Had I known before I arrived at the Taiwan airport in Taipei that the entire operation shuts down for the evening, I would have arranged to stay with an old acquaintance or two from college that are living there now. But alas, I did not.
My original plan was to spend my eleven hour lay-over sleeping at the Taipei airport before boarding my short flight to Phnom Penh from there. I liked what happened better.
Upon my arrival, a was given a visa stamp in my passport and sent out into the quiet city to look for lodging. In my little taxi I beheld the streets of Taipei, narrow and winding. I smelled the city. I looked into empty shop windows.
I stayed at a little hotel resort nestled between hills and perched over it’s personal golf course. $40 I spent that night. Then woke the next morning early and returned to the airport to continue my journey.
I have officially been to Taipei although I don’t really count it, it is adequate enough to circle on my National Geographic map of places I’ve been.
Note to the traveller: If you have a late-night lay-over in Taipei, be prepared to leave the airport. Schedule a dinner and a room or maybe a brief early-evening tour. It will be worth it.