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New Taipei City Travel

Once upon a time there was a walled city — Exploring Fangqiao City and the four temples

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Exploring Fangqiao City

When it comes to walled cities in Taiwan, the first places most people think of are Tainan City, Taipei City, and Hengchun Township. The gates of these cities, which were built by officials, still have their gates and even some of their walls, and some of them have had MRT stops named after them (Beimen [north gate] Station, Ximen [west gate] Station or the Taipei MRT line), and are a shared memory among present-day Taiwanese people. But did you know that there is also a walled city in Banqiao, the prime district of New Taipei City?
枋橋古城路標
When going from the MRT Fuzhong Station to the Lin Family Mansion and Garden, perceptive travelers will notice that the streetlights in this area are particularly old fashioned, and that they are labelled “Fangqiao Walled City.” On top of that, when looking down, you can see the words “City Border” on the street tiles. The ancient Fangqiao Walled City had five city gates, just like Taipei; additionally, its history is even better known than that of Taipei, primarily due to two major factors that led to the establishment of the city: the Lin family of Banqiao and the Zhang-Quan fighting.
古城界址
Back in the Qing Dynasty, there were frequent fights between Zhangzhou and Quanzhou immigrants; in order to defend themselves from the Quanzhou immigrants, the Banqiao Lin family, who originally came from Zhangzhou, built the Fangqiao Walled City in 1855, stretching out to present-day Ximen [west gate] Street, Beimen [north gate] Street, Nanmen [south gate] Street, and Guanqian West Road. However, during the Japanese occupation, the city was demolished to make place for traffic. Nevertheless, the temples located in the area still show traces of the old city.枋橋古城地圖 
Cihui Mazu temple
Located at the east side of the Fangqiao Walled City is the most popular Mazu temple in the Banqiao District. The temple is decorated on both the inside and the outside with fragmented ceramic art, sculptures, and color paintings, and the highly refined temple buildings are richly ornamented. In addition, the temple is a popular place for people to pray for prosperity, and local business magnates such as the Banqiao Lin family are all frequent visitors. If you look carefully, you can even find a dragon pillar bearing the business name of the Lin family.
慈雲宮屋頂剪粘慈惠宮與板橋林家慈惠宮財神
Banqiao Jieyun Temple
The Jieyun Temple and the Xinzhuang Dizang Temple, both located near the west gate of Fangqiao Walled City, are historically related to the Zhang-Quan fights; the Dizang Temple was built by the Banqiao gentry to commemorate the Zhangzhou people who died in the altercations. The Jieyun Temple, which is on the other side, was formerly known as the Zhonghe Ciyunyan Temple, but was destroyed during the armed struggles, and its remains were taken over by the Banqiao Jieyun Temple. Its collection contains many precious ancient plaques and scrolls, and there are many wood carvings of flying immortals wrapped in gold foil on both sides of the roof as well as in the main hall, which are very spectacular. The caisson ceiling has a special long oval design, and is of great historical and religious value.
接雲寺金仙人接雲寺藻井大眾廟
Banqiao Diyi Temple
The only one of the four temples to have been a city-designated temple, the Diyi Temple, was built by the Banqiao Lin family to commemorate the people who died fighting; it is also known as the Yuanshuai Temple. In 2021, after it was restored, the temple opened up for the public by appointment. The paintings of the Door Gods and the Qilin murals inside are all made by master painter Mr. Cai Longjin, the winner of the New Taipei Cultural Award. Next time you are in Banqiao, on your way to the Lin Family Mansion and Garden, slow down and closely follow the inscriptions on the ground to explore the former Walled City, and enter the temples to admire the exquisite paintings and craftmanship, and explore the past life of the city!
