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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?
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.
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.
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.
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!


8 recommended tourism factories in New Taipei City: Creating a good memory together
New Taipei City is renowned for its thriving industries, notably the long-established ceramic industry in Yingge, which has evolved since the Qing Dynasty, and the mining industry in Ruifang. During the export-oriented policy of the 1960s, light industries such as food, textiles, electronics, and others began to flourish. Factories congregated in Sanchong, Wugu, Xinzhuang, Banqiao, and Tucheng along Provincial Highways 1 and 3, contributing to the so-called "Taiwan Economic Miracle". As industries progressed, changes in labor costs and environmental consciousness prompted a gradual outward migration of manufacturing activities. In response to these shifts, some factories underwent a government-guided transformation into tourism-centric establishments, aiming to present traditional industries to citizens in a lively and enjoyable manner. Today, these locations have become popular leisure destinations for families, offering them opportunities to deepen their knowledge and create souvenirs through do-it-yourself (DIY) experiences. This chapter will introduce 8 tourism factories in different fields to satisfy the interests of travelers.【Sanchong】​​Beer Head Tourist BreweryEstablished in the spring of 2015 in Sanchong, the Taiwan Head Brewers, also recognized as the Beer Head, stands as the inaugural craft beer brewery tourism factory in Taipei City and New Taipei City. Spanning nearly 1000 ping, it is situated adjacent to the Xianse Temple MRT station and the Xingfu MRT Station of the Circular Line. The Beer Head prides itself on using primarily local ingredients in its beer production. Its notable offering is the "Twenty-four Solar Terms" beer series, which skillfully infused with Taiwan’s winter melon sugar, Changhua’s Jasmine tea, Pingtung’s cocoa, oriental beauty tea, and various other regional flavors. These beers are crafted to deliver enjoyable brews that capture the distinctive tastes of the island. The Taiwan Head Brewers offers professional tours guided by highly experienced brewers, providing travelers with an in-depth observation of the various beer brewing stages. Visitors can also pour a perfect pint of fresh beer themselves and can their creation under the brewer's guidance to take home!【Sanchong】Indian DIY LeathercraftTaiwan was once a stronghold of the pigskin leather industry but gradually declined due to the rise of environmental awareness and the outward migration of manufacturing activities. Established during this wave of industrial transformation, the Indian DIY Leathercraft is committed to promoting green, non-toxic, eco-friendly, and naturally vegetable-tanned leather crafts, including materials packs, hardware accessories, dyes, and finishing agents in various products. During the tour, professional tour guides will not only provide insights into the history and process of leather production but also offer the opportunity for travelers to engage in a do-it-yourself (DIY) activity, creating their own fashionable leather accessories using this ancient method, which is the oldest known leather-making technique!【Wugu】Fengde Tourism FactorySituated within the New Taipei Industrial Park, Fende is the first food company that began its business from a legally operated slaughterhouse. Apart from having its business scope extended to the supply of pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables, Fende has also developed a “food and agriculture education”-themed tourism facility dedicated to promoting domestic agricultural products, fostering healthy dietary habits, and cultivating an appreciation for food. The factory is established with a transparent vegetable-and-fruit corridor and a production visiting area, allowing visitors to learn about the process from food processing to packaging and distribution. It also lively presents all kinds of food ingredients in front of visitors through interactive AR and VR guided teachings for them to do FUN DIY activities (such as making colorful mochi, shaking rice balls, and creating red tortoise cake) while enjoying the fun of cuisine.【Bali】PopSmile Popcorn Tourism FactoryRecognized as one of Taiwan's leading brands of flavored popcorn, PopSmile has opened Asia’s first popcorn tourism factory on the left bank of the Tamsui River in Bali. With a vibrant ambiance embellished with colorful themes, the tourism factory features an American small-town setting, making it irresistible for visitors to refrain from capturing photos with their mobile phones. Led by professional tour guides, travelers can explore the history and evolution of popcorn, acquire related life knowledge, and discover the advanced AI automation technology used in production lines. Visitors can also engage in entertaining interactive games and DIY activities. It is a must-visit destination for popcorn enthusiasts.