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Wanhua, where everything about Taipei started, is definitely the best place to begin the exploration of the city.

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NEWS

2017-01-06

公告訊息(en)

A Friday night at Duckstay! by Liz

It's Friday night.   In the common room right now, 18 and 19-year-old girls are spread out on black couches, curled around pillows, drinking giant juice-boxes together, laughing and poring over the day's pictures.   Behind the girls, in the event space, I'm watching local volunteers hanging photographs and sketches together, chatting as they're putting up an exhibition about migration and cultural diversity for the next day -- and the white-washed walls of the common room transform into a gallery.   Behind me, people are sitting in the bar space, sharing beers and chatting about travel plans -- comparing ideas, flight tickets, and looking at each other's laptops. Akira, half-Japanese, half-Chinese, is playing darts with Sunny, who's Belgian. There's casual music on the stereo, and I hear the laptop group laughing. Now Sunny and Akira are laughing, and more people just walked in.   This room is happy. Warm. Relaxed. Alive. This is Duckstay Hostel.   This is Wanhua, Taipei, Taiwan, and I'm minutes from cold, sweet bowls of tofu and adzuki beans. I'm minutes from temples, and beautiful old buildings where graphic design and photography students are showing their portfolios, while outside little old ladies argue loudly over shared plates of food. I'm able to see it all without any curfews.   I'm settled comfortably into a chair sipping coffee, in the common room of Duckstay Hostel on a Friday night, watching. I'm not just a tourist here. I'm part of the city.   by Liz

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2017-01-03

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VIsit Gong Guan,Taipei! by Sew

If you are born in the 80s, used to be obsessed with Taiwanese drama. Then it is safe to say that you have fantasised that you are one of the juniors, sitting at the bench, looking at your high senior running on the track. Or perhaps, you are born in the 90s, once cried for the movie “Café·Waiting·Love”. Then you might have fantasised being teased or followed by Ah Tuo in the alleys.   If you are none of the above, then you might be the same as me, a true loyal fan of Kang Xi Lai Le. Throughout the 12 years of watching Kang Xi, I have heard countless times of “Witch House” but never knew how it looks like. This is the place which cultivated 2 famous folk singers, Deserts Chang and Wu Tsing-Fong. If you fit in to any one of the abovementioned scenarios, then Gong Guan is your place to go.   Gong Guan is able to fulfil your desire for mainstream activities too. It is close to National Taiwan University, hence you will get a youthful and vibrant feeling from this town. On top of that, you will be able to find something cheap, something nice and something yummy here. Yummy food: Feng Cheng BBQ store, just right opposite of Witch House. Their BBQ pork roasted chicken rice is not bad. In Section 3, Tingzhou Rd., you will be able to find a nice night market, full of food stalls. I would recommend 黑糖青蛙鲜奶and割包.   Nice to see: National Taiwan University, Gong Guan Flea Market and Riverside (name of a place). Personally, I like WenZhou park area, you get to see people from different walks of life. Cheap: It goes without saying, food in night market is always cheap. But what make this place awesome is the cheap sportswear, it is along the section 3, Xinsheng South Rd. You will be able to find Nike, Adidas, New Balance etc.   So, don’t forget about Gong Guan in your next visit to Taipei!   By Sew

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2016-12-29

公告訊息(en)

