Bo Pi Liao is a charming old street in Taipei that I found by chance.
I am strong advocate of walking the city. Through years of travel experiences, it became quite clear to me that, the most amazing places, restaurants, cafés, boutiques are usually hidden around the corner, of a street between two subway stations or major attractions. They remain impossible to spot for the 99% of tourists that are shipped around in subways or tourists bus, touring around the must see.
Cool spots are like amazing lovers. Strike by chance at the most unexpected moment, sweeping you off away and into a different reality.
Bo Pi Liao used to be a major passage between key districts of Mangka and Guting. The Japanese Colonial Era (1895 - 1945) relegated it to a back alleway, making Guangzhou street become the main one. However, local residents fought for it to be refurbished so the history of Bangka - the first district in Taipei to undergo economic development under the Qing dinasty - could be preserved, felt and understood by younger generations and visitors, today.
So I was just walking around. You know, pressing for green light and all that.
Crossing under these road bridges, that remind me so much of my life in Japan.
Things turned a bit more Chinese - sorry, Taiwanese.
With food stalls, amulets and all kinds of things for sale, stacked one after another along the street.
Butcher, lottery, massage, they got it all.
Then I spot it, the door to a whole new world.
With red bricks.
Old posters, where the Portuguese name for Taiwan could still be seen.
Even minimal backyards.
It felt like Chelsea at some point or maybe it was just my jet-lag?
But all in all, it was well worth the detour.
And somewhat popular with the local tourists.
Bo Pi Liao is a charming old street in Taipei that you should not miss, if you happen to be in town.