Southern Wanhua 南艋舺 is probably one of Taipei's poorest neighborhoods, perhaps the poorest. Wanhua is generally known as the oldest part of Taipei, but it seems, that the good old days are long over. In recent years the area attracts a lot of homeless from all over Taiwan, some say because religious organizations serve free food and offer shelter. A lot of the original residents are not happy about it and there were incidents in the past where officials went too far. It's not a pleasant topic to discuss, so I'll leave it at that. Truth is: There are several very messy parts in Southern Wanhua, especially around Longshan Temple. Things are improving in some areas, but very slowly. Walking around this part of Taipei might only be interesting to die-hard Taipei fans like me, I would not recommend foreign visitors to go south of Wanhua Station, because there are no popular or famous tourist sites to see. I went there instead of you to show you how it looks like.
These are my images of Southern Wanhua from July 2012:
And so I walked further and ended up in Ximending, the part of Wanhua, which I consider a must-see, if you come to Taipei City. If you're stuck in Southern Wanhua, then better go southwest and take a break in the lovely Youth Park, Wanhua's green lung.
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