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Taiwan on bike

Taipei, sightseeing og Hui Chi.                                                                                              (Update 30. maj 2019)

Så blev det tid til et nyt eventyr. Denne gang har vi planlagt en tre ugers tur til Taiwan.
Taiwan har stået på vores ønskeliste i et godt stykke tid, så efter vi havde købt vores flybilletter med KLM i januar, kunne det ikke gå hurtigt nok med at komme afsted.
Inden vi rejste, havde vi set utallige af videoer på youtube bl.a omkring hvad vi kunne forvente at spise og hvad der var at se, vi havde også læst om andre der havde cyklet der. Eller skal vi sige Heidi havde læst om en masse. Jeg mere doven og vil hellere se en video og få informationer derfra.
Vi er så heldige, at vi har en god ven og forhenværende kollega som hedder Hui Chi som er Taiwaneser og bor i Taipei, så det var meget nærliggende at vi skulle mødes med hende.
Vi ankom fredag d. 03. maj 2019 om eftermiddagen efter en flyvetur på 12 timer fra Amsterdam.  Hjemmefra havde vi bestilt en stor taxavan og pickup service, så vi hurtigt kunne komme fra lufthavnen til vores hostel i bydelen - Wanhua og så vi var sikker på der ville være plads til alt vores bagage.Turen med taxa tog ca. 50 minutter og kostede 1.300 TWD som svare til ca. 290,- dkr.
Det tog kun 45 minutter at komme igennem immigrationen og få vores baggage. Så alt gik som det skulle.
Vi var ved vores hostel lidt før klokken 17.
Personalet var så imødekommende og søde. Cykelkasserne kunne stå i receptionen, uden problemer og for at det ikke skulle være løgn, havde Hui Chi været forbi med en velkomst gave til os, som var en lille pose med to Taiwan øl og et velkomst brev. En helt fantastik start på vores tur.
Meander Hostel som stedet hed vi boede på, ligger på ChengDu Road, helt perfekt i forhold til undergrundsbanen og ting der skulle opleves. For ikke at snakke om at cykel ud af Taipei, der havde vi også valgt rigtigt. Det var super let at cykle ud af byen derfra. Et overnatningssted vi ville vende tilbage til hvis vi skulle til Taipei igen.
Vi fik vores værelse og hvilede i en time. Så fik vi samlet cyklerne i løbet af en time og cykelkasserne kunne vi få opbevaret i kælderen på hostellet. Så vi var sikker på at de var der når vi kom tilbage fra cykelturen.
Allerede først aften fik vi smagt på forskellige ting. Allerførst fik vi en bubble milk tea. Det er te med mælk og mørke tapioka perler i. Tapioka laves af stivelsen fra cassava/maniok rod og andvendes i vid udstrækning i Asien. Teen drikkes med et sugerør der er extra tykt, så perlerne kan suges op. Konsistensen minder om vingummi. 
Vi havde smagt bubbletea før, så vi vidste lige hvad vi ville have og skal vi ikke bare være ærlige og sige: Vi ELSKER bubbletea.
Vi prøvede også deep fried chicken nuggets med en form for sød mayonnaise. Det var Heidi ikke den store fan af. Inden vi gik tilbage til vores hostel, smagte vi en taiwanesiske pandekage med æg og bacon.
Efter en god nattesøvn, var vi klar til at mødes med Hui Chi og se nærmere på Taipei.
Vi fik fyldt depoterne op med morgenmad på hostellet. Morgenmaden var den traditionelle risgrød med søde kartofler som dryssede med flosset gris. Vi gik all in og gjorde som de lokale, så ned med en god portion risgrød.
