Turkish director, Kürşat Kızbaz once said about Dadaocheng “It made me feel that were I to walk randomly down any street in Taipei I would be able to outline a moving story.” Japan’s Naoki Prize-Winning writer Akira Higashiyama described that Dadaocheng has a color like the sun. For me, Dadaocheng is a place for us experience the traditional lifestyle of Taipei. There are lots of stories about Dadaocheng. If you want to learn more about here, there is a Taiwan movie I recommend, “Twa-Tiu-Tiann”. It is a movie that talks about the history of Dadaocheng in 1920. At that time, Dadaocheng was the most propserous city in Taiwan. In the movie, you can feel the high-spirited national consciousness of Taiwanese. Besides the history, you can know how glorious that Dadaocheng once was from the movie. That’s why I love this movie, interesting but meaningful.
In late 1880s, Dadaocheng started to prosper in light of the opening of Tamsui Harbor. It has since became the keystone of economic and cultural development. In Dadaocheng, you will see extravagant Baroque architecture, traditional Hokkien bungalows and brilliant red-brick western houses. Historical buildings, traditional folklore center, tea houses, fabric stores, Chinese pharmacy and local eateries alike are rich in history. A new everyday-aesthetics derives in the vintage neighborhoods of Dadaocheng where century-old stores meet with contemporary innovation. (Resource : Travel in Taipei)
For explorers looking for the cultural essence of Taipei, you can stroll in Dihua Street or try some local cuisines from the vendors in front of Tze Sheng Temple. You can also roam in the alleys where various select shops of distinctive features await your visit, or enjoy a cup of coffee and a moment of serenity in elegant street houses. (Resource : Travel in Taipei)
Let us create a brilliant golden memory in Dadaocheng.
Ganzhou Street(Tea Street)
Ganzhou Street, commonly known as Tea Street, occupies a very important position in the history of the tea of Dadaocheng. Tea takes up a crucial part in the history of Dadaocheng. In the splendid period, more than a dozen tea shops were gathered in Ganzhou Street and the neighboring Guiqi Street. There are four important contributor to the development of tea at that time, “Kum Kee Tea House” on Guide Street, “Xin Fong Chun Tea House” on Minsheng West Road, “Nanxing Tea House” which is today’s Quanxiang Tea Factory on Xining North Road and Wang Tea on Chongqing North Road. Although tea industry is fallen now, there are still some tea shops maintain the traditional tea culture by following the traditional tea-making technology. Chaoyang Park on Chongqing North Road is now a tea industry theme park, which records the past contribution of the tea industry.
Lee Chun-sheng Memorial Christ Presbyterian Church
Built in 1935, this church was built in memory of the famous Dadaocheng tea merchant and ardent philanthropist Lee Chun-sheng. One of the more interesting qualities of the church is the front façade, which resembles a face—the main doorway suggesting a mouth and the two upper windows resembling eyes. To create a solemn atmosphere, the windows are closed to block the external noise so actually the windows are false. Lee Chun-sheng was the Christian promoter in early days. Many of the Christian church sites in Dadaocheng were donated by him. In addition to being a successful industrialist, he is also a scholar.
The Historic Residence of Chen Tien-Lai
As one of the many businessmen who earned enviable amounts of fortune in the country’s tea business in Dadaocheng, Chen Tien-Lai founded Jinji Te Company. The residence is a three-story Baroque style architecture built in 1920. Its European-style exterior looks impressive and romantic with exquisite designs like hanging flowers, brackets, classical columns and arches. This historic residence used to be a renowned tea party spot in Dadaocheng, where tea-traders met regularly at the guesthouse to enjoy the view at the Tamsui Wharf in the distance.(Resource : Travel in Taipei)
Dihua Street Shop-houses
It’s hard to imaging that there were many oil shops, rice shops, grocery stores, and even stone-making factories once established here as Dadaocheng became the major trade wharf. The wall design of the Chinese shop-houses resemble western style architectures. The iconic scene of congregated shop-houses in the old times is preserved. There are some new stores with literary atmosphere opened here, the relaxed surroundings can unconsciously slow down your steps and look around this amazing place.
Taipei Xia-Hai City God Temple
By mentioning about Dadaocheng, you can’t miss this temple! Built in 1856, Taipei Xia-Hai City God Temple is a renowned religious center that takes up an area of 149 square meters where you can always see an endless stream of pilgrims. The temple has the highest statue density in Taiwan. Because it is a monument, it cannot be expanded, and the original style of the temple was maintained during the construction. One of the major religious activities in Taiwan is patrol activity of Xia-Hai City God which always attracts millions of pilgrims. Other than City God, the Matchmaker, deity of love and marriage is definitely the most visited deity by tourists. Tradition has it that if the statue of Chinese Cupid is standing, he is eagerer to find a good marriage for people. There is a renowned love amulet, the Yu Fu Shoes(husband-harnessing shoes), which is also refer to as the shoes of happiness.
Located near the No. 5 Water Gate on the banks of the Tamsui River, Dadaocheng Wharf thrived in earlier years as an entrepot for trade along the river. Tea, cotton and silk textiles were among the main products bought and sold here, attracting trading companies from across the western world. Though it was no longer a trading center since Japanese colonial era, however, in recent years this area has experienced a revival as a tourism destination. Travelers took this place as a bicycling spot and the departure point for boat tours along Tamsui River. People would enjoy the wonderful scenery when sunset. There are now some vendors selling their handmade products here which forms a market on the weekends. By the way, the fireworks during Chinese Valentine’s Day are breathtaking so take the chance if you want to create an unique memory.
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