though I was in high vis with a flashing light on.

The front left side of the bike took bit of hit, but the quick release folding mechanism saved it by not being too tight. The wheel and front fork were pushed 180° out of alignment to the handlebars. Easily fixed because it’s a quick release tightening mechanism.
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7 months ago