Had a great time... but just want to update this for any future readers... especially Westerners.... laugh.
Love river was right near our hotel, ( River Hotel) I highly recommend - the breakfast was good, the rooms are clean, and fashionable decorated. ( Guys - two hardcore porn channels and the hotel even provides a condom... ( Thailand made, a bit small looking. laugh. )
took the boat cruise it was quick - fun - 20 minutes at most. The guide was funny ( Mandarin, no english.) people didnt answer one of his questions so asked if he should just shut up and enjoy the view. Pretty funny stuff.
It was hot as balls in the morning when we went to the Fairy to take us to the beach area... decided to take off my shirt... a wee bit buff, I guess... having herds of people staring at you when you realize you are the only one with your shirt off. I mean you are going to beach, right people?
Compared to asain people who are going to the beach wearing: Black skin tight jeans, long sleeve shirts, and either a hat or carrying an umbrella.
So as they thought I was crazy, I equally thought some of them were. While wearing sunglasses I believe my "package" was checked by over 7000 Asian high school girls at any given moment.
Moving on.. the fairy was a delight and swift... on the other side... typical street vendors, and spots selling "pick your fish and we cook it."
I had lunch with my girl and paid a ridiculous $780 for a fresh red snapper fish steamed in some delicious sauce. The fish was terrific, but the price was totally pulled out the guys ass on the spot - which I think is your only chance to haggle if you really want to. There is a menu too, but I learned about that after we sat down. No big deal honestly it was a vacation so I will pay with little fuss. Just a word to the wise shoppers out there.
moving on to the "Beach"... getting more and more excited as we got closer to the park that leads to the beach at the end of the main drag... a huge sign saying dont swim, dont do nothing... ofcourse everyone ignoring it. Then we see the sand... more like a dumping ground for plastic bottles, random discarded shoes, cigarette butts, and drift wood... lots and lots of drift wood. like a forest of driftwood everywhere.
Barely anyone in the water. Just people standing on the wood walk way starring at other people starring back at them.. all starring. My girl did not remove her skirt which had her bikini underneath. I don't blame her.
The beaches are clearly not maintained to any degree and its a shame. There is so much financial potential by the beach, but yet its stagnant in the same run of the mill street vendors... and a uncared for beach. I heard there is a private beach for $40NT or something... but online opinions said "dont bother." We still had fun dipping our feet in the water for a bit.
Went to the lighthouse, that was great. Great views. The hike up really is not that bad.
Other highlights: The nightmarket that is advertised in all of the tourist guides.. is NOT the place you want to visit. It was completely dead, and full of mainlanders. The locals ( the next morning, said that the Other night market is the place to be - ask a local they will tell you. At this moment I forget the name of it.
Other info: The tall building ( 75?) with observatory was excellent - you pay $150 not $200 to ride the fast elevator. Its worth it, bring binoculars to check out all the ships at sea, etc.
Dream Mall is practically where the entire city goes on the weekend. It was very crowded.
Thank you again!
Blue sky is the most beautiful thing to see when it happens in Taipei... a handful of times.