For auld lang syne...

(That is, Happy New Year!)

It's 2013! Yay!

Wow, it's 2013! I can't believe it; time goes by fast.

Hoards of people taking shots of
Taipei 101. 
I spent my new year's at Taipei 101 to watch the lights and fireworks and be part of the general insanity. There were hoards of people there. Seriously, if you detest crowds or being close to people, this is not a new years destination for you. But it was great to be a part of the atmosphere. It was as if all of Taipei had come to one spot. Awesomely enough, I was able to see everything from a great spot.  Between a small live concert, many food stalls, and people-watching, there was a lot to do in order to pass the time before midnight.
Another crowd shot.
There's Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall on the left.

I was impressed with the organization. There was a lot going on, but everyone stayed composed and set up their own little areas on the ground. I think the only place marked by near-complete pandemonium was the 7-11 across the street. At that particular store, they brought in extra hot food cookers and put them outside. There had to be 100+ people packed into that 7-11! No pictures; I was busy trying not to get crushed and making sure no one tried to steal something from my bag or pockets in the confusion.

Anyway, after acquiring provisions, my friend's older sister and I headed back to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall area to wait for the firework show. Oddly, there was no countdown! Luckily, we kept our eyes on the time, and at exactly 12:00 a.m. we looked up to catch the start.

It was an amazing display of pyrotechnics! I've seen pictures of this new years light show many times over the years online and on TV, but it was a great honor to stand there in person. I got the entire show on video:

There wasn't much to do after the show, so we began to head back soon after it was over as there were a lot of people. Since it was a special day, the city let the MRT run until 2:30 a.m.

A little blurry, but this is one shot of the mass exodus
to the MRT station!
We got to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station on the blue line at around 12:30 a.m. but I didn't get back to Danshui until around 2:00 a.m.! It was ridiculously crowded, and there was so much traffic! Nonetheless, I enjoyed the experience. It is a must-do if you're only in Taiwan during new years time. But as I'm not a vacationer and I now live in Taiwan, I can't guarantee I'll brave the crowds again next year!

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