Chinese New Year
I went to 迪化街 today with a friend, and it’s a street that’s famous for having lots of Chinese New Year goods. It’s basically a street lined with tables selling candy, Chinese snacks like melon seeds that you crack open with your teeth, chestnuts, flavored fried mochi, and so on. It was amazing how many people were there. I didn’t even take out my phone in the middle of the crowd, because that would have been hazardous. There were times when we couldn’t even keep moving, it was that packed. This is what it looked like at the part where the street was divided in half. Both halves had pretty much the same thing, so we didn’t finish the second half.
I took the MRT there, which on weekends can get crazy. The nice thing is that nobody will yell or push, but the station does implement crowd control measures–instead of making one side of the escalator for speed walkers, both sides are for standing for maximum efficiency.
One of Taipei’s most expansive and expensive shopping areas is the area around Taipei 101, aka 信義區. In the morning there are hardly any people and you get a gorgeous view of the tallest building in Taiwan, but by 9AM hordes of people start streaming out of buses and the MRT to report for work or shop.
Like Taipei 101 itself, it’s a mixed shopping and work area, so the malls are especially filled during lunchtime when the local employees go to lunch. Right outside the MRT 市政府 station there’s also a big area for UBikes, which you can rent for a few hours with an EasyCard. That entire orange mass is all bikes!