If you ever ask me to pick a place in the city that fits “love at first sight,” then it has to be Yong Kang Street without a doubt. My history with this fascinating street goes way back, and I still burst with the same excitement that I felt during our first encounter. It all began in a typically hot and humid Taipei summer 9 years ago. As the babysitter of my two toddler cousins, I would drop them off at kindergartens and began to scout for different types of cuisines every day.
As a self-proclaimed foodie, Yong Kang Street conquered me with the variety of cuisines that it could offer. From oriental to western, desserts to fancy gourmets, I never left the area feeling unsatisfied. After a whole summer’s food expedition, I vowed to one day become a long-term resident of this cuisine paradise. I never stop craving for the amazing food I tasted during that summer, and unsurprisingly, I am drawn back repeatedly by my irresistible desire for them. I guess it’s fair to say that Yong Kang Street’s cuisines have officially become my sweet nightmares.
However, my love for Yong Kang Street isn’t just restricted to its prominent food scene. As one of the more well-preserved historic neighborhoods in Taipei, Yong Kang Street is also a popular destination for antique lovers. Few blocks down the road from the restaurant section lies the entrance to one of the coolest antique markets in Taipei, the Long-An Market. Shops displaying historic objects line up the hallway, which makes visitors feel like traveling back in time. With the amount of artifacts occupying the market, it is hard to leave empty-handedly.
And I definitely can’t leave out the growing array of cafes and stores that sell independent designer products. Not only have I become a regular visitor to those shops, they also help to transform Yong Kang Street into the breeding ground for the new generation of creative community.
As a die-hard lover of Yong Kang Street, I am more than thrilled to witness its gradual transformation in recent years. I now come here not just simply for my foodie’s desire, but also to discover new surprises hidden in the alleys. Most importantly, I use every visit to revive the appreciation that has been deeply associated with Yong Kang Street. I know years from now, I will still burst with the same excitement when I dream about this amazing place.