Skip to main content

Maokang Gondola and Ximan

Alex was in charge today, or at least for the first part of it. Back to the local place for a breakfast of dumplings and buns.

Despite the miserable weather Alex  insisted we catch the Maokong Gondola, a cable car on the mountainous ouotskirts of Taipei. To get there we caught the MRT between Zhongshan and Nanjing Fuxi stations and then the Wenshan MRT line to Taipei Zoo.

There are some interesting views of the city and residential areas from out of the windows of the driverless rubber tyred Wenshan as it traverses the elevated tracks.

The gondola, cable car or ropeway, however you want to call it, runs for a little over four kilometres up into the mountains. Even with all the rain and mist the views were spectacular. We queued up for a more expensive glass bottomed "Crystal Car" which offered vision of the forest below.

Surrounding Maokong Station at the end of the line are tea plantations and tea houses. Unfortunately, we got stuck eating fried food at a covered food centre and had no stomach for the tea houses we walked past. The views from inside would have been magnificent.

It was too cold and wet to stay on top of the mountain, so we headed back down again and reversed our journey, only this time we caught the train all the way to Ximen.

The Ximen area is a happening place for the younger generation, full of trendy shops, eateries and bright neon.

Alex had no wish to do shopping, so we took him back to the Modern Toilet restaurant, decorated with everything toilet related.

Afterwards we found a shopping area selling hip clothes and hobby equipment, including space and railway models.

When we later visited the toy level of the nearby Mitsukoshi department store some of the models were double the price.

On the way back to the hotel B stopped for some last night local delicacies and me for some KFC egg tarts.

The Maokang Gondola is definitely a must do activity in Taipei. This city has a lot to offer. Sadly, we are leaving Taipei tomorrow to return to Singapore.


Popular posts from this blog

Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An

The easy way to get to Hoi An from Ho Chi Minh City is to fly to Danang then go via car for the final leg. Then there's my way. We had to wake at 5.30 am to get ready for a 6.15 departure from the hotel. A hotel car took us the few kilometres to the domestic terminal at the airport, where we checked into our Vietnam Airlines flight to the central Vietnam city of Hue. The airport was nothing flash, but it seemed functional. Alex had sandwiches (refused banh mi) for breakfast, then we went to the gate. Our blue Airbus A321 was parked at a remote stand, which necessitated a packed shuttle bus ride. It was nice to be aboard a full service airline again, even if the service was just a cup of water. We took off over the hazy skies of Ho Chi Minh City and for most of the smooth flight were cruising over a carpet of cloud. We descended over mountains poking their heads through the cloud, across lakes and paddy fields and over the beach. It was lovely scenery.

The Carlingford Line

We close the year and the decade with a local adventure to mark the closure of a railway line. On the January 5, 2020, the Carlingford Line from Clyde will close to be partially replaced by the Parramatta Light Rail. This is Sydney's quietest line, a single track branch for most of its length from the industrial centre of Clyde to the northwestern suburb of Carlingford. According to Wikipedia, power supply and signalling issues mean that only a single four car train can utilise the line at a time. Newer Sydney trains run in fixed eight car configurations. This will be the first and last time I traverse the Carlingford Line in its current configuration. The weather of the day is certainly appropriate for an ending, the brown smoke haze lending an apocalyptic air to proceedings. I drive to Padstow and catch the T8 line to Central, followed by the T1 towards Parramatta and Penrith. The historic homes of the Inner West give way to industrial complexes, rail storage yards and t

A lazy day at the beach

It's 2am and somebody is still setting fireworks off on the beach in front of the hotel. I can't see the explosions as I have the window shuttered, but I can still hear them. I've wanted to have a lazy day and today was the closest I got. I woke up in the night from a very sad dream. Dreams follow crazy paths, but this one resolved itself as so. An entity had been causing disruption of computer systems around the world. It turned out that this entity had emerged from the computer networks and had been struggling to gain access to more computing power so that it could live. The entity had taken on the persona of a woman. The protagonist who had "defeated" the entity discovered that it was alive, spoke to it. Ultimately fell in love with her. But his prior actions would lead to its death. As a gift to her he downloaded his memories so that she could experience life even as she died. I know it sounds like a pulpy sf or technopunk plot, but dreams are about feelings,