Several meg of stray pictures of Taiwan. May take some time to load up!
Most recent update: March 28, 2005.
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Keelung Port from the hills overlooking it.
A park area in central Taichung.

Market farming in suburban Taichung.

A mother volunteers as a crossing guard.
In my neighborhood, far from the city, birds wake me up every morning.

A side street in downtown Taichung.
A store opening in Taichung.

The clock at Sogo on Chung Hsiao E. Rd. in Taipei, a favorite meeting place in the shopping district.

The interior of Nova, the computer supermall found in every large city, where nests of small shops sell every imaginable computer and computer part, except, of course, the one you need.
Look again. What's this razor company? Fakes from China are common in Taiwanese night markets.

Well met on a rural byway. Vehicles slapped together out of two-stroke engines and spare parts are a common sight in smaller communities.
Vegetables, fresh in the market every day.
And if you don't like veggies, there's always the meat wagon.
Vendor and customer debate the merits of certain prices.
An orchid, a popular flower in Taiwan.
A betel nut girl serves a customer.
Strawberry plants near Puli.
A gravel facility along a mountain river.
For every spanking new house, there is a hovel somewhere.
Mountains brood over a highway.
In the mountains in Nantou.
Vendors shoot the breeze on a Friday morning.
Taichung as dusk approaches.
A drinks stand in northern Taichung.
A primary school playground toward dusk, when families come out for evening walks, and senior citizens are exercising.
A street in Taichung.
My wife on a rental bike in 1999. In many larger parks in Taiwan you can rent bikes to go riding around park trails.
A morning market in Kaohsiung.
A major international hotel in Taichung.
Cameras scrutinize your driving behavior in even the smallest towns.
A side street in Kaohsiung. 
A vendor hawks steamed buns on a big city corner.
An evening market.
A motorcyclist rides inside a crowded market. Many people feel no compunction about driving in crowded markets, distributing burns, accidents, and chaos with liberal abandon. Notice how both driver and daughter are without helmets.
A Japanese-era house in a crowded downtown. Many of these old houses remain, slowly rotting. Sadly, few seem concerned about this outrage against the island's history.

You can expand this panorama. May take a moment to load up.

Taiwanese hold hands across Taiwan to voice their support for Chen and their hatred of China.
One of the best things about Taiwan is the beauty and variety of the insect life. Here is a lovely red dragonfly that graced our house one afternoon. 
A local train station, this one in Tanzi, Taichung. 
Upscale housing outside the Hsinchu Science Park. Houses in this stretch rent for $35,000 a month; in my area the same houses go for around $10K. The red sign indicates a house for rent.
Grabbing breakfast sandwiches from a street vendor.
Fish neatly displayed entice buyers of every age.
Baoshan Reservoir in Northern Taiwan. This reservoir is not far from the Hsinchu Science Park. Despite being located just outside an urban area, it is empty. 
It's not immediately clear, but you are looking at the public policy debacle that is the cause of many of Taiwan's worst problems. In the foreground is the industrial suburb of Wufeng, in the background is the city of Taichung. 
A steamer full of steamed bread (mantou) awaits breakfast customers at a small stand in northern Taichung. Steamed bread is warm, filling and cheap, selling for just $5-$10 each. The third row contains the famous baozi, meat-stuffed steamed buns. Just wait until the juice rolls down your chin.....mmmm...
My wife searches for just the right pair at a vendor's table in a night market. 
A vendor peels sugar cane for a customer. Stacks of fresh guavas are sold at differing prices, the lowest 3 for $10.
The frenetic pace of a night market. As the wife pours and egg mixture onto a giant fryer to make the popular local dish Fried Eggs with Oysters, the husband readies another dish. Night markets are fun for everyone, from families with kids to couples on dates. 
Your trusty author, seated at the rear, heads up a small roller coaster on a foggy morning at Leofoo Village Theme Park in northern Taiwan. 
Yes, you can have good fajitas in Taiwan, especially if you make them yourself. 
Nudity in various forms is common in Taiwan advertising. This sign overlooks a highway tollbooth.
Here I am on a trip to Flying Cow Ranch, a recreational farm in the hills near Miaoli. 
On a rare clear day, the apartment buildings on Tatu Mountain on the west side of Taichung can be made out from the hills on the east side of the city. 
Fields near Chiayi. 
A cityscape, seen from the inside.
Waiting in a small branch post office.
A bridge under construction outside of Beitou. 
Stuffed instestines, ready for grilling in a nightmarket barbecue stand.
A camera watches a road in central Taiwan.
Here is a typical street somewhere in Taiwan on an early Sunday morning. No matter where you are, everything is exactly the same. 
My kids at play in an observation tower in Kenting National Park. 
The children's pool of a swim complex in southern Taiwan.
An accident snarls traffic on a local road during the early morning rush.
This house in suburban Taipei is probably less than 50 years old, but it seems much older in contrast to the towers surrounding it.
Mushroom farms crowd a ridge in central Taiwan near Hsinshe, the mushroom capital. 
Rush hour on a major three lane...which becomes four lanes as cars crowd into the parking area. Traffic is so dense that if the police enforced the law, it would probably grind to a halt. 
If you feel bored on an Aloha bus, you can always turn on a movie. FYI: the front seat on the bus is by far the most dangerous.
A farmer rests in a grove of bamboos.

