Very early Sunday morning, I met up with some friends from a Facebook Photography group to visit the Wanhua Wholesale Fish Market. I had visited the market once before, but that as some time ago, so I was looking forward to getting back to it. It was fun getting back there, even with the way too early meet up time of 4:30am.
I have to say that some parts of the market, I remembered fairly accurately and some not so much. The photos are in roughly chronological order, though some may be slightly out of order.
There were basically four portions to our visit. The first portion was what basically matched a big (though not as big as I remembered) street market anywhere in Taiwan, though selling only seafood and related products. I am not sure if the vendors here would sell to anyone, or they were wholesale only. I didn’t see much money changing hands, but the way things were laid out sure looked like a traditional fish-mongers stall in any market.
The next stop was the auction area, where fish are sold in batches through an auction system. Here, there was lots of parking for trucks to bring the seafood in, as well as other stalls where it was being loaded up on trucks to take it to retail markets. Things were slower at this area than last time; I am guessing we got there after the day’s main action had come to an end. I still included a number of shots from this area, as it is what is most unique to my mind.
After that, we spent a very short time in the wholesale produce market. Like the fish market, the vendors here sell to owners of fruit and vegetable stalls in traditional markets throughout Taipei. The reason I didn’t take more photos is that quite frankly, it was the least interesting area for me. Though some fruit was on display, mostly it was vendors surrounded by boxes of fruit, much of it not local, and one vendor looked pretty much the same as the next.
Finally, and I didn’t remember this at all, right across the street from the fish market entrance was a buzzing and robust traditional street market area. Here, you could buy not only seafood, but chicken, pork, beef, produce and pretty much any other consumable you might find at a market. Considering that I didn’t remember it from my last visit, I was surprised by how big and busy it was.
A few weeks ago now, I was lucky enough to coordinate an evening of portraits with my friend Belle and Kenny at Kenny’s studio. Both are really fun people and it was nice to spend the evening talking and taking photos. Here are some of my favorites from the time.
Taiwan has an odd National Day holiday; one quite different from the rest of the world I think. First of all, it celebrates something that most certainly did not happen on the island of Taiwan and one which had no impact on the island when it happened. October 10th (10/10) celebrates the beginning of an uprising in China that led to the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, the last of dynastic China and which led to the creation of the Republic of China (ROC). At the time though, Taiwan was under Japanese Imperial rule and in no way could you really count October 10th as being any sort of “birthday” for the Island the Chinese Nationalists came to control. Nonetheless, 10/10 is the de facto National Day in Taiwan and it is not at all uncommon to hear some variant of “Happy Birthday Taiwan” being spoken that day.
Typhoon Soudelor, the biggest tropical storm of 2015 so far smashed into Taiwan on Friday. Though at sea, it was classified as a category five storm, by the time it made landfall in Taiwan it was “downgraded” to category three. In the 12+ years I have been in Taiwan, this has been the hardest hit I can remember: I am very happy not to have experienced an actual category five storm.