“I didn’t really have any anticipation. While growing up in China, there was some propaganda about Taiwan and how it is still part of China. For me, it was just another undiscovered destination along the route of my personal trip of discovery.” -Boyang
After capturing Japan, photographer Boyang island-hopped southbound to another Asian economic stronghold: Taiwan.
Enjoy Taiwan through Boyang’s lens.
Taipei is the first stop for almost all people visiting Taiwan. It is the commercial and transportation hub for the tiny island—slightly smaller than Switzerland, slightly larger than Belgium. Looming over the city of 2.7 million people is the Taipei 101, currently the 8th highest building in the world (used to be the tallest from 2004 to 2009). Similar to all modern Asian metropolises, it contains a well developed public transport system, plenty of green spaces, and an entire district devoted to delicious street food.
The street food scene in Taipei is one of the most enjoyable experiences strolling around the streets of an Asian city. From the noisy hustling and busting to the multitudes of mouth watering fragrances to the flashy, eye-catching display of cooking prowess, it is a food lover’s heaven. Each item is typically $0.50 to $1, but one can easily spend more than the cost of a fine dining meal if one is hungry and adventurous enough.
In addition to the street food are hawkers and varieties of open-air shop stalls, where one can buy anything from produce and electronics to sex toys and military grade flashlights.
There are numerous temples dotted around the city. One can observe many devotees praying and receiving fortune throughout the day, as religion—mainly Buddhism and Taoism—plays an important part of everyday life.
The temple below is dedicated to the sea goddess, Mazu.
Taking a break from walking all around Taipei.
Getting ready for the Chinese New Year celebration:
Chinese red lanterns are perhaps the most iconic display from this celebration.
Developed as an improvement over the open flame, the Chinese lanterns became ubiquitous in everyday life. They evolved as an artistic expression (and competition) not long after. The color red in China symbolizes luck, which is often seen at all celebrations, not just the New Year and weddings.
Here, the people are praying and paying respect to the gods for good fortune the following season.
Outside the cities:
At Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園).
When people think about Taiwan, many don’t know about what it has to offer. However, with its mix of the new and the old, the East and the West, the natural and the developed—and a small size that is perfectly suited for motorbike/scooter—it is a paradise for travelers of all types.
“Never go through life without going on picnics and eating cakes.” -Boyang
Want to see more from Boyang? Follow his travels and photography (and video) on his Facebook page, Forever Lost. Here on The Periphery, we’ll begin to feature new destinations from Boyang every few months.
If you’d like to share your story on The Periphery, please email me at Brandon@ThePeriphery.com. We’d love to hear all about your adventure.