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Impressions of Taipei

Taiwan National Theater, National Symphony Hall and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Gate

I recently had the chance to stopover in Taipei on my first trip to Eastern Asia.  What I found was an energetic metropolis firmly rooted in traditional culture while still embracing modernity with a global sensibility.

Taipei 101 down a city street

The modern Taipei 101 tower looms brightly over the city.

While I know the language of Christian churches and have more recently explored Turkish mosques, Taiwan gave me the first opportunity to visit Taoist and Confucius Temples.  I was surprised not only by the abundance of temples and shrines but by the elaborate detail of the art and shear scale of the decoration in each.

City God shrine

The City God at the Chenghuang Temple, Zhongzheng District, Taipei

ceramic phoenix roof, Longshan Temple

Ceramic phoenix detail from a roof edge on the Longshan Temple.

Taipei also has grand parks and civic monuments which give the city its relaxing open spaces.

Taiwan National Theater, National Symphony Hall and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Gate

Looking at the National Theater, National Symphony Hall and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Gate

Changing of the Guard at the Chiang Kai‑shek Memorial

Changing of the Guard at the Chiang Kai‑shek Memorial, Taipei

Taipei shopping ranged from hipster craft markets to incredible food carts to international luxury brand flagship stores that rivaled Las Vegas in scale.

Ximending neighborhood, Ximen Square, Taipei

At the entrance to the impressive Ximending commercial neighborhood, Ximen Square reminded me of Time Square in New York.

grilled squid street food

Pick the squid on a stick you’d like grilled at this street food cart.

Most importantly in a city of 2.6 million people, Taipei is filled with memorable corners and fantastic moments.

Taipei city street decorated with lanterns.

Taipei city street decorated with lanterns.

Nuns processing through the Taipei Confucius Temple.

Nuns processing through the Taipei Confucius Temple.

Deity in a small chapel, Baoan Temple

Deity in a small chapel, Baoan Temple

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I visited Hong Kong years ago and really enjoyed visiting the temples, the scent of incense still takes me back. I love your photo of the amazing ceramic architectural detail. Would love to visit Taipei and the rest of Taiwan!

    Like

    August 16, 2014
    • Thanks Lesley! The incense is such an strong memory for me too. I hope you visit can visit Taipei soon! Hong Kong is also on my list. We can compare notes on these two metropolises. 🙂

      Like

      August 17, 2014

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