Taiwan Day 152: Retro Taipei - Jan. 30, 2014 | Travel in Asia

Friday, January 31, 2014

Taiwan Day 152: Retro Taipei - Jan. 30, 2014

It's Chinese New Year's Eve and I went to Dihua Street to buy some 'Chinese' candies to celebrate the Year of the Horse. From Taipei Main Station, I transferred to the Tamsui Line and alighted at Zhongshan Station. I passed by the Zhongshan Metromall and all of the stores were closed. I already expected this since Lunar New Year is a holiday in Taiwan. I got lost finding Dihua Street and it was a good thing that I always bring my Taipei Metro Tourist Map whenever I travel. I don't have a smartphone so I can only rely on this map to survive.

The area in Zhongshan Station was not new to me as I already encountered this place when I went to MOCA Taipei in Taiwan Day 106. While walking I also saw the covered stalls of Ningxia Night Market and I remember my Memories of Taste Buds in Taiwan Day 113. Now I'm getting familiar with the streets of Taipei!

When I reached Dihua Street, it was like Manila's Divisoria. There were lots of vendors selling in the street and also old buildings. Based on my research most buildings here were built during the Japanese Colonial Period. Since I don't know much in architecture in my opinion I don't find any 'Japaneseness' in the old buildings that I saw.

I've read in blogs and in TripAdvisor that there are too many people in Dihua Street during Chinese New Year but I didn't encounter too much people. The reason might be that most Taiwanese were already done shopping in Dihua Street. Another reason might be the time that I went in that place. It was around 10:30am when I reached this place so the crowd may not be too large in the morning.

I was able to have a taste test in the food that the vendors were selling like the sweetened preserved meat but the price was expensive. I tried to explore first the area before starting to buy. When I reached the stores at the end of the street. I went back to buy some Malao or Rice Crispy. The price was 50 NTD for 100g. I just get two rice crispy for each flavor and the total price of my rice crispies were 200 NTD.

I also bought assorted candies. The lady vendor told me that I can try them but I don't have time anymore. I just grabbed two candies for each kind and put it in the large transparent plastic that was given to me by the vendor and it was weighed. The total cost of my candies was NTD 110.

I also visited Dadaocheng Wharf as it was few tumblings away from Dihua Street. Dadaocheng was an important transport hub during the early days of Taipei. This was where the goods were dropped by merchants and then later sold in Dihua Street.

Tomorrow, I will distribute the rice crispies and the candies that I bought from Dihua Street. I believe that this will bring a sweet and harmonious relationship to all of my friends in TIGP and also good luck to me this Year of the Horse.

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!

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