July in Taipei


I was just in Taiwan over Lunar New Year in February, so I had no plans to return so quickly– and in the middle of summer when the heat and humidity soar to the high 90s. However, my maternal grandmother, my last remaining grandparent, passed, and so I was grateful to have the time and means to be able to go make it back to Taiwan again for the funeral. Here are just a few images from my week back in the motherland this July.

Taiwanese breakfast every day. I love just exploring the random little stands you can find in every neighborhood. Here are two of my favorite things: a rice roll (fantuan) and green onion pancake.

A note about this post: I of course was primarily in town for my grandmother’s memorial services but I just won’t be sharing personal images of that here. So if it looks like all I did was eat and explore, know that that’s just a slice of what I’m sharing of the trip. Here is a cute cafe with Taiwanese-style tea pastries where I went with my mom and aunt: House of Kuo.

Down the street, a museum of cake and pastry! We popped in for a visit, and the museum admission counts as a deposit towards pastries in their shop next door, so that worked out perfectly.

A display about the six wedding rituals. I already forgot what they were.

A very simple dinner with my mom: braised pork over rice and a soup, plus veggies, all for under $5 USD.

Got some bubble tea from some very young storekeepers… (their mom was in the back, but they were taking orders and everything!)

The next day for lunch, I met up with my other cousins who were able to travel back from the US too. They found this very amusing sushi restaurant, Magic Touch, where you place your order on an iPad and then the food appears on a conveyor belt in front of you.

The soup was good, the place was very entertaining, but the sushi was thoroughly mediocre.

Taipei Main Station wanderings. And trying to cool off at a cat cafe.

But we were still very warm, and so were the cats.

Then Walter and I headed to Raohe Night Market.

Little fried crabs: delicious. And my first beef noodle soup of the trip: always good.

On Sunday, a family banquet after my grandmother’s memorial service. Lots of seafood!

Extended family! So lovely to have everyone in one place despite the circumstances.

Another day, another Taiwanese breakfast. Egg pancakes!

I went to visit my grandma’s house, where all my aunts (8 daughters) were divvying up grandma’s jewelry.

Here’s my little watercolor sketch of some of the jewels! I went home with the ring with a bird illustration, a necklace, and some bracelets.

Afterwards, exploring the Zhongshan area with my mom– some vignettes from inside the Eslite store.

The next day, I decided foolhardily to explore the Gongguan area despite it being way too hot outside to walk more than 30 feet without stopping. So I basically went inside every air conditioned shop I could find and made my way very slowly around the neighborhood, still melting into oblivion along the way.

I wanted to try this gua bao place but they were not air conditioned, and worse, the lady told me I was allowed to place my drink from Yifang on the table but not drink from it because they don’t allow outside food. I was very very sad.

Then, I walked over to the Treasure Hill, an artist’s village. Unfortunately very few shops were actually open on a Tuesday, so I’ll definitely have to re-visit on a weekend in the winter.

Very cute! Because you aren’t melting while looking at this.

I picked up this cute pin (‘don’t wanna go out’) from One Day Co.

Then, on my cousin’s recommendation, I stopped by this photography library. It was very cute and a light-filled space.

Also, air conditioned. :)

Here was a super interesting artist’s book about the false use of “Taiwanese style” as a marketing label in Beijing.

Back with my cousin and aunt. My cousin is in a carrot phase, and I got that headband for her, haha.

My grandma’s door and garden.

And that’s it! A quick little week in Taipei.

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow herĀ on instagram and view more of her professional work at annawu.com.