market

Taiwan photos: 71-80

One:

metro

Lamest photo ever, right? I took it to show one thing: how incredibly wide the subway cars in Taipei are. Granted, it gets really full during rush hour on some lines, but there’s so much space. And you’re not allowed to eat or drink on them, so they stay fairly clean.

Two:

psychic

For giggles, Sabrina and I tracked down a psychic in the subway station by Longshan Temple. There are several stalls in a row, and this man spoke English. He read her palm, asked her birthdate, asked for her boyfriend’s birthdate…

Three:

digital

…AND THEN PUT THE INFO INTO HIS COMPUTER. Psychics have computer programs now. Technology, man.

Four:

lights

Sabrina had to go to the restroom in Taipei Main Station, which is Taipei’s version of Grand Central Station. Outside the restroom on the wall was this display. Thanks to the lights, I knew exactly which stall Sabrina was in. How creepy is that?

Five:

snake

While we were near Longshan Temple, we tracked down HuaXi Street – also known as Snake Alley. We saw two snake restaurants, and they didn’t allow pictures. Otherwise it was kind of boring.

Six:

steps

Sabrina sitting on the entry steps of Longshan Temple. We arrived in time to hear the afternoon prayers and chanting.

Seven:

wall

Back in Nanliao, this wall. Do you see the Ninja Turtle?

Eight:

pop

One night we visited my former housemate’s bar – Barfly. Their shot for Lunar New Year was the Unicorn, which was a tiny shot of pink Pop Rocks followed by pink alcohol (I forgot what kind). It was quite the experience.

Nine:

ew

And then Sabrina forced me to try grilled chicken foot. As she put it: “It’s a lot of work for not a lot of meat.” And a talon – I totally ate the claw by accident.

Ten:

 

Minke

Expats in Taiwan know Minke (“Min-kuh”), a clothing store operated by Mari, a South African. Mari played personal shopper, and Sabrina ended up spending plenty of quality time and money there. This is the inside of Minke, and that’s Mari on the left helping Sabrina find a gift for her sister. If you’re in Taiwan, Hsinchu especially, you need to know Mari.

Taiwan photos: 31-40

One:

food

After wandering around Taichung for a bit, Sabrina and I found a street barbecue stand and ordered more food than we could eat. Nope, these weren’t refrigerated. Nope, we didn’t get sick.

Two:

market

Josie took Sabrina and me to the Taichung Jade Market, an indoor market full of jewelry and randomness. We spent a lot of money here.

Three:

tea

We stopped at one stall to buy some tea, and the vendor prepared samples the old fashioned way.

Four:

duck

We got back from Taichung, and we were famished. Luckily, down the street from the house was a small stand selling Peking duck. We spent around $7 and still had leftovers. It was delicious.

Five:

uranus

Uranus Game Center.

Six:

hoe

We’re scooting along and Sabrina yells, “HOE!” I was super confused until she finally pointed out the license plate in front of us.

Seven:

scooter

Speaking of scooters – Sabrina’s a natural!

Eight:

xida

Sabrina: “Drive down the middle again so I can get a picture!” In the US, that would be suicide. In Taiwan, it’s totally normal.

Nine:

tea house

One rainy day, we scooted to my old haunt, the Tea House. We had boring food and fantastic drinks.

Ten:

double fisting

That would be a watermelon juice and a mint green tea. I finished both… barely.

Taipei’s Jade, Flower, and Artists’ Markets

When I first heard about this market, of course I wanted to go. However, it took talking to friends, some awesome Google-fu, and a little bit of wandering around to find it. To help the next me, I present directions, hours, and a website.

建國假日玉花市
Open Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, 9am-6pm. Arrive around 10:30am to allow the latecomers to set up their booths, and expect most people to start tearing down booths around 5:30pm.

Directions:

  • From Taipei Main Station, take the blue line (Bannan) east towards Taipei 101/Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
  • Get off at the Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station.
  • Walk east, with the National Taipei University of Technology to your left, along Zhongxiao Road.
  • Hang a right (turn south) at JianGuo Road, the elevated main road.
  • Walk until you see the entrance to the markets under the overpass, just after JiNan Road.

First is the Jade Market, which is claustrophobic and never-ending. South of that is the Flower Market, equally enormous but far more spacious and open-air. Finally, at the very end, is the Artists’ Market, which is a tiny, intimate market compared to the other two.

I conquered the Jade Market in one afternoon with Yvonne and Polly. My friend Doris and I spent another afternoon at the Flower and Artists’ Markets after a quick walk-through of the Jade Market. Personally, one day, from morning to night, would be enough for me to explore all three.

In Taiwan, bargaining is expected, though it’s not quite as much of a jousting match between buyer and seller as it is in, say, Beijing (which was brutal). This is good for people like me because I don’t like to bargain. I hate it. In fact, after Polly helped me negotiate with a particularly prickly seller, I paid, pointed at the woman, said, “You suck,” and left.

All pictures have a little more information – open a picture in a new tab to see a title and description.