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 stands a long arcade remembered as the infamous ‘Snake Alley’, where snake meat was a renowned staple, presumably enabling one the vigour to visit any one of the dozens of whore houses that served the visiting GI’s and 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 in the sickly reflections from the lurid lights that illuminate bar facades, the laneways are strangely, sordidly, alluring. On faux red leather chairs, stern-faced minders sit seemingly uninterested and inside women in short pants engage in transient moments of entwinement with spirit-imbibed men. On the streets, ageing harlots cast furtive glances from the shadows, striding provocatively upon motor bikes, a smile, a hint of bare leg. Their faint whispers, like sirens of the ocean promise those with an ear another dance with youth.