Taiwan Day 92: It's December and it's Christmas! - Dec. 1, 2013 | Travel in Asia

Taiwan Day 92: It's December and it's Christmas! - Dec. 1, 2013


It was a Sunday evening so it’s time for another weekend travel adventure. I went to Banqiao District in New Taipei City to see their famous LED Christmas tree. I posted a youtube video last Nov. 30 about the lighting of their Christmas tree which was televised in Taiwan . New Taipei and Taipei are different places just like Manila and New Manila. New Taipei City surrounds Taipei and it also considered as a province. It has a lot of administrative districts and one of them is Banqiao District. Banqiao holds the seat of power of New Taipei City because the New Taipei City Hall is located here.

A Bannan MRT station is located in Banqiao District so it was easy for me to reached this place and to go back home. Aside from the MRT Station, there is also a High Speed Rail Station (bullet train) in Banqiao and also a nearby Bus Station. This makes this Banqiao area equivalent to Taipei Main Station that serves as a major multi-modal transport hub. I went out via Exit 2 of the Banqiao Station and I was a greeted by the large crowd of people walking in the streets as I get out of the subway escalators. It was a bit hard to take photos but I just did what I need to do. I don’t mind if I don’t know the people whom the pictures I am taking with. I just want to get pictures of the Christmas decorations in the plaza. There is a carousel and a classic rotating teacup ride. I want to try them like a child but the queue was very long so I just content myself of looking and taking photos of these rides. There were a lot of families with very young children that were here aside from couples who are their having dates.

I feel envy to the Taiwanese around me because up to know I still don’t have a thick jacket to keep me warm during this winter season. It is not that I don’t have money. Today I just received my stipend but I would use that to pay the money that I borrowed from fellow Filipinos during my first week here of my stay in Taiwan. The temperature on the plaza was 17 degrees so to keep myself warm and comfortable during my sightseeing I put on three layers of thick shirt plus my maroon and white UP Jacket before I left the dorm. I can monitor the temperature here in Taipei by just looking at my iPod Touch. As of this writing, the temperature in Taipei City is 15 degrees. The lowest temperature that I have experienced in Metro Manila in my whole life was 17 degrees and it was a rare event. You can just imagine how cold the weather here in Taiwan but I am trying to adapt and this is part of my acclimatization.

It took me some time to find the location of the Christmas maze but I was able to find it because I have printed a map from the New Taipei City website. The map shows a cartoon representation of the ‘Christmas City’. One thing that I have observed here is that there was no nativity scene in any of the decorations. It was Santa Claus that was celebrated here. Anyway, their Christmas celebration was for commercial purposes and not for religious ones so I understand. Filipinos have a different way of celebrating Christmas and considered as the longest one.

It was only here in Banqiao that I learned that Christmas is somewhat celebrated in Taiwan. I called my parents before I went to Banqiao. I just want to know if they are ok in Montalban, Rizal. My mother asked me if I will go back to the Philippines for a vacation. I answered her that I will not go back for a vacation. I told her that thinking of going back for a vacation would just make me lonely and thinking of not going back makes me happy. This just proves that having fun is the best way to fight loneliness.

December 9 will be a very special day as this day will mark my 100th day in Taiwan. I will visit the most recommended spot in Taiwan according to a travel website. I am hopeful that it will be a sunny day so my plans would become a reality. I will celebrate that day with a bang. BOOM!

Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Japan

Maple Series

Yehliu to Jiufen? Yehliu to Shifen? Cheaper than yellow taxis

The "Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei)

Other attractions in Taipei

New Taipei


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