We started the day with more food cart breakfast, once again featuring a hot dog in a hot dog. After eating, we made our way downtown for – you guessed it – more food.

This time it was a very nice buffet, with tons of sushi, traditional Chinese dishes, and a number of items from around the world. Nigiri made to order, noodles made to order, and steak cooked to your liking. But Dawin’s favorite part was the dessert. There were dozens of items to choose from, all in tiny taster portions so you could eat as many as you wanted. We managed to fill up two trays pretty easily.

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After lunch, we headed to Taipei 101, with the goal of going all the way to the observatory near the top. However, with it being New Year’s Eve, and the celebration that takes place around the building, we weren’t able to get to the top and back down before the police started restricting access to the area. Instead, we used an inside connection to get into the non-public area on the 35th floor. As you can see, even at the 35th floor, we’re near the top of the rest of Taipei’s skyline. We can’t wait to go back later in the trip and visit the observation deck.

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We did get one decidedly interesting view from the 35th floor, though. As you can see below, the fireworks planted for the night’s celebration are plainly visible.

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We got out of the area just in time, and headed back to the condo to take a nap in preparation for a long night (jet lag is still working everyone over). Around 10 pm we headed to Dawin’s uncle’s house to get a good view of Taipei 101 for the fireworks. On the way, we checked out a famous bookstore here in Taipei. The section with the cool gizmos and pens was closed already, but the rest of the bookstore was open…and packed…right up until a half hour before midnight when we left. Barnes and Noble wishes for these kinds of crowds in the states.

From Dawin’s uncle’s place, we got a great view of the fireworks and the building afterward proclaiming it to be 2013. They get all the cool stuff first over here, even new years.

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That caps off our day. Tomorrow we’ve potentially got the National Palace Museum or Taipei 101, depending on the weather, and the day after we head south to check out Taiwan outside of Taipei.