Dadaocheng (Datong District)

Old shopping streets, venerable temples, and museums in heritage buildings

Dadaocheng is a popular tourist-friendly area of Datong District, sitting on the Tamsui River (Danshui River). The focus for this vibrant, heritage-rich neighbourhood in Taipei City is Taipei history. Dadaocheng is known for its dense cluster of traditional Chinese shophouse retail and wholesale outlets, selling regional specialty items from around Taiwan and further afield, notably Chinese medicines, traditional fabrics, and food treats.

The community was founded as a Tamsui River riverport in the 1850s. Today it is home to what is the best- preserved and most complete “lived-in” architectural museum in Taiwan. In addition to firework displays at the Dadaocheng Wharf in recent years, visitors can also enjoy amazing sunset views while cycling along the newly-built riverside laneway.

 

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Dihua Street is the community’s heart and main tourist destination. It was long the most important traditional-goods wholesale market on the island, and is still thriving after well over 100 years. The street becomes joyfully, uproariously busy in the run-up to the Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year and Spring Festival) period as locals stock up on New Year celebration necessities.

The community’s religious heart is the small ornate Xiahai City God Temple, built in 1859, home to a breathtaking number of godly icons, with the main deity the City God and the Old Man Under the Moon, the Chinese Cupid, as an extremely popular secondary deity. In the Chinese world each settled urban area in China has a City God, who registers and, upon death, judges the behaviour of mortals in his district.

At museum207, housed in what was originally a pharmacy built in 1962, the exhibits showcase the Taiwan of the past, such as the widespread use Of terrazzo flooring and the complex art Of Taiwanese gift-giving, with items ranging from lucky red envelopes to mirrors adorned with auspicious messages on display.

Learn about Dadaocheng’s prowess in the tea trade at the Sin Hong Choon Tea Shop, a shop-cum-museum. Its home is a 1934-built building that was originally home to the community’s largest tea-processing workshop. The museum presents the tea trade of yesteryear, antique tea-processing machines, and the original owner- family’s living quarters.

How To Get There

Dadaotun Wharf is located on the bank of the Tamsui River, now at No. 5 Water Gate (Huanhe North Road, Minsheng West Road).

 

Where To Stay



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