A Mini Mosey Guide to Central Zhongshan District (中山區)

There’s much to love about central Zhongshan, and it isn’t just because it once was Taipei’s centre for business and pleasure. Glamorous hotels, international dining, and large shopping centres may still grace the district, but it is the winding alleys full of boutique stalls and cafes that make this place perfect for a day of moseying about. From Japanese sites of yesteryear, to hidden hubs of art and entertainment, Zhongshan can cater to all interests. Here’s my top 10 alternative spots of areas predominantly west of Zhongshan and Shuanglian MRT station.

Continue reading

Taiwan’s Abandoned: The Thirteen Levels

It’s impossible to keep abandoned places a secret when the structure itself is akin to an archaic fortress, sits precariously on a mountain face that overlooks the ocean, and also happens to be in close proximity to a number of major tourist attractions. I came across it almost like everyone else did; by accident, while on the way to other destinations, and because it really is that glaringly obvious. Continue reading

100 Anecdotes: Things Weren’t Always Wonderful Here

_DSC9258

 

…When the KMT moved to Taiwan, they made it much harder for the locals here. They didn’t care for us. Their eyes were on China. They forced us to stop speaking Taiwanese, and they were prejudiced because we were educated under the Japanese system.

Though eyes bleary with age, he was sharp-minded and his hands didn’t shake as he unfolded the silk flag he had just purchased from his friend. It seemed fitting to give a foreigner the truthful rundown of Taiwan’s history as he presented the vintage piece.

Taiwan’s journey for democracy was turbulent, even amongst its own.

 

_DSC9253(2)

 

Taipei Lantern Festival

Following the Sky Lanterns of Pingxi, I attended the Taipei Lantern Festival, which also coincided shortly after the Lunar New Year celebrations. Held at the Taipei Expo Park, it is an impressive display of paper lanterns, but unlike the ones in Pingxi there is nothing modest about these ones here.  More like giant complex constructions blazing with light, they lit up the entire area and I am sure if anyone flew over Taipei during that time, would’ve gazed down and wondered what all the fuss was all about. Continue reading