If you’re not familiar with your modern Chinese history, well, you should be, since the monumental events of the 20th century that transformed China and its 1 billion+ people still resonate with us today in major ways. And that history is also essential for understanding the significance of Taipei’s most significant tourist sites, the memorials for Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek.
First, let’s visit Dr. Sun:
I love this building’s fusion of modern Western architecture and traditional Chinese architecture. I haven’t seen many examples of this style in my travels in Korea and Japan, so I take note whenever I see them.
After reading about Longshan Temple on the Senseitions blog (a fantastic journal of East Asian adventures by my globetrotting teacher friends), I made sure to add Longshan Temple to my Taipei itinerary. Good thing I did: not only is it an impressive structure, the place was positively swarming with activity due to the Lunar New Year holiday.
Imagine, if you will, a densely packed outdoor market where you can buy clothes, electronics, accessories…and the craziest fried Chinese food in the world. Like corn dogs stuffed with french fries:
Welcome to a Taipei night market. My pictures won’t be able to capture the energy, the tastes…or the smells…of these vibrant scenes, so do yourself a favor and go to Taipei to see them for yourself.
I spent the last week of January 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan. Although I’ve spent a lot of time in Seoul, South Korea, only in the last year have I been able to visit other cities in Asia: first, Fukuoka, Japan, and now, Taipei. I’ll resist the natural temptation to compare Taipei to Seoul (short version: Taipei is smaller than Seoul) and will instead let the city stand on its own.
First, here’s a typical Taipei streetscape: