How 9 days in the capital of Taiwan have totally blown my mind…
Last week, I shared with you that the first stop on the road (which is a ridiculous choice of word. I’m not driving, somebody flew a plane…) is Taipei. I’m incapable of going to another place without autistic preparation and the planning of possible a, b, and c-scenarios. Thus, I had a good idea of what Taipei probably looks like and what I could expect arriving here. I have to admit: I completely underestimated this city. Not that I was not expecting it to be beautiful, vibrant and fascinating. I just was not expecting it totally redefine my perception of a great city to visit. Especially for a photographer, this city is pure paradise. Let me explain this in a bit more detail:
Taipei offers a unique variety of seemingly ancient buildings compbined with (post-)modern architecture. Even many of the MRT stations are architectureal art. Walking through the cities feels like diving in and out of history, modernity and then history again.
- Nature: I have never experienced a city that is so urban, modern, fast paced – and at the same time so, so incredibly laid back and relaxed. I guess one of the reasons is that it so super convenient to literally drive to the most gorgeous landscape with the MRT and hike from there on. Whether it is Beitou Hot Springs, the Maokong Green Tea Mountains or just one of the numerous well taken care of parks in the city – it is marvelous to stroll around through the warm, humid air and enjoy the scenery.
- Neighborhoods: Taipei is a huge city. But it is not so huge that you get totally lost. There’s always a bus stop or MRT station close by that can get you back to your homebase. At the same time, all the different neighborhoods create the impression of visiting different cities, which creates completely new possibilities for a photographer’s mind.
- Vividness: Taipei is so, so lively. I really hope I was able to capture that with the camera as well. And with lively, I do not mean a euphemism for hectic. I mean, colorful, cheerful, friendly, bubbly, dynamic, outgoing, spirited. You get the idea. Some nights, I just wander through the streets because it feels so uplifting just walking around. Better than coffee.
- Safety: One of the most important aspects of traveling (I think) and often left unmentioned. But safety is a very valuable aspect of traveling through Taipei and bits of Taiwan. as a solo female traveller, I am always trying to be aware of possibly threatening or dangerous situations. Here, I feel totally free to move and dress however I feel comfortable. In comparison to the beautiful and petite Taiwanese women I feel rather like a truck among mini-vans, but in a safe surrounding, you are much better to strive for beautiful photography than in a surrounding where you have to be constantly aware of possible danger.