Saturday, February 01, 2014

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Sankeng Old Street, Taoyuan

2/01/2014 Taiwan Explorer

Somewhere south of Zhongli and west of Daxi and just a hop away from Longtan, deep inside Taoyuan's Hakka region, there is a small village named Sankeng 三坑, that has one of the shortest old streets in Taiwan. The Sankeng Old Street 三坑老街 is basically the only real street in that village, and if you walk fast, you'll need a minute walk through. Sankeng is, just like its northern similar sounding brethren Shenkeng, a little stinky tofu village, but not really known beyond Taoyuan. I was told that the first Han settlers arrived in this area in the 18th century, and this little street is currently the oldest in Longtan.

Let me show you what you can see, if you decide to visit:

Right at the entrance is the place where locals used to wash clothes. It's called 黑白洗 (lit. black white wash), and dates back to 18th century.

This is how they do it in the 21st century.

One little curve, and we're almost at the end of the street.

This is the last part near the temple. It's full of old shop houses from Qing dynasty.

Fruits, snacks, and mostly stinky tofu are found here.

The temple theater, where men with hand puppets entertain gods.

The Yongfu Temple is currently under renovation, which in Taiwan means complete overhaul.

I kinda like the old version more. 永福宮 means "Temple of Eternal Luck".

A peek inside reveals a spacious main hall.

The renovations are well underway here.

A small side street leads out of the village.

Villagers conducting business on the side of the road.

An old house from 1895 named 青錢第 (Qing Qian Di) is one of Sankeng's best preserved examples of that era.

If you want to visit Sankeng from Taipei, go to Longtan via bus/car, it will take you about 30 minutes or even less, if there's no traffic jam. Once there head south, it will take you another 10 minutes to reach Sankeng. Below is a map of the old street for your reference. From A to B it's just 180 meters, the only old street that seemed shorter to me was the one in Taishan.

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