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Betelnut girl Xian in Taoyuan | by bignosetw
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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


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 and follow the links to the video and pictures.


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Taken on August 14, 2011