【Linkou】Prince Creative Stationery KingdomPrince Stationery has long been dedicated to the eraser industry and hastened the production of Taiwan's first yellow-barrel ballpoint pen, creating the brand of “high-quality stationery from Taiwan”. Prince Creative Stationery transformed part of its factory site into a tourism facility, becoming the new highlight of Linkou’s tourism scene. Let's follow its mascot, Duke, into the “Time Tunnel of Eraser” and “Celebrity’s Stationery Treasure Box” to catch a glimpse of the eraser production process. Visitors can also create cute and creative stationery using completely non-toxic, eco-friendly materials, providing both adults and children with a delightful and memorable experience.【Yingge】Hsin-Wang Shu Ceramics Memorial MuseumYingge is the capital of ceramics in Taiwan and was home to thousands of ceramic factories during its heyday. Established in 1926, Hsin-Wang Shu Ceramics witnessed the rise and down of of Yingge’s ceramic industry. The Hsin-Wang Shu Ceramics Memorial Museum was established in 2010 and became the first tourism factory that passed the evaluation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The museum has preserved various historical artifacts, including antique-grade gas kilns, kick wheels, and other pottery-making equipment. The experiencing zone is divided into hand-pulling clay, hand-pinching pottery, glaze painting, and mosaic collage experiencing areas, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the joy of creating ceramics.【Tucheng】Wang Ding Time Arts MuseumHave you ever wondered why time appears different everywhere when you travel overseas? Wang Ding, established in 1984, invested significant resources in collaboration with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and even sought expertise in Switzerland to develop the "World Time Zone Clock Movement". In 2012, Wang Ding established a time-themed arts museum to explore how the global time zones are determined and the assembly and production process of quartz watches. In the DIY zone, visitors can have an in-depth experience assembling quartz clock movements and designing products in their own style using the craftsmanship of watchmakers, which is both fun and educational!【Banqiao】Yumeeiren Garment Tourism FactoryYumeeiren initially operated as a ready-made garment factory and later transformed into a supplier of maternity clothing and related products. This long-standing clothing factory has been established for over half a century and has endured the decline of traditional industries and the impact of Taiwan’s declining birth rates. Despite these challenges, it continues to insist on maintaining the production line for maternity clothing catered to expectant mothers. From design to production and finally to the finished products, everything originates from Yumeeiren’s factories. It's the first maternity clothing company to receive MIT certification. Come visit the Yumeeiren Garment Tourism Factory to understand the process of creating ready-made garments, try making do-it-yourself baby clothing and fashion T-shirts. Moreover, all family members can also wear the unique, specially weighted maternity clothes available exclusively in Taiwan to experience the weight that mothers carry during their ten-month pregnancy journey.
Best Place for Children to Exert Energy- New Taipei Metropolitan Park
Do you feel like your children have endless energy? And time seems to become slower when staying at home? There are lots of inclusive parks in New Taipei City that have new facilities different from the all similar facilities at traditional parks. You can enjoy facilities in different ways! The most popular "New Taipei Metropolitan Park" has the natural riverside view. A giant grassland is here for people to run, jog and jump. Besides, romantic installation art and interesting amusement facilities for kids can be found here. Mommy and Daddy, let's move! Bring your kids here to exert energy!The New Taipei Metropolitan Park has an area of 424 hectares, which is 1.25 times bigger than the Central Park in New York City.The New Taipei Metropolitan Park extends from the Wugu District, Luzhou District to Sanchong District with a length of 7.7 kilometers and a total area of 424 hectares. It is the biggest riverside sports park in New Taipei City. The area of the New Taipei Metropolitan Park equals to 16 Daan Parks in Taipei City and is 1.25 times bigger than the Central Park in New York City!You will find 14 themed areas in the Park. Xingfu Shuiyang Park inside is an inclusive park and one of parents' favorites when it comes to taking children out. The transportation here is quite convenient. Take the MRT to "Sanchong Station" and you can walk to the Park. Besides, you can see the riverside view from height on the Chenguang Bridge next to the MRT Station. When at night, the romantic lighting will shine on the Bridge.The Erchong Floodway used to be a flooding area. After treatment and organization, it has become a great park in the city. At the Park you will find a giant grassland where people can run to their hearts' content or have a picnic. What's more, the flower field that changes with seasons are right next to the riverside view. Large installation art that is great to take photos with will be established on a constant basis. The most incredible thing of the Park is the amusement facilities set up along the embankment. You can always see cute children playing on the facilities. The facilities make the Park an ideal place for kids.The Super Exciting Slide of 7 Meter Height! Children Might Get Crazy When Just Entering the Park!Let's take a look at the Park area that might get children crazy. When walking out of MRT Sanchong Station, you will first see slides on a grassland. With the combination with the slope landscape, 6 slides were built in colorful shades! If you look closely, you will see the slides can be separated into 2 layers. On the upper layer is the tube slides over 1-floor height. And you will find lots of people lining up for the slides since it's rare to have a chance for using slides this long for free. Follow the instruction on the ground to line up.At the entrance of the slide is a flash notifier that will detect whether there are people at the exit below. Please follow the flash notifier to enjoy slides safely. There are 2 more curve slides on the upper layer, and they are longer and steeper. Therefore, the speed sliding down will be faster and people on slides will feel more excited! But before using the slides, you need to climb up first. Children can choose rock climbing, rope climbing, net climbing or taking stairs. Children seldom have the chance to climb using both hands and feet. It is challenging but a great way to train children's muscle!The Simple, Safe, Barrier Free and Interactive Facilities Realize the Spirit of Inclusion!On the lower layer are facilities for little kids. There are 2 curve slides here that are a lot shorter than the ones on the upper layer, and they are less dangerous. Moreover, at the end of the slide is a chair. Therefore, kids will not directly sit on the ground after sliding down, which is a lot safer. Next to these slides is the appealing terrazzo slide in a bowl shape. 2 slides are in the middle and around the slides are 2 half circle slopes. Children can sit side by side to slide down together. When sliding down, they can roll over at the same time. How fun is that!Below are 2 pieces of other playground equipment: The climbing ball is very challenging. Children have to climb and weave in and out of the ball using their arm strength and balance skills at the same time. The other equipment is the swivel chair. Children can choose to sit inside or push it and run around it outside. They can cooperate with each other. The faster the swivel chair spins, the louder the laughter is. How joyful!*感謝好景點網站( https://foncc.com/ ) 提供美照-->The whole playground is covered with colorful Polyurethane paving. The paving not only has a colorful and cute appearance, but is safer for the kids to run and jump in the Park. An instruction sign is set up next to each facility to remind people of safety notices while playing. Besides, the difficulty of how challenging the facilities are is written on the sign. Parents can pick the amusement facility based on children's age and physical strength to challenge your kids.If you continue to walk along the embankment, you will see a giant artificial grass-skating field with the slope of 7 meters. The blue and white color scheme makes the field look like a waterfall. With the blue sky and a large area of green land, the scene is beautiful and comforting. In the middle of this section is the grass-skating area. The ground is covered by artificial turf and you can slide down from the slope with a grass-skating board or cardboard. How exciting it is! On both sides of the field is the climbing area where children can climb up on the bumpy slope. After a few times of climbing up and down, they will definitely be exhausted! A little reminder for parents: The Park is spacious and it can get very hot in summer time, remember to put on sunscreen and stay hydrated. The grass-skating field is suitable for children who are above the age of 5. When sliding down, make sure to keep some distances from the previous person and do not climb up from the grass-skating area in the middle to stay safe.*圖片來源:好景點網站、我的新北市粉絲團-->Holidays Only! FUN Park Train for Parents and Children!Besides slides on the grass land and the grass-skating field like a waterfall, the "Embankment Slope Amusement Park" that was open in June 2020 is the latest highlight of the Park. The amusement park features animals in Taiwan is a must-visit!The New Taipei Metropolitan Park is the largest riverside park in Taiwan. The Erchong Circular Biking Trail of about 20 kilometers is built within the Park. We recommend you to bring your family members to come here cycling on the Trail and feel the natural temperature with wind breezing on your face. Beautiful landscaping is right beside the Trail, so if you feel exhausted for too much cycling, stop the bike, take some photos and take a break. Or you can take New Taipei Metropolitan Park Train at Xinfu Station (across Chongxin Bridge Flea Market) on holidays. The Train circles the Park counter-clockwise and passes by MRT Sanchong Station, the Waterfall Grass-skating Field, Amusement Park and Love-telling Plaza on the way. The trip is about 30 minutes.After seeing the introduction, I believe you feel like visiting the Park now! The New Taipei Metropolitan Park is definitely the best place for children to exert energy. We welcome you to bring your children and have fun here!Nearby Places to Go -->Air Force Sanchong First Military Village Chenguang Bridge
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