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HomeSpiritual TravelTamsui, Taiwan: Fishermen’s Wharf, Previous Road, & different Issues to Do

Tamsui, Taiwan: Fishermen’s Wharf, Previous Road, & different Issues to Do

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Tamsui (淡水 or Danshui) is among the hottest day journeys from Taipei. This coastal district of New Taipei Metropolis packs in rather a lot – historic points of interest, breezy riverside promenade, spectacular temples, distinctive meals, biking paths, cherry blossom viewing, seashores, and unbeatable sunsets.

Situated on the terminal finish of Taipei Metropolis’s pink MRT line, Tamsui is tremendous straightforward to succeed in. Geographically, it lies close to the northern tip of Taiwan, the place the Danshui River, which flows by Taipei, reaches the ocean. Most individuals simply come for just a few hours, however there are sufficient issues to do in Tamsui to fill a complete day, or you’ll be able to simply mix it with a visit to neighborhing Beitou Scorching Spring in Taipei Metropolis or to one of many seashores on the north coast of Taiwan.

On this article, I’m going to cowl all the pieces you should find out about Tamsui, together with its historical past, getting there, the place to remain, issues to do (together with in fact the extremely popular Tamsui Previous Road, Fort Santo Domingo, and Fisherman’s Wharf), and eventually, the very best issues to eat in Tamsui, together with two very particular meals that had been invented there.  

Historical past of Tamsui (Danshui)

The realm of Tamsui was initially residence to the Ketagalan indigenous folks – you’ll be able to study all about them on the Ketagalan Cultural Heart in Beitou district of Taipei Metropolis, which is true subsequent to Danshui.

The Spanish arrived within the space in 1629 and construct Fort Santo Domingo, which was initially picket. After defeating the Spanish within the space, the Dutch rebuilt the fort in 1644. The locals known as the brand new fort “Pink Hair Fort” (紅毛城), after the Dutch folks, a reputation nonetheless used for the fort right this moment. The Dutch had been expelled from Taiwan in 1668.

In 1724, the native authorities repaired the fort, and leased it to the British for use as an embassy from 1868 to 1972, together with by all the Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan. In 1984, it was reopened as a vacationer attraction.

The common practice line to Tamsui, first opened in 1901, stopped working in 1988. Then, after the Tamsui MRT line was opened in 1997, Tamsui’s reputation amongst Taipei residents and vacationers exploded.

Unique locomotive from the Taipei-to-Tamsui ralway line on show in Tamsui Previous Road Plaza

Initially, the MRT station title was spelled ‘Danshui’, the pinyin spelling of Tamsui’s Mandarin title, the identical means all different Taipei MRT names are spelled. However in 2011, the spelling was modified from Danshui to “Tamsui”, which extra carefully approximates the unique and Taiwanese language pronunciation of the title. Most Taipei locals nonetheless pronounce it ‘Danshui’, although.

On the finish of 2018, the brand new Danhai Gentle Rail line was opened, branching off from the pink line at Hongshulin station (one station earlier than Tamsui), offering entry to principally residential areas of Tamsui, but in addition to Shalun Seashore and the favored Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf.

For many of its fashionable historical past, Tamsui was primarily a small fishing village. Even right this moment, the entire district solely has lower than 200,000 folks. However culturally talking, Tamsui is beloved amongst Taipei and Taiwanese folks.

Attending to Tamsui

The River Ferry transports passengers from Bali (reverse facet of the river) to Tamsui, and from Tamsui to Fisherman’s Wharf

Tamsui station is the northernmost cease on Taipei’s MRT Pink Line. The driving time from Taipei Foremost Station to Tamsui is about 35 minutes. Notice that solely each second practice on the pink line goes all the way in which to Tamsui. The others cease at Beitou, then return to Taipei.

You’ll be able to nonetheless take the Beitou-bound practice. Simply get off at Beitou and look ahead to the subsequent practice, which is able to go all the way in which to Tamsui. However in the event you do that, make certain to concentrate, as a result of in the event you go to sleep or get too distracted by your smartphone, you may end up heading again in direction of Taipei. I’ve finished it earlier than!

