I never ended up making it south to Kenting… it was a big holiday in Taiwan… full moon festival or something and all the hotels were full, so I headed north to Taichung.
I spent 2 days in Taichung… it was about as exciting as Kaohsiung… Taichung was a bit better but not by much… there is a semi-cool area in town around a bar called the Pig Pen. One thing that is good about Taichung is the nightlife is cheap. I went to the Pig Pen and it was $15 for entrance and all you can drink.
In general though, outside of Taipei, Taiwan nightlife is pretty bad. Chinese people just have no clue about good nightlife. There is something about Chinese people that reminds me of ants… for example, at any club in China or Taiwan, almost every single person will face the stage, where there is either a DJ or some guy rapping/singing along with the music (karaoke style) and they will all basically mimic what the person on stage is doing. Chinese people have a hard time being individual… they seem much more comfortable as part of a group.
So after 2 days I left Taichung and took the train North to Taipei… I stayed at my old haunt, the Wan Tai hotel… a very nice little hotel… only thing bad about it is it is in an area that is very Taiwanese (ie. no foreign food, no english signs, no people speak english etc)… and all the food around there (and in Taiwan in general) isn’t that good. I didn’t do anything in Taipei since it was a Monday and a Tuesday so I just relaxed and got caught up on some work.
But the thought of spending another day eating bland, strange Taiwanese food was not appealing and I craved some spice, so I caught a plane to Seoul.
I hadn’t realized it, but I haven’t been to Korea in 5 years!!! I was shocked when I realized that… I have been to Seoul a few times, but usually just whisking in or out on private jets or on business trips for 1-2 days, usually only staying at the Grand Hyatt in Itaewon, so I looked forward to finally seeing a lot more of Seoul on this trip.
I found a great hotel for the money and location. It is the Ibis Hotel in the very central,cool area of Myeong-Dong. All the other hotels in this area are all expensive and 5 star but the Ibis is brand new and everything is very nice for less than half the price… I highly recommend it.
I haven’t done too much in my first few days here… but the food is great. I like all the spicy korean food along with all their sour flavors, such as kimchee, pickles and numerous other pickled vegetables.
There is an Asian poker tour poker tourney tonight at the Sheraton Walkherhill hotel so I am going to head out there tonight.
My intention is to stay here through the weekend and then fly to Vancouver, likely on Monday… not sure how long I’ll stay in Vancouver, but probably at least a few days, then likely on to Edmonton before beginning a bit of a caribbean trip, then to a conference in the US (Denver) near the end of October, then likely back down through latin America for a month or two… that’s the general plan for now.
I kinda have a new plan… I think I will set up a home base somewhere in the caribbean or Mexico or Panama over the next few months and use that as a home base to leisurely travel the remainders of the caribbean, central and south America that I haven’t been to yet. Once I have visited everywhere, I will then get a place somewhere in Africa (likely South Africa, but maybe elsewhere) and use that as a home base to explore the last remaining continent I haven’t been to (other than Antarctica).
More from Seoul this weekend…