Lions guard a temple in the central Taiwan town of Fengyuan.
A perfectly ordinary house in a perfectly ordinary small town, with a perfectly ordinary illegal floor on top. Illegal structures are the done thing, and the local law pays them no mind.

Delicious mantou beckon.

Advertising a local movie theater.

Bird-watching in Taipei....
An elementary school in Wufeng, outside of Taichung. 
A winding country road. What could be around that bend...and more importantly, what is coming round that bend!?
A military village. After the KMT retreated to Taiwan, it erected these villages all over the island to house the million or so troops it brought with it. The land was generally confiscated from local farmers. The troops represented pockets of individuals loyal to the regime, and later, pockets of voters who could help swing elections in strongly Taiwanese areas (as well as recruits for the organized crime gangs that helped keep the regime in power). As the old soldiers fade away, the existence of these subsidized villages, often on desirable land, is becoming harder and harder to justify. 
Another view of the outside of the same village. Note the big silver tanks selling potable water in the middle distance. Despite its forlorn air, this village sits on high value land next to a major apartment tower complex in northern Taichung. 
The food court at a major volume retailer. 
Insane traffic on the highway entering Kaohsiung. The government never considered that the third busiest port on earth might need more than three lanes and three exits. Here two highways come together. Two wedding processions may be seen in this pic, taken shortly before Chinese New Year. The next year was considered unlucky for marriage, so everyone was rushing to get in their weddings before the New Year.
A traditional puppet show at a local temple. Entertainments of various kinds are common at local temples. 
A vendor prepares Beijing duck.
A company erects a funeral display right in the middle of the road. Taiwanese think nothing of blocking traffic, and passers-by do not seem to mind. 
A view across the plains of southern Taiwan toward the mountains. This area is considered rural by the locals, but it is extremely built up. 
Preparing dishes at a local restaurant.
My son eating dinner. A plate like this costs NT$50 and offers one meat and three sides, along with rice, soup, and a sugared tea drink. A real value. 
Scammed! This official looking letter told recipients that they owed money to the government and would have their assets seized unless they paid within three days of reciept of the letter. Naturally they rushed out to pay the sum of money, always small, right away, by depositing it in the account instructed. The whole thing was a scam, of course. Such scams are common on Taiwan. 
Chaoyang University of Technology, perched on a ridge south of Taichung. It overlooks an area of factories and warehouses. 
My wife picks corn at the local roasted corn stand. One of my favorite snacks, chewy, and flavored with sauces. Mmmm....
Avast, ye scurvy rats! At Wild Africa in 1999. Unfortunately this wonderful little private zoo became a casualty of the economic downturn.
My kids research the menu at a local steakhouse. Picture menus are common in Taiwan's chain restaurants.
The Taipei Times, the best local English newspaper.
Kids clean at a school in Taiwan. In all Taiwan schools, up to and including the universities, the kids clean the school. This is called "Labor Education" and, like all exploitation, is said to build character. 
The packed interior of a small family shop in a town outside of Taichung. 
Part of a private health club in Tanzi. Membership prices are comparable to those in the US. 