At Tamsui MRT station, a strolling path leads on to the favored Riverside Promenade. That is the place most guests go once they come to Tamsui, so you’ll be able to simply observe the circulation of individuals. From there, you’ll be able to attain a lot of the locations I’ll introduce on this article on foot.

To achieve Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, there are 3 ways:

  1. By LRT: Get off the Pink Line at Hongshulin station (one cease earlier than Tamsui) and switch to the Danhai LRT line. Be sure that to take the Blue Coastal Line, sure for Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, not the Inexperienced Mountain Line.
  2. By Bus: Get off at Tamsui MRT station and proceed to the bus station in entrance of it. Take bus R26 (16 minutes). This fashion is definitely barely sooner than choice #1, as a result of the LRT makes a number of stops and takes an extended route to succeed in Fisherman’s Wharf.
  3. By Ferry: Taking a ferry is the slowest however most scenic approach to attain Fisherman’s Wharf. The ferries depart from Tamsui Wharf, which is a 10-minute stroll from Tamsui MRT station. To get there, you simply observe the favored riverside promenade till you see the ferry docks. Ferries to Fisherman’s Wharf normally depart from Wharf A and B. You’ll be able to swipe your EasyCard to board the ferry and the one-way experience is NT 60.
Danshui viewed across the river from Bali
Danshui Riverside Promenade considered from Bali throughout the river

Ferries additionally depart from a special dock right here to Bali on the opposite facet of the river and to locations in Taipei (just a few per day, when operating). Throughout the river, Bali Previous Road is just like Tamsui Previous Road, however much less touristy, as only a few international guests ever make the journey throughout.

In case you’d like to mix your Tamsui journey with a go to to the seashore, you’ll be able to take bus 862, 863, or Taiwan Vacationer Shuttle Northern Coast Route (716) from in entrance of Tamsui MRT station. It takes half-hour to succeed in Qianshuiwan or 50 minutes to succeed in Baishawan. Taxis may also take you to Qianshuiwan (20 min) for an inexpensive value.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to go to Tamsui’s personal Shalun Seashore, which is close to Fisherman’s Wharf, and now has its personal LRT station. Study extra in my information to the greatest seashores close to Taipei.

The place to Keep in Tamsui

Most individuals go to Tamsui as a day journey from Taipei. However if you wish to spend the evening in Tamsui, I like to recommend Tamsui i66 B&B (see on Reserving / Agoda). It’s a brief stroll north of Tamsui MRT station.

If you wish to keep in a hostel, Vacationer Bunny Hostel (see on Reserving / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is an efficient alternative not too removed from the MRT station.

Golden Tulip FAB Lodge (see on Reserving / Agoda / TripAdvisor) close to Fort Santo Domingo and Fullon Lodge (see on Reserving / Agoda / Klook) at Fisherman’s Wharf are extra luxurious decisions.

The way to Plan your Tamsui Itinerary

Riverside promenade, Danshui, Taiwan
Locals alongside the Tamsui Riverside Promenade on a busy weekend afternoon

With so many issues to do in Tamsui, it could be slightly powerful to plan your journey. The most well-liked locations are the Riverside Promenade, Fort Santo Domingo, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

If you wish to see all three, you’ll be able to stroll all the Riverside Promenade (with non-obligatory detour to 3D Artwork Ladder and some temples that I’ll introduce beneath). Price range 15-20 minutes to stroll the size of the promenade.

On the finish of the promenade, you’ll be able to cross the principle street to succeed in Fort Santo Domingo. After seeing the fort, catch a bus to Fisherman’s Wharf. In case you don’t care concerning the Riverside Promenade, catch a bus on to the fort or wharf from Tamsui MRT. It is smart to complete your day on the wharf, as a result of it’s well-known for its sunsets.

One other detour will take you to a cluster of extra sights northwest of Fort Santo Domingo (these are Drop of Water Memorial Corridor, Hobe Fort, Cloud Gate Theater, and New Taipei Martyr’s Shrine). One factor you would do for a half-day tour of Tamsui is to begin your day by taking a bus or taxi from Tamsui MRT straight to those sights, then work your means all the way in which again to the MRT on foot, which is precisely what I did when researching this text.

