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Entries in Taiwan (3)


on the road: taiwan 4.2012


travel: taipei night market

During a recent buying trip to Taiwan, we took the night off and visited a local favorite of Taipei—the Shi Lin Night Market. The market isn’t just one big open food court featuring all sorts of ‘street food’, there’s also shopping and entertainment.

Starting at the food vendors, we tried a bell apple, some squid soup, deep fried dough with peanut flavoring, and a pancake with oyster in it. The Oyster Omelet is one of the most popular foods at the night market but it’s… an acquired taste. The ‘small roll wrapped in a large roll’ (translated from its Chinese name) is a mix of two kinds of pastry—the deep fried pastry with stuffing flavor of sesame seeds, peanut, red beans, curry; and the white pastry is actually the same as for spring rolls.

Besides shopping, the market also has movie theaters, video arcades—including weightlessness and virtual reality machines. For just a few dollars, it constantly amazes us what you can experience and what souvenirs you can take home to remember the visit. At the revolving balloon game, I won a fan and a little flashlight keychain!

Get a taste of the States by bowling at the Yuan Shan bowling alley or visit the FINS Taipei Sea World. For great night views of the city—or to take a dip in the hot springs—trek to Yang Ming Mountain. Whichever you choose, it’ll most certainly be a memorable adventure.


one of a finds: wabelerbeler

Crossing the centuries-old gender lines of his native Rukai tribe in Taiwan, a young male artist, Kaludasan, is reviving the matriarchal art of jute weaving, one of the many Taiwanese cultural traditions lost with the beginning of colonial rule in 1895.

Raised by his grandmother and four aunts—all skilled embroiderers—Kaludasan persuaded them to pass down to him the intricate weaving skills of the women of his village.

Taking those techniques to a new level, his sculptural wabelerbeler (“twisting”) wall art intertwines colorful ramie fibers “to weave my dreams, little by little…and to connect past and future generations.”

Even with the assistance of skilled female weavers in his village, Kaludasan can handcraft only 10 time-intensive weavings a month, making each piece rare and unique—works of art for these village artisans to share a living storyline to their past.