Top Things to do in Wanhua District, Taipei by The Shoestring Trekkers

Wanhua District has been our home for the last three weeks so we thought it would be a good idea to give our readers an idea of what it’s like. Wanhua District, originally called “Monka” or “Bangka”, is Taipei’s oldest district. It can be divided up into three sections : northern, central, and southern. Northern Wanhua is home to the district’s shopping area, notably Ximending. Central Wanhua ( where Duckstay Hostel is located ) is home to the district’s historical sites, including Longshan Temple, Herb Alley, and the Bopiliao Historic Block. Southern Wanhua is the main residential area of the district. In total, there are 36 villages and 722 neighborhoods throughout Wanhua with a total population of ~194,000 people. That’s just 1 district! In total there are 12 districts within Taipei and a total population of ~2.7 million. Quite a sizable city for such a small island!   The district’s importance in the early history of Taipei and Formosa (the name originally given by the Portuguese in the 16th century) as a whole lies in it’s location. During the Qing Dynasty the main trading area within Taipei was located in Wanhua and goods were moved up and down the Tamsui River on junk boats from the port in Tamsui District. In 1862 the port extended it’s reach into Wanhua. By this point in time the other two major ports on the island, Annping and Lugang were on the decline, so this made Wanhua the most important area within all of Taiwan.   While the district doesn’t have the significance it had in years past it is still a vibrant district with much to offer for both tourists and locals alike. Here are some of the highlights of the area for your future visit to Taipei! Longshan Temple   Longshan Temple is the crown jewel (at least in my opinion) of Wanhua District. It is Taipei’s oldest temple and one of the most frequented on the entire island. It was originally built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian, a province in Mainland China,  during the Qing Dynasty.  Our first day at Duckstay we had the opportunity to experience the free walking tour of Wanhua that they provide and of course Longshan Temple was a stop.  The day itself was slightly overcast, but as we made our way to the temple entrance the sun came through the clouds just in time for us to see the courtyard get bathed in light.  As we entered the air grew heavy with incense and we witnessed throngs of people rushing in, their arms loaded with fruit or flowers to leave at one of the many alters around the temple grounds.    While in Asia we’ve been to quite a few temples, but most of them seem to firmly be tourist attractions. Longshan was much different.  There were plenty of tourists of course, but they were far outnumbered by the people gathered to pray and make offerings.  As part of the tour we were invited to take place in the offering of incense to Buddha.  It was a beautiful and peaceful ritual, and getting to partake in it ourselves was a very special experience.  We learned the proper way to offer the incense and how to ask Buddha what we might want answered.  The ceremony behind such an interesting religion was something we’d been wondering about for awhile.    After we were finished at Longshan Temple our group made its way to Herb Alley.  Herb Alley is a street that celebrates the tradition of Chinese herbal medicine in the Taiwanese culture.  Originally carts would sell their herbs in front of Longshan Temple, but as Western medicine spread in popularity the carts moved to a s

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2016-12-29

公告訊息(en)

A journey through Taiwan’s past by Angela Gale

Walking through the streets of Wanhua is to go on a journey through Taiwan’s past.   Being Taipei’s oldest district, Wanhua is full of reminders of the years gone by. With sites such as Longshan Temple and Bopiliao Old Street, it is easy to see that the area is not short on cultural riches. But a walk through Wanhua is not simply a piece of Taipei’s past; it is also an insight into daily Taiwanese life.   As the first place of economic development in Taipei, a walk through the market not only awakens the senses – think colourful arrays of vegetables, the glistening skin of freshly caught fish, small mountains of mantou (Taiwanese steamed buns) – but transports us to a time before urban sprawl. This seems to be much of a social event, to the locals; the lively chatter and casual snacking coming in equal to the purchasing of daily groceries.     From here it is just a short walk to Bopiliao Old Street which shows the remains of Japanese Occupation. Nowadays, the area is full of colourful artworks, shop displays and a museum which provides an insight into daily life in Wanhua in years gone by. For a moment you can take the same steps as the Japanese aristocrats through narrow cobbled streets, between grand colonial shopfronts, all the way to Longshan Temple – an important trade route of the past.   Once you arrive at Longshan Temple, it is hard not to be overwhelmed by its grandeur. Built in 1738, a living legacy to the Qing Rule, Longshan Temple has been rebuilt and repaired over the years due to natural disasters and effects of war. This only adds to the narrative of Taipei’s past, with the architectural wonders of various eras being on display. And the role of Taipei’s oldest temple continues to live on, a walk through this area, day or night, will show crowds gathered there to pray to the deities, both young and old, the smell of incense filling the air.   Wanhua is a great place to gain an insight into Taipei’s past; but more importantly, to see how the past interacts with the present in order to shape the city’s future.   -Angela Gale            

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Duckstay Hostel
No.316, Kunming St., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City 108, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
gracehosteltw@gmail.com
+886-2308-0066