Additionally see my really useful Taipei itinerary and Taiwan itinerary.

You’ll be able to even hire your individual yacht to cruise alongside the Danshui River. My associates and I did this as soon as for my birthday and we had a blast!

20 Issues to Do in Tamsui

The next points of interest are roughly so as as you’d encounter them if strolling from Tamsui MRT station.

Tamsui Previous Road

Memento outlets alongside Gongming Road

In Taiwan, each vacationer village has an “Previous Road”. That is only a avenue with a number of distributors and outlets alongside it. Normally they’ve good previous restored buildings, however not at all times – the one in Tamsui doesn’t.

Though Tamsui Previous Road Plaza (淡水老街廣場) is marked on the map (you’ll be able to see an previous locomotive on show within the plaza), it’s not really clear which avenue the precise Previous Road is. Most guests really stroll alongside the Riverside Promenade (see subsequent entry). My guess was that Gongming Road (公明街), which is one avenue inland from the Riverside Promenade, is the “Previous Road”, as a result of it has a number of outlets and meals stalls, or reasonably than the entire vacationer space of Tamsui is the Previous Road.

One among a number of small alleys connecting Zhongzheng Rd. and the Riverside Promenade, all collectively known as “Tamsui Previous Road”

I requested one of many distributors on the road and he or she confirmed my suspicion. Principally “Tamsui Previous Road” collectively refers back to the entire areas, as in all of the vacationer streets their connecting alleys, not only a single avenue. Largely these are between Tamsui Golden Anchor Park and Tamsui Previous Road Plaza (see the next entries). That’s why you gained’t see any particular avenue on GoogleMaps known as “Tamsui Previous Road”.

Until you’re in search of some souvenirs, there’s nothing so particular on these streets, so I counsel simply going on to the Riverside Promenade, the subsequent entry, which additionally has a number of souvenirs and snacks, anyhow.

Tamsui MRT Riverside Park and Golden Anchor Park

One of many performers usually seen in Tamsui MRT Riverside Park

If you exit Tamshui MRT and stroll in direction of the Riverside Promenade, you’ll stroll by Tamsui MRT Park (淡水捷運公園). There isn’t a lot to see within the park, however there are sometimes avenue performers entertaining passersby right here. You can too hire bicycles on this park

In case you hire a bicycle, I like to recommend biking south down the riverside path to the mangroves at Hongshulin and the spectacular Guandu Temple, one of many oldest and most fascinating temples within the larger Taipei space.

Simply south of the MRT park, Tamsui Artwork and Cultural Park (淡水文化園區 – 殼牌倉庫) is a former British Warehouse price a fast look in the event you’re all in favour of historic buildings, however there are going to be many extra to return on the record beneath.

Statues in Tamsui Golden Anchor Park

The MRT park is related to Tamsui Golden Anchor Park (淡水金色水岸公園), beside the place the Riverside Promenade begins. Once more, it’s only a grassy discipline, however you’ll be able to take pleasure in views from the picket platform on the riverside of Bali and Guanyin Mountain on the opposite facet of the river.

There are just a few statues within the park, in addition to an precise anchor on the far finish, therefore the park’s title. The parks get a lot busier round sundown.

Tamsui Riverside Promenade

The beginning of the favored Tamsui Riverside Promenade

Strolling alongside the Danshui Riverside Promenade is the principle purpose most guests come to Danshui. Known as the Danshui Riverside (淡水河邊) in Mandarin, it’s not really marked on GoogleMaps. Some folks may take into account it as a part of Tamsui Previous Road. The precise avenue title is Huanhe Street (環河路).

The Riverside Promenade stretches for over a kilometer. On one facet you’ve the river, and the opposite is endless eating places, meals distributors, and memento outlets. These are principally open all day, however particularly in style within the few hours earlier than and after sundown.

For that reason, some folks additionally name the Tamsui Previous Road and Seaside Promenade “Tamsui Night time Market”, but it surely isn’t actually an evening market. There are different precise evening markets in Tamsui, like Tamsui Yingzhuan Night time Market (淡水英專夜市). In case you’re in search of an evening market expertise, see my guides to the greatest evening markets in Taipei, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.

