A trip to Taipei in watercolours

Traveling is always such an intense yet somehow ephemeral experience. Nothing feels quite real till you get there, and when you come back it all turns into a memory of a long dream.

This past October-November was my long-overdue trip to Taipei, Taiwan. It was wonderful! Though I didn’t see everything I’d planned on, it was everything I had hoped it would be. Reuniting and spend time with family who hadn’t seen me since I was a heck of a lot shorter than I am now was definitely the most moving part. There was a strong sense of a sort of “coming home”.

And this being Taipei, of course there was a lot of eating, photo-taking and shopping! On top of that I was able to get in quite a few painting sessions, both live and painting from photos I had taken during the day. This post compiles all of them.

Neihu parkettes

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These two paintings are in and around a couple of parks in Neihu. They were in the same neighbourhood, on different days, and I swear the same little dog came around while I was painting both times.

Buy 10 get 1 free

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There was a local bakery we passed by nearly every day that offered this special. One evening on the way home my mom encouraged me to go for it. As I was piling up my massive plate, I realized I was apparently the only person taking advantage of this deal. Well, breakfast was set for the next few days …

Suho Paper Museum rooftop view

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The fourth floor/rooftop workshop space of the Suho Paper Museum has a fantastic view on all sides. This painting was completed from a photo I took. I also wrote a short Tumblr post about my visit to the museum – a great stop especially if you love paper and design!

Food

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One thing you’ll never find a shortage of in Taipei is delicious and cheap food. These are sauces and sides from a local restaurant in Neihu with a mix of Taiwanese and Szechuan-inspired dishes on its menu. Painted after-the-fact from a photo.

North-facing condo view

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Uncle Shia/Xia, a longtime family friend, lives in a condo near Yong Ning Station. The view from his unit is lovely, and full of lush colour and things to see – greenery, architecture, and more!

Tamsui

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My last outdoor live watercolour was in beautiful Tamsui. I had to paint in a much more rushed fashion as the sun was starting to set and the colours kept shifting.

That day started off with one of the (if not the) best meals I had in Taiwan, at a restaurant called the Black Palace. A deliciously crisp and juicy chicken rice bowl paired with a refreshing lemon winter melon tea was followed by strolling and shopping through the old streets. A perfect day finished off with enjoying the gorgeous view of the river from the wharf, watching people fishing and the sun setting. A friendly security guard also regaled me with stories and showed me photos he had taken throughout his watch over the years.

Other fond memories

A few of my other favourite outings and experiences not mentioned above:

Not only was the trip incredible, but the jet lag when I got home was pretty incredible too. That aside, the trip left me with a feeling of wistfulness and an even greater appreciation of where I was born. Definitely dreaming of going back again!