taiwan, day 2
We think it sounds like a good idea to be a little more active today, so when we get up we go a couple of blocks to the base of The Stairs which climb up into Yangmingshan National Park. The guidebook says there's a possibility of seeing wild monkeys, but sadly we don't make it out of bed early enough. It's weirdly (or so the locals say) really hazy today, apparently because there is sand blowing across the Taiwan Strait from The Gobe. Which is unfortunate, because a big reason to go up the steps is to see the view from the top. It's still a pretty good hike though—I'm amazed at how intertwined the city and the jungle are here.
At the end of the hike we visit 'The Buddhas'—a monestary that has a garden out back with rows upon rows of statues of the Buddha (we think). I speculate that they're illustrating some fable or another, but no one knows for sure.
That night we get invited to a friend's friend's house for an authentic Taiwanese dinner. I think the food is pretty good, but everyone else (who are pretty major foodies) think it was just ok. I'm aghast at the bathroom setup—there's barely any door (everyone could hear everything you were doing in there) and the shower is not enclosed and just hanging out there on the wall. Luckily, there's a real toilet at least. It's interesting to see how the typical people live here and our hosts are very nice and accommodating.