Moreover the same old Taiwanese snacks, the Riverside Promenade is a good place to strive some native specialties of Tamsui. Deep fried seafoods and ice cream are in style decisions. There are additionally two particular Taiwanese snacks that had been invented in Tamsui, and I like to recommend attempting each of them. See the “what to eat in Tamsui” part on the finish of this text for the main points!

A romantic part of the Riverside Promenade

Simply earlier than you attain the ferry docks, you’ve the choice to veer inland to go to a number of entries that I’ll cowl beneath (3D Artwork Ladder, Love Lane, Qingshui Temple, and Longshan Temple), then circle again to Tamsui MRT station.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to maintain following the riverside promenade. After the Starbucks, the trail skirts round slightly harbor and a cool playground with a big whale and constructing that appears like a fireplace engine, then reaches an particularly romantic stretch the place bushes type a cover over the trail (see photograph above).

The Riverside Promenade ends when you attain this harbor

The Riverside Promenade lastly terminates at Hobe Fishing Harbor (Hobe is an previous title of Tamsui). The harbor has some hip bars, cafés, and eating places round it, most likely my favourite part of the entire promenade.

From there, you’ll be able to both return to Tamsui MRT the identical means you got here, or proceed even additional for extra sightseeing (Tamsui Customs Wharf, Fort Santo Domingo, and extra coated beneath).

Tamsui 3D Artwork Ladder

The “3D Artwork Ladder”

You can also make slightly detour from the Riverside Promenade to the next 5 sights.

The primary is Tamsui 3D Artwork Ladder (淡水3D意象彩繪階梯), which is a elaborate title for a staircase with just a few painted murals on it. The staircase, really known as Zhongzheng Rd. Lane 12, runs beside Tamsui Fuyou Temple (淡水福佑宮), a formidable temple that’s undoubtedly price a couple of minutes of your time.

The staircase is simply 2 minutes up from the Riverside Promenade, simply earlier than it reaches the river ferry docks. The doorway to the staircase is throughout the street from the Matsu Rock (媽祖石), a boulder that was unearthed close to Guandu temple and thought to have non secular energy.

Front of Fuyou temple, one of the most famous temples in Tamsui
Fuyou Temple – the 3D Artwork Ladder runs to the left of this temple

Tamsui Japanese Police Officer’s Dormitory

Some wooden seats on a sunny balcony in Tamsui Japanese Police Officer’s Dormitory
Seats accessible for taking a relaxation with a view

On the prime of the 3D Artwork Staircase, on the left, is the Tamsui Japanese Police Officer’s Dormitory (淡水日本警官宿舍). This can be a fantastically reconstructed Japanese-era constructing. It has been open to the general public since 2019 and is free to enter. There isn’t a complete lot to see inside apart from just a few roof tiles from the unique constructing on show.

You’ll be able to take a relaxation in one of many chairs inside, in a sunlit room, taking in what as soon as would have been superb view. A number of buildings block the way in which now, however you’ll be able to nonetheless see a slice of Danshui River past them.

Love Lane Tamsui

A narrow lane in Tamsui called Love Lane, with some scooters parked in front of a wall with painted mural on it
Love Lane

Going up the 3D Artwork Staircase, in the event you flip proper (as an alternative of left for the Japanese Police Officer’s Dormitory), you’ll attain Love Lane Tamsui (重建街戀愛巷). Once more, the title is an exaggeration. Principally that is simply an atmospheric and slim previous lane, with some cool previous homes just a few extra mural work.

The precise avenue title of Love Lane is Chongjian Road (重建街).

Tamsui Qinsghui Temple

Roof particulars of Tamsui Qingshui Temple

After the 3D Artwork Staircase and Love Lane, in the event you resolve to circle again to Tamsui MRT station, you’ll be able to go to just a few vital Tamsui temples alongside the way in which.

