Taipei, Taiwan, April 2016. Some cities have an instant warmth, a vibe to savor, while others may take a while to grow into ones mind. Then there are those that just don’t hit any spots and are unlikely too, ever. Taipei sadly can be categorized the latter. The place is like one big computer program, an automated society right down to its population 70% of whom are glued to a digital device as they shuffle about the streets. A society that’s so well organizes that any deviation may be met with a stern reaction – yes, it’s pretty strict around here with cameras watching your every move.
Modern day culture in Taipei then can be aligned to any other developed city based along the lines of Western values – all part of the evolution of life where aspirations consist of gaining wealth. Here in Taipei redevelopment has swept away Taiwanese culture of the past and confined evidence of such to museums. The only thing missing around here is a ‘Statue of Liberty’. An odd mix of Western values with a Taiwanese branding.
Cities I’ve visited across Asia that have instant appeal, warmth and depth of feeling – Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Phnom Penh, Kallang (Singapore), Kathmandu, Pokhara (Nepal), Kandy (Sri Lanka), Saigon to name just a few.