10 05 2015

July, you say? I think I’m free..

New world order

4 01 2015

Tale of Two Cities: Hong Kong 80s X Taipei 90s

17 08 2014

A Parallel Tale: Hong Kong X 80s and Taipei X 90s is a surprisingly interesting exhibition now on in HK, tracing the comic book culture of the two cities in two different decades. I have to admit I was quite ignorant of the scene in either city, but the exhibition serves up some nice images from artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as their interesting reminiscences about life and art in the 80s and 90s.

The show is free and its on currently at Comix Home Base, a new centre for the comics industry in a restored four storey historical building in Wanchai (across the street from a Mos Burger, I discovered to my delight, too.)

18 04 2014

Taipei funny

18 04 2014

18 04 2014

Danshui and Bali

18 04 2014

Some of my favourite times in Taipei this trip were on the foreshore of Danshui, and across the river in the neighbouring town of Bali. Danshui, at the far end of the Northern suburban train line, is one of the city’s weekend hangouts. Its boardwalk-like foreshore is lined with snack stalls(most selling some form of squid) and inland along its “old street,” alleyways snake up hillsides past temples and old colonial churches and forts. One alley (well, staircase almost) transforms on weekends into a colourful flea market for local craftspeople, with the odd little gallery or patch of street art and ocean views over the rooftops. It reminded me of a little Valparaiso.

The area also has cheesier attractions. Although the “Starbugs Insect Mall” was closed, we did manage to find the Ripleys Believe It Or Not (not affiliated with the international version!) “freakshow” museum with its two headed turtle, a stuffed four-legged chicken, various bizarre reptiles and fish, rusty chastity belts and an (apparently used) female condom, and other jokey exhibits.

Bali, a short ferry hop across the shining waters of the estuary, is much quieter. It sits in the shadow of a volcanic-looking mountain and when we went midweek it was – wonderfully – empty. The big attraction here is the bicycle paths which spread over 20 blissful kilometres through sun-dappled parkland, under freeways, past sculptures and little cafes and in its wilder segments, along volcanic black beaches where packs of scary dogs rove, past witchy mangrove swamps and rusty old factories and villages, one home to an apparently abandoned temple reputed to be home to a “ghost army”.

We spent a happy day whizzing up and down the bike paths, watching the sun shining on the water and the city skyline rising up across on the other bank, dodging pigeons and racing each other down the slopes, before retiring for the local specialty of garlic-fried mussels.

It was great.

I want to go back!





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