Each time I travelled to Taiwan, I felt quite at home and I liked a lot of things that are Taiwan. Let me share some.
Great Customer Service
The sales assistants and the owners of independent shops and cafes are always willing to strike up conversations with you. They welcomed us and because they can be so persuasive, we tend to buy something from the shop. When they talked about their products, they were passionate. Even when we chose not to buy, they were cool about it.
Design, Design, Design
Design is big in Taiwan. Arts, crafts, and design permeate the society. Innovation and creativity flourish as a result. You can see flea markets selling handcrafted items at most cities we visited. We were lucky to attend the World Design Capital, Taipei 2016 when we were there. This international organisation recognises Taipei as one that uses design for economic, social and cultural development. Even street art is common sight.
Many Indie Shops
There are many indie shops and they survive selling varied and specialised items. It is a treat browsing these cute and creative items.
Many Nice Cafes and Eating Places
After a long walk, we would search out air-conditioned cafes to rest our feet and have a drink and some pastries/cakes. These cafes were popular among visitors and when we were lucky to find a place to sit, it would always be memorable. For breakfast, we found a very good eatery named “What Day Kitchen” near our lodging place. What impresses me is that young people run this shop and they were so good at serving western style breakfast items.
Living with old buildings
Taiwan is rich in heritage with 105 years of independence. They do not believe in tearing down old buildings to replace them with modern ones. They convert used buildings for other purposes. One example is Songshan Cultural & Creative Park. It was a tobacco factory with it own warehouses during the Japanese colonial time. Songshan Cultural & Creative Park is the venue for “World Design Capital, Taipei 2016”.
Taiwanese people are proud of their old buildings and they make do with the original façade. You can see a lot of these buildings in Tainan, 台南, one of the oldest cities on the island.