迪毅堂迪毅堂濕壁畫

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Educational and Entertaining Journey for Parents and Children! Spend One Fun Day throughout the Color Blocks and the Military Dependents' Village Cultural Creative Space
Have you already thought of a place for a family outing? Ever since the Circular Line has started operation, it's more convenient for people to travel via MRT. Here is the information about parent-child attractions. Starting from the "Kao's Fried Fresh Squid" at the Banqiao Huangshi Market; the combination of aromatic and sweet cabbage and the chewy squid creates such a very delicious flavor; have some food to get energy for a fun day. Strolling to "The Lin Family Mansion and Garden," which keeps complete classic and delicate garden architecture, parents and children can go beyond the space and have the time to feel the flow of history; the next attraction is the very popular check-in point, the "Air Force San-Chong Village No.1;" kids can enjoy playing house (game), and moms can take beautiful photos at the colorful ball pool; with the use of the interactive APP, people can know more about the culture of the military dependents' villages. If the kids are still energetic, the "New Taipei Metropolitan Park" is the next destination; a large grass lawn for running and jumping as well as the inclusive playground equipment for fun experiences; the Clover Landscape Slide is a must-go place of internet beauties; the last destination will be the "Zhonggang Main Drainage," after the comprehensive renovation, there are vivid 3D color paintings as well as the popular IG check-in point, the color block water trail. Capture the wonderful moments of a family gathering to make the unforgettable memories deeply impressed in your mind.Gao's Fried Fresh SquidA full bowl of fried fresh squid contains only two simple food ingredients, cabbage and squid; the aromatic fried cabbage has a crunchy texture and tastes sweet as well as the well-processed squid is crusty and chewy. Mixed with 4 seasonings, sour, sweet, salty, and spicy, the simple bowl of squid becomes very special.info.Location and Address: No.28, Gongkou Street, Banqiao Dist., New Taipei CityContact Phone Number: 886-2-29603503Opening Hours: Tuesday ~ Sunday 8:00-17:30. The shop is closed on Mondays and the Chinese New Year holidays from the prior day before the Chinese New Year's Eve to the 5th day of the 1st lunar month.The traffic information from the Fuzhong MRT Station to the Gao's Fried Fresh SquidGet off at the Fuzhong MRT Station and take about a 5-minute walk.The Lin Family Mansion and GardenAfter visiting the flourishing shopping malls and city center, it is hard to believe that a classical Chinese garden quietly sits in a place just a quarter hour's walk from the city center, waiting for people to explore. The Ben-Yuan Lin's Family Mansion and Garden is also called "Lin's Family Mansion and Garden”. It was the most magnificent private mansion in Taiwan built in the Qing dynasty. Inside his deluxe garden, there are pavilions, alcoves, and artificial landscapes, making the garden the most popular site of classical building photography and the most common spot for wedding photography.info.Location and Address: No.9, Ximen St., Banqiao Dist., New Taipei City, Taiwan 220Contact Phone Number: 886-2-29653061Opening Hours: 9:00 ~17:00 (The first Monday of each month is an official holiday. The Garden is open on weekends)The traffic information from the Gao's Fried Fresh Squid to The Lin Family Mansion and GardenWalk along Beimen Street and Ximen Street. It takes about 4 minutes to reach the destination.The Lin Family Mansion and Garden's informationAir Force Sanchong First Military VillageEntering Lane 86 from the busy Zhengyi South Road, what first comes into sight is the two national flags with blue sky, white sun, and a wholly red earth. Low and plain brick houses line up the streets – Air Force Sanchong First Military Village filled with nostalgic memories is right here. “Air Force Sanchong First Military Village” was officially recorded as New Taipei City's historical architecture in August, 2006 and has now been recognized New Taipei City's cultural heritage of military family village. In 1954, National Women's League of the R.O.C. built the Air Force military family housing here, where the houses' layout and size varied in according to military rank. Japanese and Kuomintang troops had all stayed here before; the two large-scale underground dugouts at the village are still perfectly preserved today – they are approximately the size of two basketball courts. At the village there are also artillery battalions left from the period of Japanese rule.info.Location and Address: Lane 86, Zhengyi South Rd., Sanchong District, New Taipei CityContact Phone Number: 886-2-89535332Opening Hours: 10:00 - 18:00The traffic information from The Lin Family Mansion and Garden to the Air Force Sanchong First Military VillageTake the Circular Line and get off at the Touqianzhuang MRT Station. Transfer to the Zhonghe-Xinlu Line and get off at the Taipei Bridge MRT Station. It takes about a 10-minute walk to reach the destination.Air Force Sanchong First Military Village's informationNew Taipei Metropolitan ParkThe Riverside Park along Erchong Floodway used to be the