Today was mostly a travel day. We flew by Cathay Pacific from Singapore to Taiwan, which meant that there was a stopover in Hong Kong, to change plans for our trip to Taipei.
We arrived in San Want Hotel in the heart of Taipei on Zhongxiao East Road at around 4 pm. It was located directly above Zhongxiao Dunhua station on the Taipei metro, making it really convenient to get around. It’s also a bustling shopping street for shopaholics, and the rooms are pretty nice. Recently, I’ve been hitting the gym, and I checked out the gym, which small as it was, was adequate with two good treadmills and a stationery bike.
Despite it being a travel day, it wasn’t a wasted day. My parents and the rest of my family went off to Danshui, while I decided to go check out some Taiwan professional baseball . They had a game going on in Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium, which was about 20 mins from Taipei via the High Speed Rail. They had a game going on that evening, between the Uni Lions and the Brother Elephants. I managed to get a student concession ticket for about 8 USD.
The ballpark was nice, but definitely way smaller than MLB stadiums. There are built more like college baseball stadiums, and the concession stands available were also kinda like that. So there were say, about six to seven concession stands. On a bright note, things were actually reasonably-priced in the ballpark, and I had the Taiwanese version of hotdog, which was a spicy sweet Taiwanese sausage wrapped in a glutinous rice sausage, that set me back by about 1.50 USD.
One of the things that Taiwanese baseball has going for it, is its incredible cheering. It was quite a mega affair. They have like a life band (like the school version), guys waving flags (at least three), and a guy yelling out team cheers with a loudhailer. The fans follow the commands of the guy with the loudhailer. It is really quite a sight to behold! Some of them include, “Get a hit, XXX [insert player’s name]” or “Hit a homerun, XXX [insert player’s name]”, and all the fans will chant that in unison. A second note about the fans – there are more stadiums than there are teams in Taiwanese professional baseball, and these stadiums are spread all over Taiwan. Some of the teams actually follow their team from stadium to stadium. That’s some true commitment there!
I didn’t stay to the end of the game. But it was definitely a good experience for me. Now, Korea is next on the list, and I’ll be done with Asian professional baseball!
Room in San Want Hotel
Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium
Taiwanese Version of Hotdog
Very impressive cheering in Taiwanese professional baseball