A typical waterway in a city. The destruction of Taiwan's rivers is one of the island's biggest environmental disasters.
A tall building dominates a Kaohsiung intersection.
A local church. Christianity is a minority religion which many locals  privately consider absurd, so the Churches tend to be low-key.
Homelessness is not at all common, but it exists. 
A private company's bus station in Fengyuan. 
Harvesting corn in central Taiwan. Most corn is field corn, not sweet corn.
Gravel riverbeds predominate in central Taiwan. From Taichung to Hsinchu, the land is largely gravels washed down from the central mountain range in recent geological time. 
The interior of a small restaurant outside of Hsinchu. As with most such places, the investment is in atmosphere rather than food quality, with predictable results. 
Cars crowd the entrance of a restaurant. Taiwanese, who would rather undergo death by slow torture than walk, insist on parking as close as possible to the door. The result is that spaces are always available a few steps away, and (of course) every year fires kill people who might otherwise have lived because the fire department cannot get to burning buildings. 
Rice fields surround a rural factory. As agriculture went into long-term decline in the late 1950s and early 1960s, thousands of farming families opened small factories, creating the economic miracle.
A vehicle parks haphazardly by the road, blocking traffic, as its owner, indifferent to the needs of others, dismounts to gather more recylables for his collection.
Scantily clad betel nut girls entice customers on a Taichung street.
An electronics store in Yungho.
Jeans! Cheap! Unless you are oversize, of course.
Don't read Chinese? Navigation may be a problem for you......"globalization," which locally often only means "English," has yet to reach many parts of southern Taiwan, as the signage attests.
The kids in the small zoo at Leofoo Village Theme park.
Getting together with relatives? It must be time for karaoke! A shot from my wife's aunt's 60th birthday party.
English novels on the shelves of a local bookstore chain. Most English books here are classics, bestsellers, and move tie-ins.
Local night market fare. A soup concoction containing cabbage, tofu, fermented tofu and other ingredients threatens to topple the standard bottle of hot sauce. The styrofoam bowls contain ribs in broth. In the upper right corner, fried steak over noodles, a common dish.
Like catching fish? You can do it at your local night market.....
Kenting on a saturday night. A madhouse.
"I am Deer, hear me roar!" From a display at a museum in southern Taiwan. For a variety of reasons, English translations in Taiwan nearly always contain foul English. Bosses often "correct" translations by native speakers, or insist on erroneous usages because some other (mistranslated) reference uses them. Another problem is that locals who speak some English -- and this translator's English is excellent (look at that well-crafted opening sentence) -- insist on doing the translation, partly because they figure their English is good enough, and partly because they can get additional pay in many cases. Further, tight budgets do not permit employment of competent but expensive native speaker translators. 
A tea shop in a market.
Tombs dot a hillside in southern Taiwan. Ashes of the deceased repose therein. Periodically family members stop by to maintain the tombs.
A gas station in southern Taiwan. Because much of the infrastructure is so new, it is clean and convenient. 
Move here....if you are exceptionally perspicacious, or have attended the birth of a messiah.

In Taiwan, English serves as a marker of prestige, luxury and modernity. So long as some English is present in a given text, its quality is not important.