flood spill way of Greater Taipei. Ater the realignment by the New Taipei City government, it has become a green land of about 800 hectares, the largest city park for sight-seeing in Greater Taipei area, famous leisure point of interest and a pride of Sanchong people. On the broad grass land, you can have a walk, fly a kite, play ball games or ride a bicycle at will. There is a bicycle path here with a length of about 20 km, the longest in Taiwan. There are also 68 muli-funcional sports grounds and 7 natural ecological parks here, a very good place for having a rest.info.Location and Address: Sanchong Dist., New Taipei CityContact Phone Number: 886-2-29862345Opening Hours: Open all year roundThe traffic information from the Air Force Sanchong First Military Village to the New Taipei Metropolitan Park (Erchong Floodway Riverside Park)Take the Zhonghe-Xinlu Line and get off at the Sanchong MRT Station. It takes about a 3-minute walk to reach the destination.New Taipei Metropolitan Park's informationZhonggang Main DrainageWho could think that the popular check-in point- Zhonggang Main Drainage used to be a stinky sewage place? After the comprehensive renovation, the place is completely different. Fish is swimming, turtles are sunbathing on the stones and birds are searching for food, an ecosystem with abundant species everywhere. Enter from the dream-like Rainbow Bridge, there are children's colored paintings on the walls along both sides of the river; with the on-site landscapes, 3D paintings are lively and vivid and make people personally on the scenes. Please don't miss the "color blocks," you have to take photos with them; the colorful large and small blocks scattered in the river, it's IG's most popular check-in spot for internet celebrities; either sitting or standing, you'll get beautiful photos. There is also a small fruit cake bridge, very lovely. You should remember to check-in at the spot and upload your beautiful photos! The Zhonggang Main Drainage is designed with barrier-free slopes everywhere as well as chairs for visitors to take a break. It's a place worth coming over to.info.Location and Address: No.191, Zhongyuan Rd., Xinzhuang Dist., New Taipei CityContact Phone Number: 886-2-29929891 (Xinzhuang District Office)Opening Hours: until 22:00.The traffic information from the New Taipei Metropolitan Park (Erchong Floodway Riverside Park) to the Zhonggang Main DrainageTake the Circular Line and get off at the Xinfu Station. Take one step out of the station, you can reach the destination.Zhonggang Main Drainage's informationReturn Trip Traffic InformationWalk to the Xinfu MRT Station and transfer to either MRT Line on the return trip back home.Circular Line MAP
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The Must-see Attraction for Foreign Visitors- the Yehliu Geopark
You only have a week in Taiwan and do not want to spend too much transportation time? Then you definitely cannot miss the "world-famous" tourist attraction- the Yehliu Geopark. I assume you have done your research on the must-see attraction that people are talking about before coming to Taiwan. Have you heard of the "alien planet" in the northern Taiwan? If no, please add it to your travel to-do-list. The Yehliu Geopark is located in the suburban area of Taipei City. It is 40 minutes away from downtown by public transportation. The long and narrow capes sticking out from the island are eroded by the strong northeast monsoon, and with the weathering and coastal erosion, the "Mars landscape" is thus generated. There are lots of rock types here and you can even see gradient colors on some of the rocks. The famous rocks will be introduced below. You will definitely be amazed when seeing the art of nature in person!Pedestal rock area/ wave-cut platform- 2 main characteristics of the GeoparkIn the first area, you will see lots of pedestal rocks, ginger shaped rocks and candle shaped rocks. When looking around, pedestal rocks are everywhere. With time passing by, the hard concretion inside the sandstone is exposed, and with the effect of wind, sun, rain, wave as well as the erosion of the northeast monsoon, the pedestal rocks of different shapes, such as the pedestal rocks with no necks, bulk necks, narrow necks and broken necks, are thus formed. The landscape with lots of pedestal rocks is very uneven, so pay attention while you are walking on it. Do not be too focused on taking photos or enjoying the view and fall.The second area on the other side of the Geopark has the wave-cut landscape. You will find sea caves, coastal notches, wave-cut platform and cuesta. On one side of the wave-cut platform is the cliff and on the other side is the rapid wave. You will find lots of interesting rocks eroded by the seawater here, including the Twenty-four Filial Exemplars Rocks.Landscape Wonder- The Pedestal RocksWhen first walking into the Geopark, you will see a huge area of the pedestal rocks. When seeing afar, it's like the cute mushrooms park. And the pedestal rocks are the landscape that attracts most people in the Yehliu Geopark. The process for the formulation of the pedestal rock is first the rock formation exposed from the sea surface, and the seawater will erode the rock continuously. After some time, the hard concretion inside the sandstone is exposed, and