My October 2018 trip to Taiwan included a 3-day stay in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. By invitation of Professor Allen Ming-Fun Hsu, Dean of the School of Dentistry at the National Yang-Ming University, I stayed in The Grand Hotel which is a historical hotel used as the symbol of Taipei City. "The Grand Hotel was established in 1952. Supported by red columns and with golden roof tiling, the Grand Hotel stands midway up Yuanshan, much like a majestic 14-storey palace. Facing Keelung River, with Yangming Mountain to its, the hotel offers an amazing view of Songshan District to the East and Danshui to the West. The Grand Hotel, structured through western construction methods, is decorated with elegant classical Chinese details. This fusion of East and West makes the hotel a fine expression of Chinese art upon a foundation of modern western architecture.”
The hotel hosted luminaries like President Bill Clinton, President Eisenhower, President Lyndon Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
A PhD student and her postdoc friend showed me Taipei including the famous Taipei 101 Tower.
We had many conversations about school and life in Taiwan. I learned that many Taiwanese go out for dinner several times a week as it is cheaper to eat out than eating at home. We also ate steamed dumpling and noodles at Din Taifeng (or sometimes spelling Din Tai Fun: "In an article published on January 17, 1993, the New York Times rated Din Tai Fung as one of the top ten gourmet restaurants in the world (Din Tai Fung was the only Chinese or Taiwanese restaurant to receive this accolade).”
In the evening, we had dinner in The Grand Hotel with Professor Allen Ming-Fun Hsu, Dean of the School of Dentistry at the National Yang-Ming University in Taipei and his wife Isabelle overseeing the city of Taipei.
I had a wonderful breakfast at The Grand Hotel which allowed me to sample many exotic dishes that we offered as part of the buffet-style breakfast menu.
The next morning, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the National Yang-Ming University's Headquarter. After the official part was over, we had a limo that embarked on a sightseeing tour. Passing a military base, I learned that the Taiwanese make a difference between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China when describing their relationship to China. We visited the sea in the North of Taiwan: The Nanya Peculiar Stone—a weathered sandstone.
Then, we visited a Gold Mine near Jiufen.
We strolled around at the market and visited the ShengPing theatre that was founded in 1934—a Baroque-imitated style that was popular during the Japanese occupation. The original projection machine to show the movies was still in the theatre for visitors to see. Pictures showed kids walking around with a poster and a speaking funnel to announce the night’s movie to the people in the mountain village.
We also visited a local temple:
After a tea break in the traditional style in one of the famous Jiufen tea restaurants, we made it back to Taipei.
In the evening, we had dinner at the Yun Jin Chinese Restaurant a Grand Hyatt Taipei--one of the best restaurants in Taipei. Allen organised a private dining room and invited one more of his professors to the get final together of my visit. The highlight of the dinner was the Cantonese roasted goose (not duck as usual) and the excellent Spanish wine that Professor Allen had organised after I had mentioned a few days earlier that I like Spanish wine. Next morning, the PhD student and her postdoc friend came to the office to ensure I made it safely into the limo that headed for the airport.
More pictures here.