A Visit to Taipei : Design City 2016
3 things I noticed about Taipei from a recent trip:
1. Design city
Indeed it is worthy of the title, being designated the world design city for 2016, just travel around and you can easily understand why.
From cafes, shopping malls, the train stations, wherever there's a space, product packaging or print ad that requires design and concept, they do it really well! And with much passion, attention of detail and thought.
Every where you go, you see beautifully designed posters, packaging, spaces, store interiors etc. Step into a cafe and you see the wonderful amount of detail in the decoration, menu/namecarddesign. Here are a some of my favourite moments from the trip:
In Taipei, you see recycling bins everywhere, and people seem genuinely concerned about the proper disposal of rubbish. It's impressive how in general there's a certain sense of responsibility towards the environment, e.g. most shopping places do not give out plastic carrier bags, and often packaging is done using paper rather than plastic wraps.
3. Great food, shopping and service
People in Taipei are really friendly, warm and helpful. The service is often faultless, and there's a lot of products designed and made in Taiwan which are affordable, and of high quality. You can feel the Taiwanese passion and pride in their own products when you walk into a store and hear the sales person share about a locally made pair of shoes, bag, shirt etc.
The Shilin night market is possibly the best place for food AND shopping. The shops open till late and there's more than enough boutique shops to keep you coming back for more. Comparatively the prices are much better than the other popular pot - Ximending. There's actually a hidden gem beside Ximending itself. It's called the 6工房Creative Boutique which is on the left aside of Ximending if you approaching it from the train station.
6工房Creative Boutique is actually large warehouse which houses slightly more than a dozen shops which sell creative, original products - from t-shirts, dresses, accessories, cardboard camera (yes!), wooden craft, bags etc. The prices offer great value for money, considering you can getting some really well-designed and unique products at prices which are just slightly higher than the usual shops at Ximending and Shilin.
For more traditional food fare, head down to the wonderful 通化夜市