From Love Lane, I counsel strolling over the Qinshui Road (清水街). Stroll to the tip of the road, the place the street appears to finish at slightly temple, known as Fude Temple (米市福德宮). You gained’t see it till you get proper as much as it, however Qingshui Temple (淡水清水巖) is simply across the nook.

Qingshui Temple is among the most vital temples in Tamsui. It’s considered one of three Qingshui Temples within the Better Taipei Space – the opposite two are in Sanxia (one other district of New Taipei Metropolis) and Bangka district of Taipei – see extra information in my information to Taipei’s most vital temples.

Tamsui Longshan Temple

Tamsui Longshan Temple is buried inside a market and sandwiched between buildings

From Qingshui, you’ll observe the street downhill then enter a coated moist market, if you wish to discover one other vital temple, Longshan Temple. You must discover your means by the busy daytime market, because the temple is buried inside it. So long as you’ve GoogleMaps, it’s straightforward to seek out!

Like Qingshui Temple, you may acknowledge this one, as one other Longhan Temple is essentially the most well-known temple in Taipei Metropolis. For tons of particulars concerning the temple, see this text. The temple jogs my memory of Shuixian Temple in Tainan, which can be situated inside a moist market.

After visiting the temple, exit the market the identical means you got here in, then it’s a 5-minute stroll again to the MRT station. Othewise, return to the Riverside Promenade to proceed on to the next sights:

Tamsui Customs Wharf

Previous British dormitory for the employees at Tamsui Customs Wharf

In case you stroll all the way in which to the tip of the Riverside Promenade, round Hobe Fishing Harbor, after which one other 300 meters alongside the street, and also you’ll attain the Tamsui Customs Wharf (淡水海關碼頭), which has an extended port customs workplace constructing and employees dormitory courting to the Qing Dynasty.

After I visited, the 2-storey dormitory constructing had historic shows inside concerning the constructing’s historical past (Mandarin solely), whereas the lengthy customs constructing was getting used to host a type of gentle exhibition. The constructing’s are architecturally Western model however undertake Taiwanese constructing supplies and constructing strategies.

This not an absolute should in Danshui, however you’ll move close to  the buildings anyhow in the event you’re strolling to Fort Santo Domingo or the street that goes as much as Hobe Fort.

Fort Santo Domingo

Red exterior of Fort San Domingo in Tamsui with Taiwanese flag flying at the top
The distinctive pink exterior of the fort

Fort Santo Domingo (紅毛城, or Fort San Domingo) is essentially the most well-known and recognizable historic constructing in Tamsui. Moreover the Riverside Promenade, many individuals come to Tamsui simply to go to this constructing.

To achieve the doorway to Fort Santo Domingo from the Riverside Promenade, you’ll must cross the principle street (Zhongzheng Rd) and stroll just a few steps up Zhenli Rd (真理解), the street that leads as much as Aletheia College (see beneath). Entrance to the fort is NT 80, and the ticket may also be used to enter Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence and Hobe Fort close by (additionally see beneath).

The red brick former British Consulate Residence building on the right, with large tree beside it on the left, and Danshui River visible in background
The Former British Consulate Residence stands subsequent to the fort

From the doorway, it’s a brief uphill stroll to the picturesque pink fort, which flies a Taiwanese flag on prime and others on the facet. Simply previous the principle fort constructing is the Former British Consulate Residence in Tamsui (前清英國領事官邸), a stunning pink brick Victorian constructing with arched home windows lining the outside balcony.

The constructing is just not a museum with rooms arrange like they may as soon as have appeared. From the second ground you’ll be able to take pleasure in an incredible view all the way in which all the way down to the Tamsui River and throughout to Guanyin Mountain in Bali.

The entire place is nice for photoshoots, particularly within the late afternoon gentle.

Danshui river viewed between the trees from Fort San Domingo, with Guanyin Mountain across the river
View of Danshui (Tamsui) River from the fort grounds

Aletheia College

The exterior of a church at Aletheia University in Tamsui, with a sidewalk running along it uphill
The college’s Nice Chapel simply up the street from Fort Santo Domingo

Returning to the place you got here in, in the event you proceed for a couple of minutes up Zhenli Street, you’ll attain the campus of Aletheia College (真理大學, previously known as Oxford Faculty). It was based in 1892 by George Leslie Mackay, a Canadian Presbyterian who’s domestically well-known – you’ll be able to see statues of him in Tamsui.

