Ximen Market (a.k.a. Hsimen Market, Ximending, ???, Hsimenting, etc…) has been a shopping center in Taipei since before Taiwan was a country. It was first designated as a shopping district by the Japanese during their rule of the island prior to World War II. For Chinese or Japanese-language linguaphiles this explains the ding character, which doesnt make a ton of sense in a Chinese context because it is a direct transfer of the same character in Japanese (cho), which does make sense. There have been shopping or entertainment venues in Ximen for over a century including the Red House Theater, which has been standing since 1908 and still stands.
A few months ago, one of the dogs I take care of developed cancer and passed away. She wasnt my longest-lived pet (Spree is still alive & kicking) but special in that she was rescued when my children were infants. My intention was for my twins and the dog, Kiki, to grow up together. Her death was soon, sudden, and was especially hard on my now 7-year old twins. After some discussion in which there was no dissension, we decided to have Kiki cremated and her ashes mixed into the soil of a tree at a relatively nearby pet cemetery.
Taiwan is the constant target of typhoons, especially from mid-July through mid-September (a.k.a. Typhoon Season). Thankfully, the city of Taipei is protected on the weather-ward side by a mountain chain that transects the island north-to-south like a scoliotic spine. It takes quite a powerful storm to cause Taipei any significant property damage. Typhoon Saola didnt pass muster.
Like last year, this past Christmas Eve the family headed to the Vieshow Village shopping area in the Hsinyi District of Taipei to take in the holiday decorations, various street acts, and just to take advantage of the clear weather.
In fact, this past Saturday had been the first rain-free day all month. How convenient.
You know how I’m constantly saying that you should always have a camera with you? Well, after you go out a few times without one and develop your “sight” a little. But after that, I’m always drilling in the point that you should never leave home without a camera. You never know what will pass in front of you.
I honestly don’t know why I don’t go here more often. It’s fairly close to my home, it’s got some great games for my kids to play, great food to eat, great shopping to do, and great culture to experience. Oh, and there are some great photographic opportunities, too.
So here are some pictures of Raohe Night Market in Taipei, taken during my most recent visit this past Saturday.
Like Dasi Old Street in Taoyuan, Minquan Old Street in Sanxia was born in the early part of the 20th century. Like Daxi, it came out of being strategically located on a commercially-trafficked river. Unlike Dasi, as roads and rails replaced the rivers used to transport goods and reduced the commercial importance of such market hubs, Minquan Old Street didn’t really re-invent itself in any manner. It’s buildings and shops still appear as they would have decades ago in the time of our grand-and-great-grandparents.