Taiwan: A Collaborative Post

 Words by Jeremiah Juliano

 

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

 

There are places that you reach by accident, but make you want to stay on purpose. It was a promo-priced ticket, or probably chance and good timing that brought me and my friend of 10 years to Taiwan. Honestly, it wasn’t really a trip I’m ecstatic about. I had limited budget. My work and school calendars were packed. PLUS what the hell does one do in Taiwan?

Worse, the continuously worsening traffic in Manila made me miss my departure. Yes, my plane flew off without me. Call it carelessness, false judgment, Philippine-transport-gone-awry, but for me, it was fate in all its playful glory. I had all the reasons within my comfort zone not to push through with the vacation. It could be the visa, or the cheap hotel fee, but again, there was some amazing, funny, and playful force that made me book another one-way flight with my friend for the following day.

 

Monk, Taipei, Taiwan, Yongkang Street

“Must. Con-cen-trate.”

 

New Taipei City, Taiwan, Wanli District

The Streets of Wanli District

 

Yongkang Street, Taipei, Taiwan

Dancing Dragons

 

Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan

THE Taipei 101

 

Shilin Night Market, Taipei, Taiwan

Midnight Rainbow

 

We arrived in Taiwan when everyone was asleep. Then daylight kicked in. The streets and the windowsill of our room were damp from the rain. The minute we stepped out of the hotel and into the cool sunrise, we knew, this trip will be unlike any other.

Contrary to the cold silence that welcomed us in the evening, warmth and friendliness of the Taiwanese surprised us in the morning. The local 7-11 register greeted me with eagerness. Train officers assisted us with utmost positivity. Store owners and passers by smiled at us as if they understood every word we said.

Contrary to my misconception, there are a lot of things to do in Taiwan. And I don’t use the term ‘a lot’ lightly here. Art enthusiasts will find museums and art galleries that range from the vintage to bizarre, modern, and quirky. Hardcore shoppers will delight bargaining in their busy street markets and surfing through malls of floors and floors of high-end brands. Blocks of streetfood stalls and authentic oriental cuisine will also overwhelm even the ultimate foodie. Temples, ruins, and monuments are present to amuse the history buffs. Nature lovers will also find convenient access to mountain trails, geoparks, and even forest treks.

 

Yehliu Geopark, Yeh Liu Geopark, Wanli, New Taipei, Taiwan, Sea Candles,  The Queen's Head, Ginger Rocks, Fairy Shoe, Pedestrian Bridge, Yehliu Coast, Mushroom Rocks, Camel Rock

Yehliu Geopark

 

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

View from the Memorial Hall

 

Taipei, Taiwan

Flavors of Taiwan

 

Daxi Old Street, Daxi Township, Taoyuan County, Taiwan

Daxi Old Street

 

Ximending

Breaking Barriers

 

Street Art, Graffiti, Taipei, Taiwan

Drogon Was Here!

 

 

Daxi Bridge, Daxi Township, Taoyuan County, Taiwan

The Author at the Purple Daxi Bridge

 

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

President Chiang Kai-shek

 

Ximending, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

Ximending

 

But when all else fails, let the unique charm of the city capture you. Let the arrangement of old and new structures fascinate you. Let the mixture of scanty lines, colors and figures slowly organize themselves and form memories that will last forever. Let the city seize you. Let it enthrall you. And make you reflect. Make you think. Make you lose your way. Then probably make you find yourself again and make you want to stay.

Rebooking a four-thousand-peso-fare ended up to be one of the the best careless mistakes I made my entire life.

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