with the effect of wind, sun, rain, wave as well as the erosion of the northeast monsoon, the pedestal rocks of different shapes, such as the pedestal rocks with no necks, bulk necks, narrow necks and broken necks, are thus formed. The different shapes of the rocks represent the different formation processes. The landscape with lots of pedestal rocks is very uneven, so pay attention while you are walking on it. Do not be too focused on taking photos or enjoying the view and fall.The Star of the Geopark - "Queen's Head"The next coming up is the star of the Yehliu Geopark, "Queen's Head". The Queen's Head is a kind of pedestal rock. When the crustal structure was rising, the differential erosion of the seawater made the Queen's Head what it is like today. If we divide its height by the average crust rising speed in northern Taiwan, we will learn the Queen's Head is about 4,000 years old. The Queen's Head is a kind of pedestal rock. However, the joint on its upper concretion broke during 1962-1963. When viewing from a certain angle, it looks similar to the head portrait of Elizabeth II and thus acquires the name. With the natural weathering effect over the decades, the neck of the Queen's Head is getting even narrower. To prevent erosion by human activities for that tourists might touch it, the Queen's Head is now under protection. If you would like to take a photo with the Queen's Head, you can walk on the wooden plank trail to line up. Besides, you can view the Queen's Head from afar and take photos with it on the trail.The "Cute Princess Rock" and "Candle Shaped Rock" are the popular landscape at the Geopark. The formation process of the "Cute Princess Rock" is similar to that of the Queen's Head. The eroded rock looks like a princess with a ponytail and is said to be the potential replacement of the Queen's Head. Doesn't the rock look like a little girl with her hair in a bun? Though the Cute Princess Rock is probably not as element and sophisticated as the Queen's Head, it gives people a feeling of passion and sweetness.How was the "Candle Shaped Rock" named? I guess you already know! The landscape looks just like candles. There are 3 main processes for the formation of the Candle Shaped Rock. First the candle fire is exposed, and the area around it is eroded to form a groove. Finally, the candlestick is cut and the Candle Shaped Rock is thus formed. The candle fire is actually a round concretion in the rock formation. When seawater erodes sandstone, the round concretion which is harder is exposed on the ground. And when waves dash against the concretion, seawater flow around the concretion to erode the sandstone around it. A groove is formed as a result. Since the formation outside the concretion is harder, seawater will flow according to the shape of the formation and cut the rock into a cone shape that looks like a candlestick. And a rock that looks like the shape of candle is formed by mother nature.Amazing Rocks- CuestaNow let's look at the beautiful scene of the Cuesta in the second area. Walking along on the road to the Cuesta, you will see the most beautiful sea and mountain scene in the Geopark. You can view the Cuesta on one side and the sea cliff as well as wave-cut platform on the other side.The Cuesta features a sharp cliff on one side and a smooth slope on the other side. It is formed because the main stratum is pushed by uneven force and speed, which results in uneven rise of the stratum. When the stratum is pushed, the lump on the ground will cause the stratum to break. And after the seawater erosion, a landscape that looks like a "natural slide" is gradually formed.Guess how famous is the Yehliu Geopark? CNN once reported that the scene at the "Yehliu Geopark" is like the landscape in the outer space and that it has the environment that looks just like the one Mars has. You will definitely find lots of gorgeous and special rocks, including the "Queen's Head", "Ice Cream Rocks", "Beehive Rocks", "Ginger Shaped Rocks" and other wave-cut landscape. You will definitely be amazed by the diverse geologic structure and landscapes here. What's more, you can see how great and powerful nature is. Whether it's from the perspective of geographic environment or location and transportation, the Geopark is definitely worth visiting!Transportation Information of the Yehliu Geopark*Tamsui Bus No.862 (Take the bus heading to Keelung in front of MRT Tamsui Station and get off at Yehliu.) The bus sets out every 30 minutes.*KUO-KUANG eBus No. 1815 (Take the bus heading to Chinshan Youth Activity Center at the KUO-KUANG eBus Station at Taipei Main Station. The Bus drives along Zhongxiao E. Road and makes a brief stop at the Taipei City Hall Bus Station. Please get off at Yehliu.) The bus sets out every 20 minutes.*Keelung Bus No.790 (Take the bus heading to Jinshan next to Keelung Train Station and get off at Yehliu.) The bus sets out every 15 minutes.*Keelung Bus No.1068 (Take the bus heading to Jinshan at National Taiwan University and get off at Yehliu Geopark.)*Keelung Bus No.953 (Take the bus heading to Jinshan at the bus station next to Banqiao Train Station and get off at Yehliu Geopark.)Nearby Places to Go Jinshan Wanli Cycling Route-->Jinshan Wanli Hot Spring
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小客帶路