Walk through the stories of the roaring twenties that took place in the streets of Taipei
Explore Dadaocheng - the secret hub where Taiwan’s literati and artists flourished during the Golden Age
Follow how Dihua Street has transformed over the years into a creative hub where traditions clash with innovations
The roaring twenties, a colorful period in which the cultural heroes of each country shined. As Pablo Picasso is to Spain, Ernest Hemingway is to the U.S., Coco Chanel is to France, so is everything that prospered around Taipei North Gate and Dadaocheng to Taiwan. Dadaocheng was the hub for local elites and artists in Taipei, who gathered in cafes and salons in 1920s style. Today, Dadaocheng is still a major historical tourist attraction and shopping area among locals and tourists alike, and continues to be mesmerizing as remains of Taipei’s Golden Age.
Meet up with guide
Meeting point: Exit 2 of MRT Beimen Station
Our guides are recognized with a green and white paper fan saying "Like It Formosa" and "Taipei Free Walking Tour".
1. North Gate
The North Gate “Beimen” was constructed as part of the Taipei City Wall in 1884 under Qing China, following an attempted invasion of Japan. With the objective to protect the cities from future assaults, the North Gate was built as a practical bunker and front protection to Taipei City. After its renovation in 2017, the North Gate is now regarded as "The Arc de Triomphe" of Taipei according to the current mayor Ko Wen-Je.
2. Railway Ministry Park
Railway Ministry was established in 1899 under Japanese rule as the office of the colonial department responsible for the administrations, constructions and transportation of all railways in Taiwan. After 1945, the old department was shuffled and renamed “Taiwan Railway Administration” (TRA) by the new R.O.C. government. The Tudor style building you see today was completed in 1919 as the office of the Railway Ministry, and was also the location of the TRA headquarters up until the 1990s.
3. Taipei Post Office
Originally established in 1895, Taipei Post Office was set up by the Japanese troops as their military post office. During the colonization, Taipei Post Office became one of the three main mailing administrative headquarters, and the current building is essentially an extension of the original design. Being right across from the North Gate, you can tell this very location has in fact been the transportation center of our capital city for more than a century!
4. Fa Zhu Gong Temple
One of the three major temples of Dadaocheng, Fa Zhu Gong Temple was built in 1869 by Chinese immigrants who moved to the area for tea trading business. Legend has it that Fa Zhu Gong, the main god of this temple, once shielded the local community from a spread of terrible disease. The peculiar location of the temple was completed in 1988, and was in fact a compromise between urban planning and Feng-Shui tradition.
5. Yongle Fabric Market
Established in 1908 as a transfer center for Japanese fabrics coming to Taiwan, Yongle Market soon became the biggest wholesale and retail center for fabrics even well after the Japanese colonization ended in 1945. Due to its popularity and high sales, a modern, multi-functional building was constructed in 1985 to replace the old fashion style market. Today, people still come to Yongle Fabric Market to find various styles of fabric to make clothes, curtains, and tailored dresses.
6. Taipei Xia-Hai City God Temple
Taipei Xia Hai City God Temple was built in 1859 by families and tradesmen that were exiled from Monga area in the hope of setting up a new community. The temple houses not only the main City God, but also Madam City Goddess, Guanyin Buddha, the Old Man under the Moon (Chinese Cupid) as well as the victims that died in exiled journey from Monga. Today, the temple remains the religious center of Dadaocheng and is home to over six hundred deities in its 152 square meters of area, resulting in the highest statue density in Taiwan. Don’t forget to visit the deities here during your midway break - the Chinese cupid is said to be very good at his job!
7. Dihua Street
Located in Dadaocheng, Dihua Street is known for its dried goods and imported snacks, and is often most populous before Lunar New Year. Its trading activities began during the rule of “Dutch Formosa” and was officially constructed during the 1850s, when many commercial entities moved in from Monga. Since then, Dihua Street has been an important center for commerce in Taiwanese products and imported produce. Being one of the oldest streets in Taipei, Dihua Street also takes pride in its architectural style of Chinese and European infusion that has been well-preserved throughout the different regimes.
The end of Dihua Street takes you further away from tourist sites and deeper into the real life of Dadaocheng locals in the last century. Since the early 2000s, Dihua Street has been revived thanks to tourism, its traditional industry in tea, dried goods and Chinese medicine - and most importantly, the collaboration between old and new, when fresh start-up businesses find home in buildings that are over a hundred years old. Make sure you take your time checking out all the lovely shops that sell handmade bags, lanterns and clothes, among others!
Regular tours suspended.
Book a private tour if you're interested!
Tip-based. Pay what you want!
Guide to tipping:
Nice: NT$100 - 200
Great: NT$300 - 500
Awesome: > NT$500
1. On-site registration is welcomed. Please meet the guide directly at the meeting point: Exit 2 of MRT Beimen Station.
2. The guide is recognized with a green and white paper fan saying "Like It Formosa" and "Taipei Free Walking Tour".
3. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water or an umbrella if needed.
4. This tour is wheelchair, stroller and kid-friendly.
5. This tour will take place rain or shine. However, if Taipei City Government announces a day off because of natural disasters, the tour will be canceled and you will be notified via email one day in advance.
6. If you are joining this tour with a group of more than eleven people (11+), or a group arranged by travel agencies, please fill in our private tour request form to customize your needs. The idea of our free walking tours is to show the city to individual travelers and small groups, and is not suitable for last minute big groups. If no advance notice or booking is made, Like It Formosa and our guides reserve the right to refuse your participation in our tours.
7. In the event of emergency situations, please call the guide or message our Facebook Fanpage.
8. Anything not covered hereunder, Like It Formosa reserves the right of final modification.