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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Taiwan (5 galleries) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Taiwan (5 galleries)

The tea leaves must fill one-fifth of the pot (which is never washed, only wiped dry). Before tasting, the tea aroma is sampled by inverting a taster cup into a small bowl.

Rat-a-tat-tat-tat. A fusillade shatters the serenity of the arcane rituals underway in a Taiwanese tea house. Is this the end game, the invasion threatened by the People’s Republic ever since 1949? No, simply fat strings of firecrackers exploding to herald the last day of Lunar New Year festivities. Traffic slows for the trailer-mounted, larger-than-life, deities hauled through city streets by temple volunteers, then ploughs on through dense clouds of smoke and eardrum-shattering explosions.

Yes, the mainland Chinese are now landing in force: package tourists disembark daily by the thousand from the direct flights which now hop across the Straits. This peaceful invasion threatens at times to overwhelm Taiwan’s natural and cultural heritage.

The drinks are served in urinal-shaped vessels, and my Szechuan Hot Pot simmers within a miniature bidet. Welcome to the Modern Toilet, a chain restaurant in Taipei which plumbs new depths of tastelessness. Meanwhile at the sumptuous Silks Palace restaurant, adjoining the National Palace Museum, exquisitely presented dishes draw inspiration from the priceless antiquities housed in one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art.

Often overlooked, Taiwan – the other China – can certainly overturn the preconceptions of a first-time visitor.

These images were taken with Nikon D300 using RAW format, and are available for licensing. Please visit

:: Taipei ::
Sun Moon Lake
:: Sun Moon Lake ::
:: Lukang ::
Lantern Festival 2010 at Chiayi
:: Lantern Festival 2010 at Chiayi ::
Lunar New Year in Taichung
:: Lunar New Year in Taichung ::