During a lull in the rain I managed to take some photos around TsimShaTsui. It's at night though and I have little clue how to take photographs at night (or during the day for that matter). I love the streets and alleys of Hong Kong, Taipei, and yes even Hsinchu. They may not be necessarily the best choice for living but they are ideal for exploring. So many people, things, and places crammed into small areas allow you to see more in 5 minutes of walking than you might see in an hour in Canada.
Little shops like these have all but disappeared in many places in Canada. My home town has in the past 5 years begun it's love affair with the big box stores like Walmart, Futureshop, Sobeys, and etc.. Always feeling behind the rest of Canada and not realizing the value in being unique Charlottetown has transformed their shopping experience into something soulless, with poor customer service but with low prices and exactly the same products as everywhere else that has these stores. The outer rim of this small city has been transformed into giant parking lots with big ugly boxes while the charming city core has been transformed into a ghost town. Charlottetown has never had good management and it shows.
Taiwan is experiencing this to a certain degree as well. Taipei has Costco and others. Within a few minutes of where I lives there are 3 large malls. It hasn't yet reached what we see in North America and likely never will due to cultural differences and population density. Taiwan has a convenience store culture. "Boasting 8,058 convenience stores in an area of 35,980 km≤ and a population of 22.9 million, Taiwan has the Asia Pacific's and perhaps the world's highest density of convenience stores per person: one store per 2,800 people or .000357 stores per person. With 3680 7-Eleven stores, Taiwan also has the world's highest density of 7-Elevens per person: one store per 6200 people or .000161 stores per person. In Taipei, it is not unusual to see two 7-Elevens across the street or several of them within a few hundreds of meters of each other.
Because they are found everywhere, convenience stores in Taiwan provide services on behalf of financial institutions or government agencies such as collection of the city parking fee, utility bills, traffic violation fines, and credit card payments. Eighty percent of urban household shoppers in Taiwan visit a convenience store each week. The idea of being able to purchase food items, drink, fast food, magazines, videos, computer games, and so on 24hrs a day and at any corner of a street makes life easier for Taiwan's extremely busy and rushed population." (wikipedia)