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Century-old Dadoacheng full of nostalgia, relics

Looking for more than just a camera-clicking cliché touristy trip? Discover Taipei for more than its loud sights and sounds and pause to listen to the beautiful secrets of the city. The Dadaocheng (大稻埕) area intertwines the old and the new in its streets. It is a picturesque time capsule where the hum of modern Taipei harmonizes with history and culture, beautifully permeating through the air.

Dadaocheng was an important trading port in the 19th century and one of the most populous cities in Taiwan, making it a nostalgic place full of relics. You can feel memories of the past aching to be discovered.

The list of places to visit in the area is too long to print. But you shouldn't miss the Yongle Market (永樂市場) for fabrics, the matchmaking Xiahai City God Temple (霞海城隍廟), Lin Liu Hsin Puppet Theater Museum (林柳新紀念偶戲博物館), Dadaocheng Theater (大稻埕戲苑), Dadaocheng Wharf and street vendors both day and night.

A series of exhibitions opened to the public last week, including the “Sori Yanagi (柳宗理) and Hakka Blue (台客藍) Exhibition” in Ming Yi Cheng Art Yard (民藝埕), an exhibition designed for travelers in Xiao Yi Cheng Art Yard (小藝埕), and a wonderful puppet exhibition in the Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theater Museum. All of the exhibitions opened their doors on Sept. 3.

Such unique cultural attractions are usually neatly tucked away, invisible to foreign tourists' eyes. But with the help from the Tourism Bureau, such experiences have become possible for everyone. The Tourism Bureau offers various channels to easily access information. Through exhibitions, events, videos, pictures, websites, QR Codes, brochures, maps, booklets and so on, the lost tourist can easily be informed and led step by step through this wonderful experience.

Dadaocheng offers an opportunity for a different kind of travel experience, where not only foreign tourists can take away a piece of the culture, but also where cultures and life experiences are interchanged with the local people.

“We want to introduce this wonderful Taiwanese lifestyle to the international tourism market,” said Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Liu Xi-lin (劉喜臨) at a press conference earlier this week.

“This is a project that showcases authentic culture and the lifestyle of Taiwan to visitors,” he added. In addition to Dadaocheng, the Tourism Bureau is also promoting another couple of Taipei jewels: Da-an and Beitou Districts. ■

► For more information, visit www.tteacafe.tw

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Visitors hang wish tags at a replica of Xiahai City God Temple at Taipei Main Station, Monday, Sept.3. (Wang Chien-yu, The China Post)

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