Betelnut girl Xian in Taoyuan
© Tobie Openshaw. If you wish to use this image, (for any purpose - yes, even if you just want to link to it from your blog) please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Betelnut girls (Binlang Xi Shi/檳榔西施) are a unique part of Taiwan culture. They sit in brightly-decorated glass booths wearing skimpy outfits, and sell cigarettes, drinks and betelnut to passing drivers. It’s a controversial trade but not actually illegal. The question of whether the girls are exploited is open to debate – certainly their own perception is mostly that they are doing a job like any other, and the less they choose to wear, the more they sell. For more info, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betel_nut_beauty and follow the links to the video and pictures.