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The Secret of Da Dao Cheng

Updated: Dec 2, 2021




Da dao cheng is an old community very close to the Taipei Main Station. In addition to the 3 MRT stations nearby, there are many bus routes that go through the area. You should not have any trouble getting here by public transportation. If you happen to drive, there are 3 underground parking lots, in Da-dao-cheng, on Tacheng Street and

Chaoyang Street respectively.


We don't recommend driving during the New Year shopping season. Coming from other cities, you can walk along the pedestrian arcades on Tacheng Street from Taipei Main Station. The walk is within 3 kilometers.


It's about 2 kilometers north of MRT Airport Station A1 exit and 3 kilometers north of Taipei Main Station.


You can see an array of fabric stores along the way. Coming from the crowded Taipei Main Station, you will soon be in a community full of vintage houses and cultural spirit!

The shift in street views from metro politan to almost rural is surprisingly unique.


Heading north along Tacheng Street, you will arrive at Nan-jing West Road, and a home decoration shop renovated from a vintage house. This is the entrance to Di-hua Street.


There are Watson and Company and Yong-la Plaza. Watson is a historic site, renovated to become a tea house and cafe. The first floor displays artifacts available for purchase.


Upstairs on the second floor, there is a cafe. You can have a cup of coffee here while enjoying the frontal view of Yong-la Plaza through the window. It's quite a relaxing delight!


Yong-la Plaza is a fabric market full of unique local dishes and fabric shops. Feel free to experience those local dishes next to the plaza. In the crowded little alley, there are three food stands.


One specializes in Braised Pork Rice, another sells Swordfish Vermicelli, and the last one sells Fried Spanish Mackerel Chowder originated from Tainan.


The Swordfish Vermicelli usually sells out in a flash, be sure to come earlier if you like to try it. Di-hua Street being the distribution hub for Chinese herbal medicine. Walking past pedestrian arcades, you can smell rich Chinese medicine. This is also a trade center for dried food and groceries.


Here is Xiaoyicheng

After several years of renovations, Watson’s Pharmacy is currently leased to the Xiaoyicheng. Xiaoyicheng intends to sell small crafts in Dadaocheng. There are eight brands in it, including Taiwanese products, tea, Bookstore , cloth design, Coffee on the second floor, and art exhibition space/theater on the third floor.


There will be some activities here from time to time. I have participated in it with my friends


There are a lot of temples in Taiwan, Dihua Street is no exception, here is the famous one


The Xiahai City God Temple.

The Xiahai City God Temple (霞海城隍廟), which dates back to the 1850s and is one of the oldest temples in Taiwan. It is split into two parts and is the religious center of the area; it is extremely popular despite its size. Because the temple also houses the City God's Wife, it is also a popular spot for couples for those wishing to find love.

The red thread, lead money, wedding candy and flowers, which is necessary for the offering, if you are single can bring Red dates and wolfberry means to have a good result. After the worship, the red dates and wolfberry are left to the temple to make Ping An tea, which also means to make good relationships. If you get married with Yue Lao, you can thank you with an engagement cake.


Walking on Di-Hua Street, you are surrounded by entire blocks of Baroque-style buildings constructed during the Japanese colonial era. These buildings were renovated in order to restore their lost luster after the decline of Da-dao-cheng.


This is the earliest westernized community in Taiwan. There's also the very first western-style restaurant Bolero around the corner. The European spirit is palpable here in this community.

At Di-hua Street entrance, there is a tourist information center. Free maps are there for you to grab. There are various books written about the history and recent development of Da-

dao-cheng.


Despite the European touches, the area is full of local essence.

For instance, there is a fresh juice stand on the corner of a Baroque-style building. The menu is displayed in 3 languages: Chinese, English and Japanese.



Next, there is Minyicheng and Heyicheng.


Located next to the Xiahai City God Temple on Dihua Street, the Minyicheng is a century-old three-entry street house with the theme of folk arts.

It sells pottery, porcelain and some traditional goods.

Across the Minyicheng is Heyicheng, which is the beginning of Taiwan's textile industry.


Up until the 1960s in the mid 20th century, the textile industry had a long period of prosperity; similar to Liverpool, Britain and Malacca, Malaysia, the buildings became dilapidated after the community passed its prime and lost its momentum.

The community seems to have frozen in time and stayed in the past.


You can find myriad snacks imported from Japan and America, or food ingredients. Indigenous mullet roe, pineapple jellies and even imported cubilose are available, making the area feel like an enlarged version of a supermarket in Chinatown!



The last place is Dadaocheng Wharf Market located in the vicinity of Tam-sui River, Da-dao-cheng Wharf used to be a main shipping port for Taipei City. Di-hua Street and Yanping North Road run parallelly to Tam-sui River. Along with Da-dao-cheng wharf, they make up the Da-dao-cheng area.


It was the most affluent commercial trading center in Taiwan during the Qing dynasty. Today, it still functions as the distribution hub for dried food and groceries, attracting huge crowds during the New Year shopping season every year.


During the Age of Discovery in the late 19th century, Da-dao-cheng was the prime financial trade center in Taiwan. Goods, such as tea and camphor, were exported worldwide from here.


The top five foreign firms at the time all had offices here for tea exportation. This area was also the distribution place for Chinese herbal medicine.


You can relax and enjoy the riverbank scenery while drinking tea and chatting with your friends. If you come in the morning you can watch the sunrise, or if you come in the evening you can watch the beautiful sunset. In August, my dad and I rode a bicycle around Taipei pass here and we see the beautiful scenery. Sunset, it is worth taking pictures.


And we will visit two store here is the first one Taiwanese style grocery store. It specializes in bamboo and wood-based kitchen supplies such as colorful eggplant bags and steamers from the last era. Steamers and bamboo bento for xiaolongbao, as well as various tableware are also on sale.


Near by the grocery store is Xueyicheng. Xueyicheng was founded in 2014 as the exhibition venue, hall and workshop of Dadaocheng. The building is an antique new-built desktop street house on the third floor. Lectures, forums, courses, etc. are usually held, and venues can also be loaned for exhibitions, performances, gatherings, and collaborations.

Di-hua Street still serves some commercial functions, but it has declined significantly compared to the past.


A group of young people came to rebuild this community from Di-hua Street to Yanping North Road 5 years ago. Art stores, cafes and various small stores can be found. Similar to Malacca, some of them were renovated from traditional longhouses.



Now we will go to Dihua 207 Museum


The Dihua 207 Museum is located at No. 207, Section 1, Dihua Street, Taipei City. The house was built in 1962, sold by the original owner in 2006, and changed hands several times. In 2009, the Taipei City Government listed it as a historical building for its architectural and historical preservation value.


Next, we are going to the store that sells some Chinese pastries.


Hexing Yijiu Siqi sells 70-year-old Chinese pastries. Every time you return to Dihua Street, there is always an endless stream of people. It is also a popular check-in delicacy on IG. The old Shanghai Hexing Cake Tuan in Nanmen Market is now passed to the young third generation. Originally wanted to settle in the traditional market, but the owner said, instead of waiting for customers in the market, it is better to take the initiative to move forward. When there are young people, there are different sparks. Hexing Yijiu Siqi is a small shop on the outside, but inside it depicts the old scenery of that era.



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