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New Taipei City Travel

Tamsui-Kavalan Trails: Hand-made trails, documentaries, and books

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The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails were an important mountain trail network that spanned across the Taipei Basin and Lanyang Plain during the Qing Dynasty. They played a crucial role in transportation between these two points before the TRA launched the Yilan Line. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails should not be regarded simply as a “route” connecting Tamsui Subprefecture and Kavalan Subprefecture. Instead, over the past 200 years or so, the northern section of Xueshan (Xue Mountain) has held invaluable historical memories, including indigenous hunting paths, the footprints of Han people, trading posts, and military patrols. Countless ancestors traversed these dozens of intricate and meandering mountain paths. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails also bore witness to the development of Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung, and Yilan, and can be regarded as Taiwan's pilgrimage route. Today, it has been designated as a “National-Level Green Trail”.
淡蘭古道中路:北勢溪古道


2015 and 2016 – “Reappearing the Centuries-Old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails”After the advent of railways and national freeways, the entire world underwent a significant transportation revolution. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, which had lost their original transportation function, gradually faded from public view. Nevertheless, for over a century, they have quietly existed within the mountainous region between Taipei and Yilan. Since 2015 and 2016, the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association has collaborated with Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung, and Yilan across multiple counties and cities in the joint effort of the “Reappearing the Centuries-Old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails” project. By reviewing literature, maps, interviews, and other sources of information, the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association has obtained the initial route background and, in conjunction with historical, cultural, landscape, recreational system, safety, and other considerations, designed the systematic Tamsui-Kavalan trail routes we have today. It has also adopted the twin-bristle fern as the identifying symbol, establishing the brand of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails.

金字碑古道

Combining public and private resources, the government and civilians collaborated to progressively restore these ancient trails using the handcrafted trail method. The concept of handcrafted trails relies not on heavy machinery and construction contractors, but employs simple tools and locally sourced materials instead. Through the participation of volunteers, a collective effort has been made to restore the trails, ensuring their harmonious integration into the existing landscape while preserving the essence of the original cultural pathways. After years of dedicated work, the centuries-old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, with their rich and enduring history, have been rejuvenated.
淡蘭古道北路:金字碑古道
中坑古道


2018 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy”
To promote the ecology and culture of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, the Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government collaborated with the internationally acclaimed Director Xiao Qing-yang. They traversed the northern, central, and southern sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, resulting in the creation of the "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy". Director Xiao Qing-yang, through his work spanning from "The Tao of Kung Fu" and "The Tao of Ancestors" to "The Tao of Health" within these centuries-old trails, orchestrated live performances by traditional opera musicians and captured the sounds of nature, including insect chirping, bird calls, and the flowing river water. This endeavor beautifully illustrates the multifaceted vitality of these historical trails.


The “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy” was honored with the first prize in the Sports and Leisure category at the 14th ART & TUR – International Tourism Film Festival in 2021. In 2023, the original soundtrack album “Beginningless Beginning” produced for “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy” achieved a remarkable feat by winning the Best Recording Package award at the 65th Grammy Awards, propelling Tamsui-Kavalan Trails onto the international stage
葡萄牙國際觀光電影節運動與休閒類宣傳片首獎


2019 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section”
The first travel guidebook for the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, titled "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section", was brought to life through the combined efforts of the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association, historians, and mountaineering experts who possess an intimate knowledge of these trails. After meticulous planning and 18 months of dedicated compilation, the guidebook was officially launched. The book provides insights into the cultural history, town stories, flora and fauna ecology, along with recommended routes along the northern section. Its high-quality layout garnered immediate acclaim upon release, and to date, it has undergone five printings. Many travelers set out on the northern section of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails with this book in hand to experience these historic trails step by step, and craft their own unique stories along the way.

淡蘭古道-百年里山的長路慢行 (1)

2020 – The website themed on the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails
A website themed on the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails was developed relying on the smart technology. This innovative UI/UX interactive trail map simplifies the intricate network of trails within the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. From users' perspective, this website integrates and interfaces information related to pre-trip preparations, itinerary planning, GPX data, transportation, weather, and rest stops. Easily capture all types of hiking information, and comprehensively explore the abundant history, culture, humanities and ecology of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails.


