I came to Dadaocheng on Tuesday morning. After finishing the placement test on Monday, we have a free week to do whatever we want before having the first class on the next Monday. Then I decided to take a bus (Bus 282) from the main entrance of NCCU to Yuan Huan (Chong Qing). Right when I first stepped down the bus at Yuan Huan (Chong Qing), I already felt the atmosphere of an old Taipei with the old brick houses faded by the passing of time. The building and the street here looked a bit different from other places I had been before in Taipei or the neighborhood around my university.
I then turned left to Nanjing West Road to Dihua Street. Dihua Street was once an important commercial tea trading port of Taipei. It used to be among the first streets built in Western style (if my memories do not betray me), in contrast to the old Chinese style and it was said that the 1920s was the most glorious period of this place. There was also a book store named 1920s on Dihua Street. Now Dihua Street was turned into a shopping street. There is an abundance of shops that sell souvenir or some kind of specialties, coffee shops, bookshops, hand-made shops or creative centers for the young people.
I took a turn at the left hand side and reached Dadaocheng Wharf. Before getting to Taiwan, on knowing about Dadaocheng, I tried searching on Facebook to see if anyone posted photos at this place and found out that on the Chinese Valentine’s Day (Qixi – 7/7 by Lunar Calendar), there was a firework here in Dadaocheng Wharf. Dadaocheng Wharf on Tamsui River used to be a busy commercial port in the past where people traded tea, textile, etc. I came here by noon then there were few people taking a walk or biking around the Wharf. I thought that place should be a part of Taipei cultural life now but as I came here on a normal morning, it would be quite difficult to feel the vibe of this place.
I then came back to the street and stepped in Gui’de Street. It was noted on the guidebook that there are many places to visit for tourists on Gui’de Street. However, when I visited Gui’de Street, it appeared to be a normal residence place with small apartments and several small textile companies. I got to Chen Tian-lai Residence at 73 Gui’de Street. It is a three-story building which was built on 1923 and originally was a major Taiwan tea trading company. It is said on the guidebook that it used to be a meeting spot for Dadaocheng tea traders. However, when I came here, I found the doors closed and it seemed to be not open to the public.
Without tour guides, it seemed to be a little bit difficult to understand the places thoroughly. I took a walk back Dihua Street, lingering here a little bit before taking the 288 Shuttle Bus to Dalongtong.
Yep, and the most disappointing experience of mine took place there. I forgot the lovely pink umbrella on the bus, the first umbrella of mine bought in Taiwan. It is quite uneasy whenever I think about it. 😦
Dalongdong, located at the confluence of Tamsui and Keelung rivers, was even settled earlier than Dadaocheng. It is noted on the guidebook that this place used to be home to the imperial scholars in the past. There are a few places worth visiting in Dalongdong like Baoan Temple and Taipei Confucius Temple. However, I visited Taipei Confucius Temple only.
The first fact I knew about Taipei Confucius Temple is that it is one of the filming locations of “In Time With You” (starred Ariel Lin, Chen Bo Lin) :P. If you have watched this TV series, you might realize that it was the place where Cheng Youqing and Ding Liwei (the sub-character) first met. I still remember the Bayiwu (八佾舞) (a kind of ritual dance in Confucius temple) of Cheng Youqing in the movie. However, it is a pity that there was no ritual taking place here on Tuesday so I could not see this dance directly. The temple is kind of small but Taiwanese government seems to know how to make a worthy trip by presenting with a lot of information relating to Confucius and Confucianism in the temple by introducing the biography of Confucius, the Six Arts (six ancient Chinese educational courses including Rites, Music, Archery, Chariot, Calligraphy and Mathematics), and other historical events. There is also a 4D theatre that helps present the history of Taipei Confucius Temple and Confucius. The movies, created as cartoon, are a little bit of boring. Some Japanese tourists even fell sleepy during watching the movies. I thought that they should try making the presentation more interesting. On the walk back to the entrance, you can also linger for some minutes to take a wish card written in traditional Chinese. The most awesome thing is that everything is free in this temple.
I then strolled along the area around Dalongdong and even walked to the area near Keelung River to reach Taipei Expo Park. What I really appreciate of Taipei is that there are a lot of public parks in the city, making it quite comfortable and easy to have a walk. I visited Taipei Fine Art Museum as well. However, things displayed here seemed to go beyond my limited scope of understanding.
On my way to the bus station to come back to NCCU, I went by Tatung University. I read somewhere before that Tatung University’s campus is beautiful too. It was so late that the guard did not allow me to walk in. The area around the campus was also really comfortable with many green old trees at both sides of the street.