Sometimes, travel as a hipster is kind of a different experience. You can well understand about the story and history of one place without wasting extra energy but just strolling alone the street and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the place you stay. I like to call this kind of tour as a “quiet and releasing tour”. There’s no other extra noise of cars or motorcycles but only some sounds from vendors or other visitors. This kind of tour always make me ease. There are some places should be on your list if you want to try on an one-day tour as a hipster in Taipei.
PINGXI OLD STREET(平溪老街)
Pingxi is one of my favorite place in northern Taiwan. Besides the sky lantern festival, there are not crowd every time so you can stroll alone the street on your tempo. “Coal” used to be the specialty of Pingxi District. In its heyday, residents all relied on coals for survival. Although there is no coal mining nowadys, the “mine pit, old street and old house” have become the features of Pingxi. Along the railway and hillsides are old-style houses. Different from modern buildings you see in the city, most of the old houses are bungalows. The shops you can see here are what we used to buy things when we were child. The convenience stores in the past are familiar with 7-11 but are full of rustic style. You can find some interesting things there. You can also try the sky lantern. We believe that if you write down your wishes on the lantern and put it to the sky, your wishes might come true. It’s an unique experience.
SHIFEN OLD STREET(十分老街)
When we mention about sky lanterns, Pingxi old street will always the first place that comes up in our mind. But do you know that the cradle of sky lanterns is Shifen. Back to the history of Pingxi mining, Shifen is the earliest development place and is also the largest settlement in Pingxi District.
The main feature in Shifen is that the old street here is connected with the railway, so many singers will shoot their music video here.
JIUFEN OLD STREET(九份老街)
Jiufen is not only famous for the gold mining history but for being the shooting place in some famous movies. There are many unique teahouses in Jiufen. These teahouses are best stops during visit to this mountain village. Also, there is beautiful ocean view of Keelung outer sea. Along the street are shops vending the most famous country snack of Jiufen, yam dish and various local dishes. There are some historical items well reserved. If you were not in a hurry, you may want to pick a nice inn and stay for the starlight and fishing lights at night. Don’t forget to try some taro when you visit Jiufen! It’s the most famous dish in Jiufen.
YONGKANG St., QINGTIAN St. and LONGQUANSt.(永康街、青田街和龍泉街)
In Japanese era, these streets were the residence for Japanese senior officials. Nowadays there are some universities around these streets let the life tempo here be soothing and relaxing. Cafés, restaurants, grocery stores, clothing stores, bookstores, CD stores and antiquities stores are set up here. People here do really care about life qualities which makes here form a very unique humanity. You won’t feel stress or tense when you place yourself here. All you might enjoy will be a releasable and quiet time. Stores and houses are so unique that you can have lots of surprise and fun exploring their stories.
HUASHAN 1914 CREATIVE PARK(華山藝文特區)
Borrowing from Western urban regeneration models, this early 20th-century wine factory has been restored into Taipei’s most retro-chic venue. Remodelled warehouses now hold live music performances, shops sell innovative Taiwanese-designed products, and a host of stylish restaurants, cafes and bars will have you loving the ambience as much as the food. Apart from holding art exhibits and live cultural shows, there are also fashion shows, product design expos, art seminars, and lifestyle bazaars all within an historic, industrial setting. If you are interest in exhibitions, you may have some look at their official website. Some of the exhibits need tickets but most of them are free.
Bopiliao is one of the best-preserved historic sections of Wanhua. This area has preserved much of its Qing dynasty roots, with arched brick arcades, carved pattern window lattices, and other traces of the city’s early elegance. Old-style shop-houses (with stores in front and living areas in back) also remain from that period, opening a window to the early development of the Bangka (Wanhua) area, lending a unique historical and architectural flavor to the area. Bopiliao covers both Qing and early Japanese-era architecture. Visitors can learn more about the history of the area at the Heritage and Culture Education Center.
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