China 2011: Day 7-8
The last day of the Taiwan tour took us through some canyon and cave-y places. Kinda cool; took some pictures. Period started, which was not so cool.
Stayed at the same hotel as the first day in Taipei. Got a wake up call at an ungodly early 5 AM the next day.
Then it's to the airport and a flight by Airbus to Nanjing. Pretty much the same amenities on the flight. Each seat got it's TV screen, with a decent selection of movies (I think there was the same selection as Air China). Unfortunately, the flight wasn't really long enough to actually watch a full movie (counting all the pauses due to announcements). Also noted you can play games on it too. Also, there was an usb port on the thing.
After arriving at Nanjing's airport, we took the airport bus into the city and then a taxi to my grandparents' place. And then it's nod and smile while I get interrogated on the minutae of my personal life. *cry*
Overall impression of Taiwan:
- Five star service all around, both within the service industries (cab drivers, various uniformed people, even janitors)... Very obvious contrast once we got to China and nobody gives you the time of day.
- Very close relationship, culturally speaking, to Japan. There doesn't seem to be any resentment as from other Asian countries that had been occupied in WWII. I guess the Japanese occupation in Taiwan hadn't been that bad for the locals.
- Much sparser population. Nowhere near like any of the major Chinese cities. Reminds me more of Chinatown in the States.
- Much cleaner place. Both in the air, in and outside of the buildings, on the sidewalks, etc. Probably can chalk that up to the slower rate of progress over a longer period of time rather than the short burst of modernization on the mainland.
- Food is...weird. And I say this as a Chinese. :P Definitely distinct from most Chinese food varieties I'm familiar with. Large amounts of various forms of seafood. Also seems to be a encompassing love of stinky tofu, which is NOT one of my likes.
- Very very green. Even in the cities, the plants are everywhere, lush and green. Most of that could be put down to being in the sub/tropics, where conditions are great for plants. Also, most of the eastern regions of Taiwan are still sparsely developed, so there's pretty well preserved areas of wilderness that are marred by little than the occassional rest station.