Hsinchu County is home to the largest Hakka community in Taiwan. Most of the early Hakka immigrants to this region landed at Hongmao Harbor and Nanliao Harbor, the majority coming from Haifeng and Lufeng in China. The Hakka residents in Hsinchu have unique dialects, customs and religious practices that reflect differences of environment. If you want to take a look of Hakka’s world, come and visit Neiwan old street and Beipu old street, the TOP 2 worth-visiting old streets of Hsinchu.
Neiwan Old Street
Neiwan Branch line is among the three infamous train branches in Taiwan. Visitors can take the Neiwan Branch train at Zhudong Township and go on a reminiscent trip. Neiwan is known far and near for the five suspension bridges over the riverbank. Beside the scenery, Neiwan is also known for the old street. The train station as well as the theater on the Old Street are full of a reminiscent atmosphere. You will also see the lively characters of Brother A-San and Great Auntie, which have long been symbols of NeiWan. Funny comics along the street and recent popular special products, such as ginger lily-flavored glutinous rice, further add to hospitality and friendliness on the Old Street.
Beipu Old Street
Beipu Old Street was Beipu’s most thriving commercial district in the Qing period. Today, it boasts Taiwan’s highest concentration of historic sites , with seven such locations along a short 200-meter stretch. Grade one historic sites Jinguangfu House, the Chiang family’s Tianshui Hall, and the former residence of Chiang A-hsin are located here, along with grade three historic site Citian Temple.
This is also a good place for a taste of Hakka cuisine, from ground tea to persimmon cakes. The street has stayed true to its down-to-earth spirit, with not a single large chain store to be seen. Hakka is also famous for Pounded Tea, Lei-cha(客家擂茶). Lai cha is meant to derive pleasure through a DIY experience.