The College is among the oldest in Taiwan, and even simply strolling by, you’ll be able to see just a few picture-worthy buildings. The primary is Nice Chapel (淡水禮拜堂), whose lovely facade you’ll be able to’t presumably miss as you stroll up the street.  

Additionally attempt to discover your approach to The Home of Maidens (姑娘樓), as soon as used to accommodate feminine lecturers, and which is undeniably just like the Former British Consulate Residence constructing at Fort Santo Domingo.

Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence

A long patio with white arches and wooden windows at Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence
Xiao Bai Gong, or Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence

Observe Zhenli Rd or Zhenli Rd Lane 4 to succeed in Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence (小白宮), which can be included in your Fort Santo Domingo ticket. Together with the fort, that is one other of Tamsui’s most recognizable buildings constructed by the British.

The model architecturally just like the Former British Consulate Residence constructing, however it’s a single storey constructing and it’s white, lending it its Mandarin title Xiao Bai Gong, or “Little White Palace”.

Former Residence of Tada Eikichi

Interior of Former Residence of Tada Eikichi, with Japanese sliding doors, and gardens visible outside

In case you’ve made it this far, then you definitely mights as properly proceed down the street to the Former Residence of Tada Eikichi (多田榮吉故居), one other heritage Japanese constructing, just like Tamsui Japanese Police Officer’s Dormitory, which we visited above.

Nonetheless, I by no means miss an opportunity to go to beautiful Japanese-era buildings akin to this one. It dates to 1934 and belonged to a Japanese entrepreneur who lived in Tamsui on the time. it was one of many first buildings in all of Taiwan to get operating faucet water. Entrance is free, and ensure to take off your footwear.

Drop of Water Memorial Corridor

Exterior of a Japanese wooden building in Tamsui called Drop of Water Memorial Hall, with landscaped gardens around it

The next 4 entries are situated about 10 minutes’ stroll up Zhongzheng Rd. Part 1 Lake 6, or quarter-hour on foot from Fort Santo Domingo. The primary is Drop of Water Memorial Corridor (一滴水紀念館) in Heping Park.

That is yet one more Japanese-style constructing, however this one has a singular story. This 100-year-old constructing was really shipped piece-by-piece from Japan to honor the mutual help between the 2 international locations after the 1995 earthquake in Japan and 1999 earthquake in Taiwan.

The constructing was opened in 2011 and is free to enter. To achieve the subsequent entry, theirs is a set of stairs from Drop of Water straight as much as the doorway to Hobe Fort.

From Tamusi MRT or bus stops alongside Zhongzheng Rd. together with Fort Santo Domingo cease, you’ll be able to take bus 836 to stand up right here. Get off at Hobe Fort (Cloud Gate Theater) cease (滬尾砲台(雲門劇場)). You may get off on the identical cease for the next three entries.

Hobe Fort

An earthen and stone wall of Hobe Fort in Tamsui
Exterior wall of Hobe Fort

Hobe Fort (滬尾礮臺) is a Qing Dynasty fort on a hill in Tamsui simply 500 meters away from Fort Santo Domingo. The fort was constructed by the native rulers in Taiwan after the French had unsuccessfully tried to occupy Tamsui and Keelung in 1884-1885. The fort was accomplished just a few years later and modeled on Western-style forts. The Japanese later used the fort for artillery apply.

At present, the fort is among the greatest preserved in northern Taiwan. There are additionally canons and previous photographs on show inside. Entrance is included along with your Fort Santo Domingo ticket.

In case you’re into forts, don’t miss those in Anping district of Tainan, the previous capital of Taiwan.

Cloud Gate Theater

Looking up a staircase at Cloud Gate Theater in Tamsui, with two white statues of women walking down the stairs
Cloud Gate Theater

Cloud Gate Theater (雲門舞集) is a massively well-known dance efficiency group based by the legendary Lin Hwai-min, who is understood all over the world. There’s even a small planet named after Cloud Gate Theater!