Adult and college students from one of my intensive English classes take me out to lunch. The women in the foreground are instructors in the nursing department of a local university; in the background wave their students.
Don't worry! We'll be done in a minute!
Like beach vacations? You can have them in southern Taiwan.
A highway along the coast in southern Taiwan. The tower restaurant of an abandoned luxury hotel keeps a weather eye on things....
A beautiful native of Taiwan. In the 1950s exports of dried butterflies for collectors and museums accounted for 1% of Taiwan's GDP. The result was the virtual decimation of the island's butterfly population.
A microcosm of the Taiwan plain. Here a cluster of buildings containing a farmhouse, factory buildings, and a small temple are surrounded by rice fields in various stages of use. Archaic land use laws mean that these fields cannot be used for more economically productive purposes, such as new housing construction. The result is agglomerations of modern buildings like this dominating landscapes out of the Ching Dynasty.
A political rally. 
A betel nut girl and a bottle of water wait for customers.
Highway workers clean up after an accident.
A fruit retailer displays avocadoes, watermelons, mangoes, bananas, guavas, pomelos and other goodies. Fruit is expensive, but it is wonderful.
Enjoying a suspension bridge over a reservoir in northern Taiwan.
A street in a small Taiwan town. Note the riot of signs, the cars parked partially in the road, the total lack of sidewalks...the red sign on the left is for a Chinese medicine store, a fixture in every neighborhood, and a good place to buy exotic spices in an emergency. The white sign three doors down is for another Chinese medicine store. On the right, the closest sign is for a breakfast place, while further down is a boutique and then a fishing tackle store. Fishing is the island's national sport. 
Toyshops next to each other on a local street. In some cases these are competitors; in many others, they are shops all owned by members of the same family.
A noodle shop crowded with customers.
A puppet shop. These puppets are often used for temple functions, or purchased by collectors.
Handing out awards after a class is quite common.
With a name like Sushi Cute, no wonder it went out of business!
Egrets stalk a field in southern Taiwan.
The plaza of the Natural Science Museum in Taichung.
A small temple, tucked into a street corner.
A morning market jammed with customers.
Neon signs and speeding cars light up a small southern town at night. On the right, an old man tugs his cargo of scrap for sale to a local recycler. 
A typical older suburban kitchen. In Taiwan, kitchens are not places to which guests come, so chairs and tables are not provided. Chinese cooks like to have all sauces, flavorings, and implements right at hand, so there are no idiotic shelves through which one must rummage in search of that tiny bottle of majoram or oyster sauce (no time for searching in a stir-fry operation). As in all areas of Taiwanese homes, there is no built-in storage space. Small but serviceable, and spotlessly clean, this kitchen is quintessentially Taiwanese.
For some Taiwanese, the air can simply never be polluted enough.....
A smoggy sunset over Taichung.
Hmmm...men standing around, equipment doing nothing, roads blocked....must be road construction.
Double entendres are universal in advertising and Taiwan is no exception. This one says "You can pack the biggest bird inside (our jeans)." Comprehension note: "bird" is slang for the male thingamajig.
A three wheel scooter built for the aged, infirm, and the handicapped. Taiwanese have invented numerous ingenious variations on the basic scooter idea.
A meal at my daughter's elementary school. The meals cost $500 a month, or $20 a meal, and include three veggies, a meat, rice, fruit, soup and sometimes a sweet dessert. Today's menu is chicken, cauliflower, and a pork and gourd dish. Rice is at the bottom of the picture. Despite the low cost, a few local families cannot afford it, so the PTA has a fund that helps out disadvantaged families with this and other school expenses. 
A display at a restaurant in a food court.
My son and daughter clown around in the local supermarket.
Mailboxes wait patiently on a Taichung street. 
As tall buildings fade into the distance, motorcyclists line up to race across a Taipei Street. 
My son tackles a dish of cod at a local chain steakhouse. "Steak" has become  popular in Taiwan and cheap steakhouses may be found in the smallest communities. A small steak with salad bar at this place, Noble Steak House, will run you around US$7 a plate. The meat is fried, not grilled, and typically served over noodles, with an egg and mixed veggies. The level of quality I will leave to the reader's imagination.
The spacious streets and glass-and-steel towers of the world-famous Hsinchu Science Park, the center of the island's computer industry. 
A Chinese medicine shop on the famous Tihua Street in Taipei.
A street in the northern port city of Keelung.
A woman pushes her catch of recyclables to the recycling plant. Thousands of older individuals pick up trash every day along the roads.
The northern Taichung cityscape seen from northeast of the city. 
A swimming center in central Taiwan.
A camera stands guard over a country lane.
A small neighborhood pet shop.
Tofu and mushrooms at the Shanghai Hsiao Kuan in Yungho outside of Taipei. Let out your belts, everyone!
A man leaves a small temple next to a bank in Taipei. 
Miniature fountains for sale.

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