Taipei International Flora Expo

Taipei Flora Expo

The Aeroplane Flies High

Way back in April, Cathy and I each took a day off work to head to Taipei to visit the Taipei International Flora Expo during its final week.  We didn’t have much time to spend there, so we skipped the pavilions and walked three of the four expo areas – Yuanshan Park, Fine Arts Park, and Xinsheng Park.  We thought that by going on a weekday we would miss most of the crowds and were quite stunned by the number of people as we arrived from Yuanshan MRT Station.  Luckily, a lot of the crowd thinned out the further we walked from the main entrance.  Here is a small collection of photographs from our visit:

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Dihua Street

Dihua Street 2010
Yesterday, I visited Dihua Street [迪化街], Taipei’s biggest Chinese New Year market.  The last time I visited was during Chinese New Year, so most of the crowds and many of the stalls were already gone.  This time was extremely busy.  Despite how crowded it was, everyone was in a good mood and in the holiday spirit.  If you visit, be sure to go on an empty stomach, because most of the vendors give out plenty of free samples.
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Images from Bopiliao Old Street


Although now a back alley, this Qing Dynasty street used to be an important passage between Monga [present-day Wanhua] and Guting Districts prior to losing its status to Guangzhou Street as the major link between the two districts.

There are conflicting stories as to how Bopiliao [剝皮寮] got its name:  Some sources say that the name originates from when the area was used to peel timber that was imported from Fuzhou Province [Bopi means “to peel”], while another legend suggests that the name comes from the skinning of animal pelts.
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Sending Roses

Shilin Residence (31 of 33)
For anyone who missed it, yesterday was the last day of the 2009 Shilin Presidential Rose Festival.  We checked out the festivities on Saturday along with a few thousand Taipei residents.  Given the size of the park, it didn’t seem too crowded for Taipei.
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Doing the Touristy Stuff


Two salespeople from the company Cathy works for had to entertain a couple of their company’s customers in Taipei on Sunday. Through some unusual series of events Cathy and myself were roped into the task, too. Our free time was exchanged for free meals, various entrance tickets, and a ride home on the High Speed Rail as opposed to our usual luxurious choice: the Kuo-Kuang Bus Company [國光客運] . Our first destination was the National Palace Museum [國立故宮博物院]. Before strolling through the museum we ate lunch at the San-hsi t’ang Teahouse [三希堂], located on the fourth floor of the main exhibition hall.
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Cosplay at NTU – Petit Fancy 8 [the extended post]


As mentioned in the previous post, Petit Fancy 8 was held at National Taiwan University’s campus over the weekend, here is the picture heavy post that I promised. David Reid wrote a post about the event over the weekend, as did Darren Melrose on his new WP-powered blog. My anime phase passed after Cowboy Bebop aired on the Cartoon Network, so I have no idea who most of these characters are.
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Cosplay in Taiwan – PF8

Cosplay Photographers

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting up with bloggers/photographers Craig Ferguson, David Reid, and Darren Melrose for the cosplay event Petit Fancy 8 held at National Taiwan University. The event also marked my first time shooting in RAW and right now I am trying to get used to using Adobe Lightroom as opposed to sorting and adjusting pictures in iPhoto.

I’ll have a longer post, with more pictures, in the next few days.

Tuesday’s Hike – Part II [Fog and Birds]

Things are clear down here...

Once I arrived at the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal after a walk along a portion of the Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道], I immediately scoured the food vendors for a lunch more suitable than the apples and 7-11 sandwiches I inhaled on the previous trail. After fried fish balls and some soup, I stood back in line to get back on the park bus. Yangmingshan’s park buses are tiny, there are always a lot of people much more deserving of a seat than I am, so each time I usually unnaturally contort my neck because of the low ceiling. It also doesn’t help that many of the bus drivers drive like maniacs.
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Tuesday’s Hike – Part I [Falls and Cows]

Ready, set, go!

Early in the morning I checked the weather report: an 80% chance of light rain on Yangmingshan. I began plowing through online maps and information to find a suitable trail for the day. I ultimately settled on Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道] using Jyuansih Waterfall [絹絲瀑布] as a starting point. The trail once served as an important link between Shilin [士林] and Jinshan [金山].
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228 Rally at Zhongshan Stadium

Frank Hsieh and Su Tseng-chang

DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh [謝長廷] and running mate Su Tseng-chang [蘇貞昌]

Yesterday evening I attending the rally at Zhongshan Stadium commemorating the 61st anniversary of the 228 Massacre. The atmosphere of the area was absolutely incredible. After I grabbed a few snacks and checked out the memorabilia tables I met up with bloggers Craig Ferguson and David Reid who were arriving from the event at Freedom Square. We walked around the packed stadium taking photos and talking to people.
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