Friday, October 26, 2012

Snap-Happy, Taipei 2012

Random snaps around Taipei as we rushed around buying foodie souvenirs and savouring our time in the city.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yong He Dou Jiang, Taipei 2012

Yong He Dou Jiang stores are a dime a dozen in Taipei, and possibly the whole of Taiwan. Heck, I even spotted an outlet in Singapore when I got back. They are your everyday all-day stores where you can rely on for a warm cup of soya bean and some hearty food before you get on with the rest of the day. I really like that Taipei, despite being such a busy metropolis, has so many of these little stores still dotting the streets. This store looks like it has been as it is since the day it opened, humble and unassuming.

We were trying to find our way to a concert venue, a little bit lost and trying to figure out what to do for dinner when we spotted this little store right next to the place we were searching for. We immediately zeroed in like the hungry vultures that we were. We ordered a variety of eats to fuel ourselves up for the rest of the night. We later realised that sitting behind us was the bass player of the band we were going to listen! We must have been too noisy and our Singaporean-accented mandarin too distinct because he singled us out later during the set. It was a little embarrassing but also kind of cool.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wulai Falls & the Park in the Clouds, Taipei 2012

Above the Wulai Falls, accessible only by a gondala, there is a little theme park named Yunxian Park (a very rough translation in my spotty Mandarin would be Fairy Clouds Park [?]). Walking into the park, I felt like I was thrown back in time. There is nothing Disney about this little park, and we were one of the only ones around since we visited on a weekday. The creepy atmosphere was enhanced by a looming Chinese temple-style hotel and no park staff to be found anywhere. Needless to say, we didn't stay very long. BUT I think the park is still worth a visit if only you might not be able to find parks like this - faded, rickety and a throwback to simple time - around very much any more. In Singapore, we have a similar place called Haw Par Villa but it's been spruced up in the past few years. It's difficult to be creepy when the paint is so fresh and bright.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wulai, Taipei 2012

It takes a little time and effort to get yourself to Wulai, an aboriginal district north of Taipei, but I think it's worth the trip to get out of the city for some fresh mountain air. The tourist-friendly way of getting to Wulai is take the subway to Xindian and then to hop onto Bus No. 849. Try not to eat too heavy a breakfast because the bus journey is very swervy through the mountain roads, on the plus side it's also incredibly scenic. Another reason to keep your stomach empty because you will want fill it up with the fresh, simple aboriginal fare in Wulai. I am not joking when I say that I made the trip up primarily for the food.

I am incredibly in love with the Lomography X Tungsten 64 film. This is the first roll that I shot on it and I find the subtle purple shift gives the images more depth and a feeling of fullness. It's early days yet but it might displace the Lomography Chrome film as my favourite Lomography film.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Good Cho's, Taipei 2012

I first glimpsed Good Cho's on Katie's blog. It was instant cafe love at first sight. There was no way that I would miss visiting it during this trip. In fact.  I pretty much put my foot down when it came to itinerary planning that we had to eat at Good Cho's.

The place was better than I imagined! Even though all the tables were packed and the takeaway line was long, service was prompt and our food arrived steaming hot. And even if you had to wait, the lifestyle shop section is so extensive that you could keep looking forever. I walked away from Good Cho's with a full stomach, a lighter wallet and a heavier bag of books and souvenirs.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Xinyi Public Assembly Hall, Taipei 2012

Hidden behind the iconic Taipei 101 lies a small collection of low-rise houses known as the Xinyi Public Assembly Hall. Previously a military dependents' housing area in the fifties, it was re-opened in 2003 as a public space in 2003. With its retro and faded facades, it is a popular place for photo-taking. We saw engaged couples shooting their wedding portraits and groups of photo-loving friends exploring the space.
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