Cloud Gate operates a number of theaters, however the one in Tamsui behind Hobe Fort is very lovely. The power was constructed on donations after a former studio burned down and was opened in 2015. It attracts a gradual stream of vacationers who’re religious followers or who come to admire the constructing itself (the inside can be generally open) and artworks round it.

Statue of a woman in dress twirling inside a lotus pond in front of Starbucks Cloud Gate Theater branch
One among prettiest Starbucks in Taiwan

The Starbucks Tamsui Cloud Gate Store (星巴克 (淡水雲門門市) subsequent door is among the most lovely Starbucks in Taiwan, with a lotus pond outdoors, lovely patio amongst bushes, and artsy inside.

It’s a 5-minute stroll from Hobe Fort to Cloud Gate Theater, and also you take pleasure in views of the fort as you stroll alongside the small, slim street.

A taxi may also get all the way in which as much as Cloud Gate Theater – you’ll be able to take into account beginning your complete Tamsui go to right here, after which stroll again to the MRT through all of the sights described above, which is precisely what I did when researching this text.

New Taipei Metropolis Martyrs’ Shrine

Looking through two large red wooden gates at the main hall of the New Taipei City Martyr's Shrine
Tamsui’s Martyr’s Shrine

Previous Cloud Gate Theater and Starbucks, the small street continues just a bit additional to New Taipei Metropolis Martyr’s Shrine, the ultimate attraction I’ll introduce on this a part of Tamsui.

The New Taipei Metropolis Martyr’s Shrine (新北市忠烈祠), or Tamsui Martyr’s Shrine, is considered one of a number of former Japanese Shinto shrines throughout Taiwan which were transformed into shrines to honor troopers of the KMT military. The present shrine is completely Chinese language in design, as the unique Japanese one was demolished, however the structure of the grounds nonetheless match the unique design. You could find tons of details about the shrine and different comparable ones throughout Taiwan (together with one right here in Hualien and one other right here in Taitung) on this submit by Josh Ellis.

It’s a pair minutes on foot from Cloud Gate Theater or Starbucks to the shrine.

Fisherman’s Wharf and Lover’s Bridge

Several rows of boats docked at Fisherman's Wharf in Tamsui, with a building and mountain in the background
Boats docked at Fisherman’s Wharf

Fishermen’s Wharf (漁人碼頭) is a scenic harbor proper on the mouth of the Danshui River. It’s very touristy so far as harbors go in Taiwan, and also you most likely gained’t see any fish being unloaded or precise fishermen right here.

The harbor is very well-known for its sunsets, and the Lover’s Bridge (情人橋), which spans the harbor, is the proper vantage level. There are additionally just a few seafood eating places and memento outlets on the harbor.

The harbor is a bit far to stroll from Tamsui MRT or Riverside Promenade. It’s higher to reach by bus R26 from Tamsui MRT station, LRT, or by river ferry from Tamsui Ferryboat Wharf on the Riverside Promenade. You’ll be able to swipe EasyCard on all the above.

Sunset at Lover's bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Danshui
Sundown at Lover’s Bridge

Shalun Seashore

Close up of sand on Shalun Beach in Tamsui with waves and sun setting in background
Shalun Seashore close to Fisherman’s Wharf is legendary for its sunsets

Probably the most well-known seashores within the space, particularly Qianshuiwan and Baishawan, are additional north alongside the coast, however Tamsui really has a seashore of its personal, known as Shalun Seashore (沙崙海水浴場). One thing a hidden gem, the seashore is now seeing extra guests because of the brand new Shalun LRT station, one cease earlier than Fisherman’s Wharf.

You’ll be able to swim right here, however there aren’t any restrooms or showers. Like Fisherman’s Wharf, which is just 10 minutes away on foot, the sunsets right here are usually picture-worthy. Don’t be shocked in the event you see horses on the seashore, as there may be an equestrian heart close by.

