(Nop, that's not Thailand.) In this post, we talk about how Green the city of Taipei is. The thing about journaling during my trip is that, it's technically not a thing. Hence the way-too-late update on our christmas trip to Taipei, the indie haven of Asia. Benjamin knew nothing on that note, and was wow-ed in so many ways: trillion of independent cafes to choose from, 24 hour bookstores, little shops (that's more a bonus for me than Ben's wallet) etc. By the end of all these awesomeness-es, we were considering moving there, that's how much we like it. Let's be honest though, we say that about every city we visit..
Apart from the city's appreciation for versatility and hipster culture (i.e. good coffee and bikes), the coolest thing about this city is that it celebrates local produce and are incredibly proud of their background. It's amazing to see how a city embraces its own unique colour in combining aesthetics influenced by Japanese and local Taiwanese traditional handicraft. In marriage, they create a rich visual landscape. There are greenery everywhere we look. Potted plants are literally overcrowding building entrances and main gates. Even the mighty Monocle Forecast 2015 highlights the city's landscape as one of their inspiration for column called pocket urbanism. Apart from the city's street view, everyone shares a strong sense of responsibility in taking care of their environment. Taiwanese's culture and value are deeply rooted from their occupations by the Japanese during 2nd World War. It's not hard to see the resemblances in their aesthetics and lifestyle in both old and young living in the city. The whole environmental friendliness is also, unsurprisingly a Japanese influence with their love for all things nature. It was said that Taiwan is having an agricultural revival in the past five years, i.e. more young people are getting involved in organic farming and making natural preservatives (Apparently same thing is happening in other regions of Taiwan, which I am looking forward to find out). While we were there, vinegar seems to be a big hit among all the other locally sourced and made products from farmer markets.
They come in all sorts of flavour, I bought a pack of six mini version, cutely packaged, for sampling purposes and also souvenirs for friends. They come in favours like matcha, sweet dates, herbs, coffee etc. and we got a big fat bottle of plum vinegar for my family, namely me and my mum since we are plum fans. (That was before we decided to visit a shop which ONLY sells plum wine and Japanese liquor #hallelujah.)
Seeing this revival in farming and handmade traditions, on one hand I am a skeptic: It is hot and boiling, and with anything like that in Asia it often ends in a drastic cool-off once the hype is over. On the other hand, I am hoping this hype will prosper, evolve and carry on, so that it can be the 'Thang' for Asia, instead of air pollution and cheap manual labour. *There are two more parts to come, plus a shifty guide in case the weather of your 4 days trip in Taipei was as gloomy as they've been for us, stay tuned.
,and alleyway near 中山 zhong shan