Every city or country has it’s so-called “Golden Age” and it’s usually considered as the height of a country’s politics, economy, or culture. In the case of Taiwan, 1920s was considered as their Golden Age where their commerce really soared high, among others. This is something historical and I want to learn more about it. Hence, it’s mandatory to a history geek like me to squeeze in some Taipei Golden Age Route Tour when I visited the city. After all, knowing what happened during the Golden Age of Taiwan was the only way to make sense of how it became one of the most economically-advanced areas in the world.
As I was researching for my Taiwan trip itinerary, I came across Like It Formosa, an organization that conducts free (but tip-based) walking tours around Taipei. Apparently, they offer three free walking tours around Taipei: Historic Route, Golden Age Route, and Modern Route. Of course, I cannot miss all of these and I joined all of them.
What I liked about the tours offered by Like It Formosa is that it’s led by young and very intelligent guides. For this specific route, we were guided by two intelligent young guides (Hi Nancy and Paul!) who did not only provide us historical facts, but also how was it to grow up in a city like Taipei, including the system of education there (which was really impressive, by the way). The way they share information about Taiwan is very passionate and really coming from locals.
So, without further ado, let’s start our virtual Taipei Golden Age Route Tour!
Taipei North Gate
Taipei North Gate was something I’ve been noticing during my first few nights in Taiwan because it’s very well-lit at night and very noticeable. Apparently, it’s not the only gate in Taipei. If there’s a North Gate, there must be South, East, and West Gates, right? However, when Japan invaded Taiwan, they destroyed the other walls and only North Gate was maintained from its original state. I kinda forgot the whole story of these walls because it requires a background of Taiwanese history, but as far as I can remember, it somehow symbolizes or encourages economic activities in Taiwan.
Taipei Post Office
Just across the Taipei North Gate, you will see this beautiful architectural wonder that is the Taipei Post Office. Those who love sending postcards to their loved ones back home, this is definitely the place to be. Taipei Post Office is considered as one of the oldest buildings in Taipei and it was able to preserve itself to its original glory back in the days. In front of this building is the Beimen Bus Stop where you can ride a bus going to St. Christopher’s Catholic Church (which we were able to go for the Sunday Mass).
Tianma Tea House
To be honest, if I did not know about the history of this place, I will just ignore it and pass by it. Thanks to this walking tour, I was able to find out that Tianma Tea House is a very historical place and a lot of revolutionary incidents happened here which significantly defined the history of Taiwan. It is no longer a tea house today, and it actually was the place where the February 28 uprising started (And eventually the 228 Memorial Peace Park was built in honor of those who died during the uprising. 228 Memorial Peace Park is part of the Taipei Historical Route Walking Tour Itinerary).
Xia Hai City God Temple
Upon reaching the Xia Hai City Hod Temple, I can already feel the beautiful chaos around the area. It was apparently one of the busiest temples in Taipei because it’s located right at the heart of a very busy commercial area. I found out that this temple has the most number of statues and this is where the Chinese Cupid is housed. Oh, btw, single people, this place is your chance to wish for a love life! I thought Longshan Temple already got the back of single people regarding this aspect! (Longshan Temple is part of the Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour)
Dadaocheng District and Dihua Street
Filipinos, if you happen to have visited Divisoria, the vibe is the same here, except that it’s cleaner at Dadaocheng. 😀 This is where you can buy a lot of Taiwanese goods, from dried fruits and fish, teas, and medicines, among others. Moreover, you can find a lot of cute cafes and restaurants around the area.
I found out that this is like the ancient port area of Taipei and this is where goods arrive from maritime trading activities, and some of the businesses here operate for a hundred years already. Also, some of the architectural features of the buildings here are preserved, like walls, signs, pillars, etc. This is what I love about Taiwan, it really cares about up to the smallest detail of their cultural heritage. Awesome!
Taipei Golden Age Route Tour: Takeaways
There you have it, a tour of the Golden Age of Taiwan! Every city or country has its own respective ‘Golden Age’ and for Taiwan, I think it explains why Taiwan is one of the most economically-developed areas in the world and at the same time not neglecting their history. Even if you are not a history lover, I am very positive that you will enjoy this tour. So what are you waiting for? Plan your Taipei Golden Age route tour now!
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