We arrived just after midnight on Christmas at Taoyuan in Taiwan. By the time we made it to the Grand Hyatt Taipei and checked in, it was almost 1:30am. After getting some sleep, we headed out in the morning for a small Taiwanese breakfast before making a quick visit to the National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall nearby. After, we went to have lunch with family. In the early evening, we headed out to Banqiao to see Christmasland at New Taipei City Hall.
Grand Hyatt Taipei
After checking in, we went up to our room on the 16th floor for our eight night stay. We were happy to find a modern, comfortable room with bathtub and shower.
After waking up, we took a look outside to see exactly where our room was facing. The view was to the west, overlooking a grassy plaza with a walking path in the middle.
We decided to get a quick breakfast at, 巨林美而美 仁愛店, a place nearby which had good ratings on Google Maps.
But first, we took a quick walk around the plaza that we saw above. We got a nice view of Taipei 101 in between the Grand Hyatt, on the left, and the Taipei World Trade Center, on the right. We briefly went into the Taipei World Trade Center as we saw there was a 7-Eleven in the lobby. We went to get some cash as we only had a little bit of NTD left over from years ago.
The plaza has walking paths, which we saw from above, but also water.
We went around to the northwest side where we had a better view of Taipei 101. From here, we walked a few minutes to the north to reach the breakfast restaurant.
We had a small breakfast as we were planning on having a big lunch with family soon. Breakfast in Taiwan is often cheap and good. Generally, everything on the menu here was less than $2 USD each.
National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
The National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall was just a short walk away to the north.
There is a nice reflecting pool in front of the building.
We went inside to take a look. It wasn’t very busy with only a few people around. There were two Honor Guards posted at opposite ends of the room with a large seated statue of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen in the middle.
We arrived just in time to catch the Honor Guard Changing Ceremony!
The ceremony is relatively simple and takes about 10 minutes to complete.
After the ceremony, we needed to return to the Grand Hyatt as we had forgotten something in our room. But first, we took a look at Taipei 101 reflecting on the surface of the pool in front of the memorial hall.
The memorial hall from up close.
We returned to the Grand Hyatt via a slightly more direct route.
After picking up our forgotten items, we walked over to Taipei 101 to catch the MRT. The Grand Hyatt is diagonally across the street, a very convenient location!
We reactivated one old EasyCard by adding funds to it and purchased a second. The current EasyCard design features Xiao Long Bao. We passed by Din Tai Fung, Taiwan’s most famous restaurant known from its Xaio Long Bao, on our way down into the MRT station. We then took the red line to 中山 Zhongshan. From there, we walked to the nearby Continental Room at The Okura Prestige, a hotel.
There was a gingerbread castle outside of the restaurant on the second floor! It was winter-like with snow, very different from Taipei winter!
The buffet had a wide variety of items, including a large selection of sushi and other seafood items. The scallops were particularly good, we kept going back for more!
We got the Mango Snowflake Ice. A nice cold dessert!
We headed over to 板橋 Banqiao to check out Christmasland, New Taipei City’s nighttime Christmas illumination event.
The ceiling in this section of underground passageway was covered in lights. The effect looks better in person!
We arrived below a large Christmas tree in the center of a circular space.
After taking the stairs up to street level, we saw the New Taipei City Hall to the south. Christmas scenes were projected on its facade. We watched for awhile. The Santa Bear featured prominently!
We walked around a bit and went inside the City Hall where we found a large Santa Bear! There was a short queue to take pictures in front of the massive bear.
We exited City Hall from the south side of the building.
We walked around the east side of the building, passing under some angels and kissing Christmas trees!
We walked by a small field of lights.
We walked around a bit more before heading back into the MRT station to return to Taipei 101.
Taipei 101 was illuminated in red and green Christmas colors!
We made the short walk back to the Grand Hyatt.
We went up to the Grand Club Lounge to see if there was anything available for snacking. Unfortunately, we were just a bit too late to get anything.