Tre i en kaffe og et par toast med peanutbutter og chokolade creme.
Vi havde aftalt med Hui Chi at vi skulle mødes klokken 10 i receptionen. Hun lignede sig selv og lige fra første gensyn gik snakken. Da vejret var OK, blev vi enige om at tage ud til Taipei 101 tower. 
Taipei 101 er en 106-etager høj bygning. Bygningen har 101 etager over jorden, deraf navnet, og 5 underjordiske etager. Bygningen er 508 m høj og var verdens højeste fra 2004-2009 – hvor den blev overgået af Burj Khalifa i Dubai. Fraregner man begge bygningers antenner er Taipei 101 højest.
Taipei 101 indeholder verdens to hurtigste elevatorer og er på mange måder den mest teknologisk og advancerede skyscraber i verden, der har en tophastighed på 63 km/t og kan bringe folk fra stuen til 89. etage på blot 39 sekunder. Der er ligeledes blevet brugt megen teknisk kunnen for at sikre tårnet mod de mange jordskælv og tyfoner der årligt rammer Taiwan.
Det tog ikke lang tid at komme ud til tårnet. Fra Xiemen undergrundsbane var det en tur på små 20 minutter, med et skift undervejs.
Vi fandt hurtigt ud af at det ikke var den bedste dag at besøge tårnet. Der var et kæmpe arrengement: Taipei 101 Run up 2019. Hvor mere end 5000 deltager fik lov til at løbe op til toppen af bygningen ad 2046 trappetrin eller skal vi sige 91 etager. Den hurtigste kvinde havde gjort det på 13:12 minutter.
Godt nok skulle vi ikke tage trapperne for at komme op og se den utolige udsigt over millionbyen, men derfor var der stadig væk en lang kø og mere end en times ventetid for at komme op med elevatoren.
Når det er sagt, så var det ventetiden værd. Vi havde udsigt ud over byen og til bjergene mod syd, havet mod nord og her oppefra fik vi virkelig indtrykket af hvor stor byen egentlig er med sine 2.7 millioner indbyggere.
Noget helt andet og virkelig specielt vi kunne se, var den kæmpe store vind damper der er monteret i toppen af tårnet. Vind damperen er med til at stabilisere tårnet, så det ikke svinger fra side til side.
Prøv og tryk på linket https://youtu.be/NYSgd1XSZXc og se hvordan den mægtige kugle på 660 tons kan svinge under et jordskælv.
Efter turen op i tårnet, var det tid til en kop kaffe og derefter tog vi undergrundsbanen til Beimen. Her er der et område under jorden der hedder Y. Hui Chi havde fået anbefalet et bestemt sted med Kniv massage. Det var noget vi havde set via youtube hjemmefra og da vi altid er på udkig efter nye spændende ting, havde vi sat Hui Chi på opgaven. Så dette var stedet hun havde fundet frem til.
Vi bestilte 35 minutter half body massage. Nu skulle vi ligge os op på briksen med alt tøjet på og hovdet ned i et hul. Vi blev dækket til med tæpper, helt op over hovedet.
Først fik vi en smule almindelig massage i nakken og over skulderne for at løsne musklerne og derefter gik damerne igang med knivene.
En meget speciel oplevelse. Der bruges to knive som hakker med ens kraft ned over musklerne endda også i hovedbunden. Nogen gange ramte knivene hinanden, måske for at få det hele til at virke lidt farligt. Men alt i alt en dejlig oplevelse og tro mig musklerne var helt løsnet op bagefter.
Pris: 680,- TWD som svare til 150,- dkr
En god afslutning på en hyggelig dag sammen med Hui Chi og Taipei.
 


