I know Taipei is not well-known for being at the top of many Asians’ travel bucket lists. I haven’t visited Taiwan since the last in 2013. But after almost two weeks affair with Taipei, I really love Taipei. So what made Taipei special to me? It’s just a feeling that I get; a feeling of knowing a place even though I’ve only been there for a while; a feeling of belonging somewhere. I collect such places, as someday I’ll settle down and I’ll do it in a place that I feel like I belong to.
I stumbled upon a sort of street art park, the gray skies making the colorful murals pop. I knew then that Taipei and I were going to get along just fine. It reminded me of Tokyo, where as a foreigner you feel like a fly on the wall even when you're in the middle of the action. You overwhelm your senses trying in vane to absorb your surroundings. I remember thinking, "I should move here to live and work" with so little trepidation that it scared me.
I didn’t have a set itinerary or a long list of things to see; I just enjoyed spending time in the city and studying every little thing that I happened to come by. Taipei amazed me with its lively streets, its brilliant cuisine, its relaxed atmosphere and its beautiful surroundings. I decided to spend all of my days in Taipei and the surrounding areas. Taipei blew me away with its friendly people and the endless list of things to do and see both in the city and around the city. The kindness of the people was another thing I noticed about Taiwan. This may not seem like a big deal but when you are deprived of a friendly smile or a simple “thank you” from the barista at the coffee shop, it starts to make you feel like a robot.
Taipei is surprisingly peaceful, but it’s not dead by any means. Instead, the city clearly has a living and breathing culture. There seems to be something going on all the time. There are many great local art museums in Taipei - something that i would always look out for when visiting a foreign country.
I continued strolling along different alleyways, changing directions at whim, when I stumbled upon a crowded pedestrian-friendly shopping area. Large groups of young people walked around laughing. Couples huddled under umbrellas as they queued up at a movie theater. Neon-lit shops and restaurants dotted the sidewalks. Taipei came alive in that uniquely Asian way, and with it, so did I.
One thing that I had to see though was the Taipei 101. I initially wanted to go to the top to see the view of Taipei from above (even though I’ve seen it before), but I decided to go hiking to see it instead and have the impressive Taipei 101 in the view as well.
In the coming days, I’ll be sharing more stories from my recent trips in Taipei, Tokyo and Hong Kong. I hope to publish all of them before my next trip in 2018 :)
我在此写下我的感想：Travel, Read, Write, Eat, Love, Taipei。
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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