Taipei - And now for an update on the hottie market in Taiwan.
Hunting for pretty boys at traditional markets has become the vogue as summer arrives in Taipei. In Beitou, a soya beancurd shop has risen to fame after photos of a strapping shop assistant went viral last week, travelling as far as Thailand and Vietnam.
There was a long queue at the shop, Chuan Tong Zhi Zui Dou Hua Tang (Hall Of The Most Traditional BeanCurd), when Apple Daily dropped by last Thursday.
The main attraction for many of the women in line was the shop assistant, whom some of them said looked like a "Zara-grade male model", the newspaper reported.
Apple Daily identified the hot new find as model Chen Yi-tin, 27, who has appeared in the newspaper's "Today I Am The Most Handsome" feature. He has been in television advertisements for a video game and other products, the report said.
But none of his modelling work has drawn as much attention as the photos of him posted on Thursday on dacota. pixnet.net/blog, with captions that drool over his looks as he serves beancurd or stops to wring out his sweaty singlet.
The boss of the shop declined to discuss Chen at first. She told Apple Daily: "I don't know him. He was photographed by a passer-by."
Later she relented and revealed that he is her godson, who helps her at the shop occasionally.
The Taiwanese Internet is like an eternal high schooler, always in the rush of a new crush.
Chen might be no more than the latest flavour of the month. Last month, the pretty boys in the social media and media spotlight were shirtless vendors at a market in Donghu, Taipei.
Two months ago, it was fireman Chen Po-han from Yangmei, Taoyuan, who later had the honour of having entertainer Dee Hsu swoon over him on television. (In a hilarious episode of the talk show Mr Con & Ms Csi, Hsu pretended to be a fainting, panting damsel in distress who needed to be revived by Chen.)
Last year, the Taiwanese turned Kazakh volleyball player Sabina Altynbekova into a media star, attending the Asian Women's U19 Volleyball Championship in Taipei in droves to admire her looks.
Two years ago, Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou's son-in-law, finance executive and former model Allen Tsai, was all the rage for a few days.
Even as the Korean Wave sweeps Asia, Taiwan remains a prominent exporter of gorgeous people: actresses and actors whose lasting claim to fame is their beauty, including Lin Ching-hsia, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Chiling Lin.
One of the hot vendors is bedding seller Lin Sheng-yao, who has been dubbed "the Sunny Wang of Donghu" by the media for his resemblance, down to his bare tattooed back, to the actor. Maximising his 15 minutes of Internet fame, a shampoo brand has cast him in an online advertisement.
Wang himself is the holder of the title of "Taiwan's most handsome". For now.
This article was first published on June 22, 2015.
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