Brand new day, brand new adventure! After having breakfast at Yong He Dou Jiang Da Wang, we took a 20-minute walk towards Dihua Street and Dadaocheng, a historic neighbourhood in Taipei’s Datong District.
Along the way, we passed by a number of interesting sites.
Taipei Post Office (臺北郵局)
One of Taiwan’s oldest post offices, Taipei Post Office (also known as Taipei Beimen Post Office), was founded in the late 19th century during the Japanese colonial era. In a fire in 1913, the original timber structure was completely destroyed. A temporary post office was constructed in the same year but was demolished later to make room for the current building, whose construction was completed in 1930. Today, the Taipei Post Office has been designated as a historic site by the Taipei City Government but it continues to function as the main post office for Taipei.
Taipei Futai Street Mansion (臺北撫台街洋樓)
The Taipei Futai Street Mansion, also known as the Yamato-chō Mansion 大和町洋樓, was constructed in 1910 during the Japanese colonial era and served as the Takaishi construction company’s headquarters. The structure was created by Japanese architect Chuuzou Takaishi and is a prominent example of Art Deco-styled Japanese colonial architecture with neoclassical elements.
Cheng’en Gate (承恩門)
Cheng’en Gate (aka Taipei North Gate) was built during the Qing dynasty and is one of the four remaining city gates of Taipei. The gate was part of the city’s fortification system and served as a defensive structure.
Dadaocheng was once a major centre for the tea trade during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many traditional buildings from that period still stand in the area. Traditional tea houses and merchants can still be found too.
Today, Dadaocheng is a popular tourist destination known for its traditional architecture and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the Dadaocheng Wharf, Dadaocheng Theatre and Dihua Street, a street famous for its traditional Chinese medicine shops, fabric stores, dried goods and more.
(business hours for each store may vary)
+886 935 113 256
How to get to Dihua Street and Dadaocheng
The easiest and most convenient way to get to Dihua Street and Dadaocheng is by taking the MRT. Three MRT stations on three separate lines are located on either side of the area:
1. Songshan-Xindian Line (green line) – Alight at Beimen Station (G13)
2. Tamsui-Xinyi Line (red line) – Alight at Shuanglian Station (R12)
3. Zhonghe-Xinlu Line (orange line) – Alight at Daqiaotou Station (O12)
Dadaocheng Wharf (大稻埕碼頭)
Dadaocheng Wharf was built in the late 19th century and was a major port for the Taiwan tea trade during the Japanese colonial period. It was also a key transportation hub for people traveling to and from Taipei. Today, the Dadaocheng Wharf is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful views of the Tamsui River and the surrounding cityscape.
Visitors can take a boat ride along the river, or enjoy a stroll along the promenade and admire the views. Boats depart from the wharf head to Tamsui District in New Taipei during the weekends.
Nadou Theatre (納豆劇場)
This antique red brick building was once a tea factory. Now, it has been transformed into a multi-functional theatre space.
Yongle Fabric Market (永樂布業商場)
The Yongle Fabric Market is one of the most comprehensive fabric markets in the city and it’s a popular place for designers and sewing enthusiasts to buy fabrics and sewing supplies. Visitors can find a large selection of fabrics, such as silk, chiffon, satin, and lace, as well as home decor products, like cushion covers and curtains. Additionally, the market is also home to a variety of textile-related businesses, such as tailors, seamstresses, and textile manufacturers, which enable customers to locate all of their textile needs in one place.
Yongle Market (永樂市場)
On the first floor of the Yongle Fabric Market, there is also Yongle Market, a wet market where you can find fresh produce (like meats, fruits, vegetables), dried goods as well as cooked food stalls.
Lin He Fa You Fan (林合發油飯店）
We spotted a long line at this you fan (sticky rice) stall and decided to join in the queue. By the time we were served, we were told that only two portions of sticky rice was left. Chicken thighs and taro cake were also sold out.
Fried sticky rice and braised eggs
Steamed glutinous rice stir fried with shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimps and pork. Even without any side dishes, this sticky rice tasted amazing on its own! Very flavourful. Oily and well-seasoned. We thoroughly enjoyed it! Best of all, this was cheap and good!
Xiahai City God Temple (霞海城隍廟)
The Xiahai City God Temple is one of the most famous and well-preserved temples in the city. This century-old temple is dedicated to the City God (or Cheng Huang Ye 城隍爺), a Taoist deity who is believed to protect the city and its people. The 152sqm temple also houses more than 600 other deities, making it the only temple in Taiwan with the highest statue density.
Dihua Street (迪化街)
Dihua Street is a historical street located in Dadaocheng and is also the oldest street in Taipei. It is renowned for its TCM shops, fabric shops and traditional food stores. The street dates back to the late 19th century and is lined with two-storey buildings aka shophouses. Many of these structures are over a century old.
Visitors can find a wide range of Chinese products such as medicinal herbs, teas, old school snacks & confections, nuts, dried fruits & vegetables. Mullet roe (烏魚子) is considered a delicacy in Taiwan!
There are lots of non-food items too.
Jade Boat 191 (澎玉191)
One of our favourite places to get food gifts for friends and family is Jade Boat 191. The store owner is incredibly welcoming and accommodating. As their selection of snacks is so vast, he allows us to sample some of their products so we can easily decide what to purchase.
Packaging is nicely done. Very giftable. Prices are reasonable too.
Dadaocheng Cisheng Temple (大稻埕慈生宮)
Dadaocheng Cisheng Temple is dedicated to Mazu, a Chinese sea goddess who is also known as Tianshang Shengmu (Holy Heavenly Mother) or Tianhou (Empress of Heaven). The open space in front of the temple is lined with food vendors selling traditional local cuisine.
What an adventure! We can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of traditional Taiwan while exploring this historic neighborhood. There is a lot to check out, especially the quirky and eclectic shops that sell crafts and artisanal products. Not to mention how much fun it is to shop for souvenirs and food gifts because everything looks appealing, haha. If you’re in Taipei, Dadaocheng and Dihua Street must be on your list! 😉