Cherry Blossoms at Wuji Tianyuan Gong

Tianyuan temple, where you can sometimes see cherry blossoms during Chinese New Year
Doable the very best place in Taiwan to see cherry blossoms

Arguably the very best place in all of Taiwan to see cherry blossoms is Wuji Tianyuan Temple (淡水無極天元宮) in Tamsui. This picturesque spherical temple, which can remind you of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, sees plenty of individuals when the a whole bunch (presumably 1000’s?) of cherry blossom bushes round it bloom in early spring in Taiwan.

There are literally two essential varieties of cherry blossoms on the temple. The primary normally bloom in early February, whereas the second are available early March. Once they bloom, the temple will get swamped with crowds. Even when the cherry blossoms aren’t blooming, the temple continues to be price visiting.

To get there, take bus 866, 875, 876 or 877 from Tamsui MRT and get off at Tianyuan Temple (天元宮) cease. The experience takes quarter-hour.

Yuandao Guanyin Temple

Thousand-armed Guanyin statue at Yuan Dao Guanyin Temple, Danshui, New Taipei City
Big 1000-armed Guanyin statue when it was being constructed

The ultimate place to go to in Tamsui I wish to introduce is the unbelievable Yuandao Guanyin Temple (緣道觀音廟). This peaceable Buddhist temple advanced within the hills of Tamsui is dedicated to the goddess Guanyin.

The temple is fashionable, courting to 2000, and has some Japanese and pan-religious New Age options. In 2020, the world’s largest statue of the Thousand-Armed Guayin was opened on web site and is mostly a sight to behold.

There is no such thing as a public transportation to the temple, however they’ve a free shuttle bus from Xinshi 1st Street station on the Danhai LRT.

What to Eat in Tamsui

A Turkish ice cream vendor in Tamsui Riverside Market
The long-running Turkish ice cream stall in Tamsui

Most guests to Tamsui take pleasure in snacks alongside the Riverside Promenade. The same old Taiwanese snacks are on supply, however deep fried seafood is very in style. You may additionally see sio chiu le (shochu snails or 燒酒螺), tiny snails that you must suck out from their shell.

Ice cream is a well-liked alternative, together with actually tall (however low high quality) delicate serve, in addition to deep fried ice cream. There may be additionally a Turkish ice cream stall (土耳其冰淇淋) that has been tricking prospects attempting to seize their ice cream on the Tamsui Riverside Promenade for properly over a decade.

A-gei, a common Taiwanese local food
A-gei, a dish invented in Tamsui

There are two particular Taiwanese meals that truly originated in Tamsui, and I extremely really useful attempting each of them. The primary is a-gei (阿給), which is a bundle of cellophane noodles wrapped in tofu pores and skin sealed with surimi (fish paste) and served with a candy and savoury sauce.

A-gei is commonly loved with fish fall soup and/or soy milk. There are a minimum of a dozen locations serving a-gei round Tamsui MRT or the Riverside Promenade – simply copy-paste 阿給 into GoogleMaps to seek out them. Tamsui Wenhua A-gei (淡水文化阿給) close to Santo Domingo Fort is very in style amongst locals.

Hundreds of packs of iron eggs on display for sale on Tamsui Old Street
Iron eggs on the market on Tamsui Previous Road

A second well-known Taiwanese snack that originated in Tamsui is iron eggs (鐵蛋 or tiedan). The story goes that on one wet day with sluggish enterprise, a Tamsui ludan (soy sauce braised egg) vendor regularly cooked some eggs too many instances they usually developed a rubbery, darkish exterior that turned out to be fairly scrumptious.

Now yow will discover a number of distributors promoting packages of iron eggs, together with smaller quail eggs, on Tamsui Previous Road, simply outdoors Tamsui MRT station. I’ve marked considered one of them, known as 味來香, on the Tamsui map on the prime of this text. They arrive in numerous flavors, akin to plain, garlic, spicy, mala (mouth numbing), and black pepper. They make for a tasty snack!

Nicely, that brings us to the tip of my Tamsui information. Thanks in the event you’ve learn this far! Make sure to take a look at my guides to different cool locations in New Taipei Metropolis, together with Shenkeng Pungent Tofu Village, Yingge Pottery Road, Wulai Scorching Spring Village, and Zhonghe Myanmar Road!



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