Taipei, Sightseeing and Hui Chi.                                                                         (Update 30. maj 2019)

Now it was time for a new adventure. This time we planned a three weeks trip to Taiwan.
Taiwan has been on our wish list for quite some time, so after we had bought our airline tickets with KLM in January, it was hard for us to wait.
Before we traveled, we had seen countless videos on youtube including what we could expect to eat and what was to see, we had also read about others who had cycled there. Or should we say Heidi had read about a lot of things in Taiwan. I am more lazy and would rather watch a video and get information from there.
We are so lucky that we have a good friend and former colleague named Hui Chi who is Taiwanese and living in Taipei, so it was very obvious that we should meet with her as well.
We arrived Friday the 3rd of May 2019 in the afternoon after a 12-hour flight from Amsterdam. From home we had booked a large taxi and pickup service, so we could quickly get from the airport to our hostel in the district - Wanhua and so we were sure there would be room for all our luggage. 50 minutes ride and at the cost 1,300 TWD which corresponds to approx. 290, - dkr.
It took only 45 minutes to get through the immigration and get our luggage. So everything went as it should.
We were at our hostel just before 5pm.
The staff were so welcomming and sweet. Our big bike boxes could stand at the reception, without any problems and guess what, Hui Chi had already been at the hostel with a welcome gift for us, which was a small bag of two Taiwan beers and a welcome letter. An absolutely fantastic start to our trip.
Meander Hostel was the place we were living is located on ChengDu Road, perfect for the subway and things to experience. In order not to talk about to cycle out of Taipei, we had also chosen the right  place. It was super easy to cycle out of town from there. An accommodation we would return to if we were going to Taipei again.
We got our room and rested for an hour. Then we assembled the bikes within an hour and the bicycle boxes we could get stored in the basement of the hostel. So we were sure they were there when we returned from the bike ride.
Already the first night we got a taste of different things. First of all we got a bubble milk tea. It is tea with milk and dark tapioca pearls in. Tapioca is made from the starch from cassava / manioc root and is widely used in Asia. The tea is drunk with an extra thick straw so that the peals can get though the straw. The texture is reminiscent of wine gum.
We had tasted bubbletea before, so we knew just what we wanted and we should maybe just be honest to say: We LOVE bubbletea.
We also tried deep fried chicken nuggets with a kind of sweet mayonnaise. Heidi wasn't a big fan of it. Before going back to our hostel, we tasted a Taiwanese pancake with eggs and bacon.
After a good night's sleep, we were ready to meet with Hui Chi and take a look at Taipei. We filled up with breakfast at the hostel. Breakfast was the traditional rice porridge with sweet potatoes wich you sprinkled with schredded pork. We went all in and did as the locals, so down with a good portion of rice porridge. Three in one coffee and a couple of toast with peanut butter and chocolate cream. We met with Hui Chi at 10 o'clock in the reception. She looked like herself and right from the first glance the talk went on. As the weather was OK, we decieded to go to Taipei 101 tower.
Taipei 101 is a 106-storey building. The building has 101 floors above the ground, hence the name, and 5 underground floors. The building is 508 m high and was the world's highest from 2004-2009 - where it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa in Dubai. If you ignore both buildings' antennas, Taipei 101 is the highest. Taipei 101 features the world's two fastest lifts and is, in many ways, the most technologically advanced and skyscraper in the world with a top speed of 63 km / h and can bring people from the first floor to the 89th floor in just 39 seconds. Much technical skill has also been used to secure the tower against the many earthquakes and typhoons that hit Taiwan annually.
It didn't take long to get to the tower. From the Xiemen subway station it was a short 20-minute ride, with one change along the way. We soon found out that it was not the best day to visit the tower. There was a big event: Taipei 101 Run Up 2019. Where more than 5000 participants were allowed to run to the top of the building by 2046 stairs or we should say 91 floors. The fastest woman had done so in 13:12 minutes. Well enough, we should not use the stairs to get to the top and see the gigantic view of the million-city, but therefore there was still a long queue and more than an hour's wait to go up with the lift. That said, it was worth the wait. We had an amazing view of the city and the mountains to the south, the sea to the north and from here we really got the impression of how big the city really is with its 2.7 million inhabitants. Something completely different and really special we also could see was the big wind damper mounted at the top of the tower. The wind damper helps stabilize the tower so that it does not swing from side to side. Try and hit the link https://youtu.be/NYSgd1XSZXc and see how the mighty 660-ton ball can swing during an earthquake.
After the trip to the tower, it was time for a cup of coffee and then we took the subway to Beimen. Here is an area below the ground called Y. Hui Chi had been recommended a specific place with knife massage. It was something we had seen through youtube and since we are always looking for new exciting things, we had put Hui Chi on the job. So this was the place she had found. We ordered 35 minutes half body massage.
We had to lie on the couch with all the clothes on and the head down in a hole. We were covered with blankets, all the way up over our heads. First we got a bit of regular massage in the neck and over the shoulders to loosen the muscles and then the ladies went on with the knives. A very special experience. Two knives are used to chop with one's power down the muscles and even on the scalp. Sometimes the knives hit each other, maybe to make it all seem a little dangerous. But all in all, a wonderful experience and believe me the muscles were completely loosened up afterwards.
Price: 680, - TWD equivalent to 150, - dkr. A good end to a nice day with Hui Chi and Taipei.


Taipei, Sightseeing og Hui Chi