We spent five idyllic days aboard a catamaran, following the Aeolian winds wherever they decided to take us - from the black sand bay of Vulcano to bourgainvillea strewn Panarea. A short flight back to Naples and a winding road filled with switchbacks and sharp curves led us to the Amalfi Coast, where we spent our last few days in Italy sipping Campari and lazing around the Hotel Luna Convento - a 13th century monastery whose pool is built directly into the cliff above the sea.
Ang Lee's 1994 film - Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, left a deep impression on me. In the opening scene, Master Chef Chu chops, blanches, and slices ingredients with a precision - each deliberate action done with a zen-like calm. This scene wholly embodies the spirit of Taipei to me; it's both dynamic and serene. It has the metropolitan leanings of a mega city like Hong Kong or Tokyo with the relaxed approach of a coastal beach town. In fact, some of my favorite things to do around the city are some of the most mundane - wandering the wet markets in the early morning and sniffing out tea eggs at the nearest convenience store.
Tucked away on a side street just steps away from the popular Shida Night Market in popular Da'An, the InHouse Library is a hidden gem. This small boutique hotel features a cafe on the ground floor and elegantly designed rooms with upscale fixtures like a full soaking tub set in a green marble rainfall shower room. Breakfast is complimentary and delicious, with an option of Western, Japanese, or Chinese style.
Shopping in Songshan
This hip district is perfect for strolling with its tree lined lanes and relaxed vibe. Start at Japanese import, Beams, and make your way down Fujin street with its many coffee shops, boutiques, and home goods stores.
Wufenpu & Raohe Night Market
Wufenpu is not for the faint of heart - a football field sized area crammed with tiny storefronts selling everything from gothic lolita tulle skirts to designer sunglass knockoffs and Chinglish slogan tshirts. Although it may be hectic, its amazing and has something for everyone. Go late in the afternoon when its cooler, and then make the short walk over to Raohe Night Market to stock up on street snacks and iPhone cases.
Da'An Coffee Culture
Spend an afternoon wandering the lanes of Da'An and stopping into its various coffee shops. Who's Cafe serves strong brew in a peaceful back patio.
Check out my Foursquare list for Taipei.
A-Zine is a collection of photographs by myself and photographer Suzette Lee from a recent trip to the Phillipines, where we discovered a subculture that blends sheer floral fashions, straw hats, and unapologetic selfie-involvement. Includes a free sticker sheet. Music by OneVo1ce 🌹