Wanhua or ‘Monga’ is Taipei’s oldest and perhaps most infamous district. Located near the historic Longshan Temple, where worshippers cast shiny red moon blocks for answers to existential riddles, are the maze-like alleyways that lead off of Huaxi Street Night Market. Here once stood the infamous ‘Snake Alley’, where snake meat was a renowned staple, ringed by dozens of whore houses that served the visiting GI’s and hordes of Japanese tourists. While the ‘glory days’ are long gone, the winding alleys now abound with a milder incarnation: hostess clubs known colloquially as gong diam or ‘grandfather shops’ for their customer base. Coated by the lurid reflections from the sickly lights that illuminate bar facades, the laneways possess a sordid  allure. Outside, stern-faced minders sit and inside women in short pants offer a last chance dance with youth to spirit-imbued men. On the streets, ageing harlots cast furtive glances from the shadows, whisper promises to passerby’s of companionship, of fun, and transient moments in entwinement.