Sunday, August 05, 2012

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Daxi Old Street, Taiwan

8/05/2012 Taiwan Explorer

Daxi or Dasi 大溪 is a small town in Taoyuan County, famous for its Old street or 老街, a well preserved Japanese dojo and a beautiful bridge. The town is also known for its dry tofu and attracts a lot of local visitors from all over the country. My wife was meaning to bring me here for a while, because it's not that far from Taipei City (only 37km from Taipei's Main Station) and because it's a good place to walk around and "play", as Taiwanese like to say.

We took the bus 9001 from Taipei City Hall Bus Station, which also stops opposite Taipower Building and in Zhonghe's Jingan Station. If there's no traffic jam in Taipei, it will take you about 1 hour to reach a small township opposite of Daxi, where the bus will drop you off (here the spot on the map). It's best, if you take the cab from there to the old street, if not you will have to walk along the highway and it might take you an hour.

Check my photos of Daxi Old Street from August 2012:

The first part of the Daxi Old Street.

A lot of locals with dogs came to Daxi on that day.

Visitors returning home.

The sky was grey, humidity was very high, because it was right after a typhoon.

Remains of Japanese colonial times.

Looking back at the beginning of the Old street.

Kenko residence, a former Japanese family house.

This part offers shelter from the rain.

More colonial houses.

Houses along the Old street have a lot of animal ornamentation.

A side street.

The central part was the most crowded. Guess why? Because there was food.

Maltose Candy Shop 麦芽糖店

This popular shop was making maltose candy.

This is how maltose candy (or maiyatang) is made.

The owner of the shop drew a lot of spectators and I first thought he's making muachi, which I love. So we decided to buy and went to stand in line. Unfortunately, we had to wait about 30 minutes, before we got our two boxes (100 NTD each). This is basically maltose dipped in peanut powder, it's very sweet, probably a calorie bomb. It looks interesting, how they prepare it, but I would not wait that long for maltose candy again.

Douhua Shop

Next to maltose candy shop is a douhua shop, my wife's favorite. She gave it a try.

A lovely couple.

This house stood out as the most colorful among them all.

A Singaporean tourist?

Huang's Tofu Shop

This is one of the most famous tofu shops in Daxi.

My wife loves tofu, so we went in and had a snack. It was very delicious!

Scooters were a rare sight, which was good.

Now and then a cute girl found her way to Daxi.

The last part of the Old Street.

This humping dog was truly hard to watch.

More food stalls towards the end of Old Street.

Furen Temple

This is one of the largest temples in this part of Daxi.

The incense burner.

Furen temple as the venue for xiao chi eaters.

The old street is ending, we're closer to the Dahan River.

Huang Family Shrine

This building is a private shrine.

It's dedicated to the ancestors of this wealthy family.

Daxi Old Street in conclusion

Despite some charming houses, the Daxi Old Street did not impress me that much. It's hard to say why, but I wasn't feeling any special atmosphere. There were just too many locals with small dogs in the area. I think it might be better to visit Daxi during the week, when there is less people. I would still recommend a visit, but try to see more than just the Old Street, for example Chiang Kai-Shek's mausoleum in nearby Cihu. In my next post I will introduce the Zhongzheng park and Daxi bridge.

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Ningnuo Pinyin: Dàxī Lǎojiē
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