TOUR OF TAIPEI AND LOCAL HANDICRAFT SHOPPING
Leaving the port you will drive to the Lungshan Temple; a famous old temple in Taiwan. It is renowned for worshiping the Guanshiyin Buddha and other divine spirits. It's architecture is a three-section design with a front hall, a rear hall and right/left dragons protecting the middle hall. There is a pair of bronze dragon poles in the front hall and four pairs of dragon poles in the middle hall. All these sculptures are delicate, exquisite wood sculptures. The temple has many Chinese poems, verses and lyrics. These add a touch of literature in addition to the religious and sightseeing value.
Next stop you will visit the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. This is the FORMER Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. The great building has become a landmark of Taipei City. There are places for international art performances such as the National Theatre and National Concert Hall. World famous musicians (such as the great cello performer Yo Yo Ma and the great violinist Shao Lian Lin) and renowned playgroups have conducted performance here. The place is enriched with the beauty of traditional Chinese gardens.
You will then continue on to reach Taipei Handicraft Center, a lively marketplace featuring more than 40,000 handcrafted items including furniture, art, jewelry, gifts and ceramics. Relish time to shop for mementos in this distinctive mart, which was established in 1957 to promote Taiwan's handicraft industry.
Before returning to the port, snap photos of Taipei 101, the world's second tallest skyscraper, which seamlessly marries modern and traditional design elements. Afterward, enjoy a picturesque.
Please note: the order of visits may vary.
What we will see
• Lungshan temple
• National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall
• Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center
• Taipei 101
What we will do
• A short transfer takes us to the city of Taipei, one of the most modern capitals in all central-eastern Asia where the new contrasts with the old in a mysteriously harmonic way.
• We start with the magnificent Lungshan temple, an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Guanyin, female personification of mercy for Buddhists, as well as to other deities including Taoist ones.
• The temple is *finely decorated with wooden carvings, gilded incisions and Chinese dragon statues complete with poems, verses and lyrics adding literary value on top of the religious and artistic one.
• We then move on to the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall dedicated to Chiang Kai-Shek and a symbol of Taipei. The white marble building has a bright blue roof and is surrounded by gardens and lakes in the typical Chinese style. It is home to the National Theatre and a concert hall where many international artists have performed.
• We continue the tour to discover the city’s history and tradition with the Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Centre, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the development and promotion of handicrafts in Taiwan.
• The association was founded in 1957 and also manages a large commercial space where we can purchase skilfully crafter objects. The over 20,000 items on sale include furnishings, artwork, jewellery, ceramic objects and souvenirs: we are truly spoilt for choice as we indulge in some shopping!
• Before heading back to the ship, we stop for photos at Taipei 101, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world measuring 508 metres and clearly inspired by traditional architecture. Despite being extremely modern, in fact, the tower resembles a bamboo cane and is made up of eight sections as eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture.
What you need to know
• Itinerary sequence may vary.
• ?There is limited availability of English-language guides.