Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Walk on a Cool Saturday Morning in Taipei Part 1

I arrived in Taipei on Friday afternoon. My body was on Hawaiian time and I had to push myself to stay awake until 9:00 PM. I didn't sleep very well and awoke about 3:45 AM. I had nothing to do. I brewed some hot tea in the room and read through the China Post and Taipei Times newspapers. My room rate at the Howard Plaza Hotel included a buffet breakfast. The restaurant opened at 6:00 and I was there early to enjoy a big breakfast which was quite good and included just about everything you can imagine. I ate slow and filled my plate more than once, taking an hour or more to eat and enjoy a few cups of coffee and read the Asia Wall Street Journal. I headed outside and walked 2 blocks to the MRT Station. My destination - The old HSA Compound area just down the street from the Grand Hotel.
I'm outside the hotel and the street is virtually empty at 7:00 AM on a Saturday morning.
Update: Some of the explanation print under a few pictures is too small to read. I'm trying to figure it out and will clean up as soon as possible.
Enjoy the walk with me today, wish you could have been there with me that morning.. It was fun and I smiled a lot.
There are 5 parts to this post..

Waiting for the next subway train to arrive at the Zhongxiao or (Chung Hsiao) Fuxing Station. Notice how clean and neat the station is. You will find this cleanliness at all stations. When you think back to the “old days” of our time in Taipei, seeing this station and things like this, brings a smile of happiness to your face and a tug on your heart.
Every station is the same. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter, spic and span, as are the coaches.

Get to the right area for my train.

Here's the station name.

The train has arrived, waiting for the doors to open and we are on our way.

I get off at Taipei Main Station. I was not thinking. I should have changed trains here, but I walked up and out of the station. I looked around and did not recognize this street.

I turned around and looked the other direction and wow, I know that place. The railroad main station. I reason with myself, should I go back down to the MRT station and change trains or maybe take a walk and see the sights? OK, lets walk, it's early, it's cool and overcast.

I decided to walk and took a right on Chung Hsiao East Road toward the pedestrian overpass. Walked up the steps and took some more pictures. Notice how the streets have been significantly improved from your time. Looks like a typical city anywhere in the world.

A shot back toward the Train Station which is hidden in this picture, but it’s just to the right after the large building on the right of this picture.

This was taken looking east, again east on Chung Hsiao Road and the cross left to right street is Chungshan N. Road. I turned left here and begin my long walk. I guess that this was the area where the old railroad bridge was located on Chungshan North Road. Many roads have been moved. The railroad tracks for the Taiwan High Speed Rail are under the Main Railroad Station. I rode the high speed rail on Monday, 12 November 2007. What an interesting trip.. It took just under 2 hours to ride to Taichung and return to Taipei. Now, that is fast and I had to change trains and purchase a ticket in Taichung… Look real close straight down the street, you can just make out Taipei 101 Building in the smog. Typical weather in Taipei huh?

A few blocks down the street after I turned left and started to walk toward the old HSA area. Notice the stores located around this hotel. All of the stores were brand name establishments. Both sides of this hotel were lined with stores.

The side of the Hotel.

Walking on down Chungshan North Road toward the old HSA Compound.

If you look closely, you may recognize this hotel.

Another shot of the same hotel

If you guessed “The Ambassador Hotel” you were correct. Quite a change in scenery from the mid 1960’s. Here is the newest hotel in town in the 1960’s.

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