Taiwan

November 23, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

After having visited Taipei alone in October 2018, I had the opportunity to visit the School of Dentistry at the National Yang-Ming University together with Gisela for the opening of their new Centre for Digital Dentistry and Clinical Education in November 2019. By invitation of Professor Allen Ming-Lung Hsu, Dean of the Dental School, we stayed in The Grand Hotel. We experienced wonderful days in Taiwan that were well choreographed by our host Professor Allen. 

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The view from The Grant Hotel:

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The next morning, Allen and Isabel picked us up for a High-Speed Rail (HSR) trip to Taichung following by sightseeing in Taichung City and accommodations at the Windsor Hotel.

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We saw motorcycles everywhere as they seem to be the preferred transport mode for Taiwanese people.
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We visited a temple and had a delicious lunch at a local restaurant.

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Then, we went to an art store where we enjoyed traditional Chinese tea.

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Among many other sightseeing highlights, we admired the National Taichung Theater’s modern architecture.

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Taichung street festival:

In the evening, we had a business dinner with dentists from the area who invited us to a fabulous restaurant, excellent food, great wine and inspiring conversations about the future of dental education and dental healthcare delivery. 
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The next morning, we had a VIP tour of the Chung Tai Chan Monastery. We went to a lot of staff-only areas where we saw amazing aspects of the Monastery’s history, life and culture but were not permitted to take pictures. The tour started with a presentation by one of the Monastery’s leaders who explained Buddhism and how it relates to Mindfulness. We could take some pictures in the entrance hall and outside the massive gates.

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Then, we had one of the best vegetarian lunches ever, accompanied by two of the female monks.

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Lunch:

After lunch, we visited the museum with Buddhist art.

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Then, we returned with the High-Speed Rail to Taipei arriving at not too late at the Taipei Grand Hotel.

The next morning, I attended the opening ceremony at the National Yang-Ming University for the new Centre for Digital Dentistry and Clinical Education.

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This event was followed by a Gala Dinner with traditional dancing by representatives of each of the attending countries in the evening.

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The dinner menu:

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My thank-you speech:

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On the following day, we drove to the Lanyang Museum to learn a lot about Taiwanese culture, flora and fauna.

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Later we had lunch at The Cherry Valley duck restaurant with coffee at Mr Brown Café’ Castle. In the afternoon, we visited one more temple before returning to the hotel.
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During the final day in Taipei, we explored the city. First stop was the famous 509.2 m high Taipei 101 Tower, also known as the Taipei World Financial Center. We took the fast elevator to get to the 89th floor going 60.6 km/h-a 37 seconds ride.

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We visited the 660-tonne steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper suspended from the 92nd to the 87th floor. The big sphere sways to offset movements in the building caused by strong gusts. We watched a small video that was taken in 2015 when strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor swayed the damper by 100 centimetres. 

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Then, we took the train to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. We fed the Koi that were swimming in the surrounding ponds.

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We had lunch with our host at the world's tastiest dumpling place, Din Tai Fung which can also be found in Chatswood, Sydney. Fortunately, he ordered for us as there is no way one can understand the system, or how to properly eat the dumplings, such as opening them before putting them into your mouth.

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Then, we visited the National Palace Museum where we admired Jade artefacts and traditional drawings among many other interesting cultural exhibits from 2000 BC to the 18th century.

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We saw a carving of bokchoy cabbage in jadeite as well as meat-shaped stone.  

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The development of Chinese characters:

In the evening we returned with a direct overnight flight back to Sydney.

HEI_1846HEI_1846 Here more pictures from this trip.


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