2022 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Long and Slow Journey through Centuries-Old Satoyama”
Following the publication of the acclaimed "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section", the Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government once again collaborated with several experts of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails to introduce the book "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Long and Slow Journey through Centuries-Old Satoyama". This book portrays the travel experiences along the northern, central, and southern sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, along with visits to the stories of 22 local artisans and businesses within the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. It includes a practical hiking guide for the entire route and exquisite photographs. The book also features an exquisite fold-out map, hand-painted by an artist who has received the Golden Tripod Award after personally walked through all sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. It also includes the stories behind the planning and branding of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, with the hope of embarking on the next century together.
淡蘭古道-百年里山的長路慢行
淡蘭古道-百年里山的長路慢行 (2)

The Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government has successfully promoted the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails for many years. Today, these trails are internationally and domestically renowned long-distance trail. In addition to marketing and promotion through the internet, videos, and books, the Department has also collaborated with numerous non-governmental organizations to organize activities such as handcrafted trail workshops, mountaineering seminars, and National Greenway guide training. Let this centuries-old historical trail continue to thrive through people's interactions and visits.
淡蘭登山講座


 
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Female Power: Her Story ⁠— Tamsui Women’s Road
Tamsui, one of the earliest international commercial ports in Taiwan, has rich cultural assets and scenic oceans and mountains, making a well-known tourist attraction in Northern Taiwan. Tamsui, which opened its port to merchants and trade in 1860, was the main center of trade for Taiwan and the rest of the world, and it contributed to many important changes in Taiwanese society. The first girl’s school, Tamsui Girls’ School, was founded in Zhenli Street, which is located in today’s Tamsui. Communities such as the New Taipei City Government, Tamsui Traveler, and New Taipei City Community Traveling and Learning Care Association collaborated on Tamsui Women’s Road. It aims to discover local stories of female power and connect with historical sites of feminine significance. Let’s put on our hanfu and discover Her Story in Tamsui.The House of Maidens and the House of ReverendsThe House of Maidens and the House of Reverends were built by Rev. William Gauld in 1906 and 1909 respectively. The House of The House of Maidens and the House of Reverends were built by Rev. William Gauld in 1906 and 1909 respectively. The House of Maidens was originally provided as a residence for Ms. Jane Kinney, the headmaster of Tamsui Girls’ School, and Ms. Hannah Connell, the headmaster of Tamsui Women’s School, and is currently the Office of the President of Aletheia University. The House of Reverends was the residence of Rev. William Gauld; its piano studio became a smash hit after it was featured in the extremely popular movie Secret (2007), and is now the Research and Development Center of Aletheia University. The appearance of the two Houses is similar to that of the British consulate residence situated not far away; all of them are red brick buildings containing a cloister. What differentiates the two houses from the British consulate residence is that the exterior wall decoration is much simpler than that of the official residence. Rev. Mackay and his wife Chang Tsung-mingChang Tsung-ming, who was originally named Tsung-tsai, grew up in Wugu District in New Taipei City. After marrying Rev. Mackay in the former British Consulate in Tamsui in 1878, she studied hard, becoming an English-proficient teacher in the Women’s School, which made Chang a woman ahead of her time. Chang and Rev. Mackay also helped many Taiwanese women fettered by tradition, and they played important roles in the history of women’s education in Taiwan. Tamsui Women’s Road will vividly show you Chang Tsung-ming’s journey in Mackay Memorial Museum in the form of a street play.At the end of 1879, Chang Tsung-ming and Rev. Mackay started their journey back to Canada, passing through Xiamen, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India, until they arrived in the Middle East. They visited the pyramids in Egypt, and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. From there, they passed through Alexandria and arrived in Italy, where they visited the ruins of Pompeii, Rome and Vatican City. Then, they went to Paris and England, and finally arrived in Canada. After accompanying Rev. Mackay to finish his duties and fundraising in Canada, they flew through the US and Japan, and came back to Taiwan. This experience also made Chang Tsung-ming the first Taiwanese woman who traveled around the world.The Tamsui Girls’ SchoolAfter Rev. Mackay returned to Taiwan from Canada, he established the Tamsui Girls’ School in 1884 – the first women's school and the origin of women's education in Taiwan. The women's school has nurtured many outstanding women: the first female physician in Taiwan, Dr. Tsai Ashin (The heroine of the TV series A Cinematic Journey - the prototype of Qiu Yaxin) and the writer Wang Li Ruyue all graduated from Tamsui Girls’ School. In addition, in order to help educate married and adult women, Rev. Mackay established a women's school, which can be called the first “Classroom for Moms" in Taiwan.A-geiA-gei is a well-known snack in Tamsui. Just like Yonghe soy milk, when we think of A-gei, we think of Tamsui. The inventor of this famous snack was Ms. Yang Zheng Jinwen, who ran a snack stand with her husband, Yang Shugen. In 1965, she developed a new dish, for which she cut upoiled tofu, filled it with pork noodles, and sealed it with fresh fish paste. This dish became the symbol of Tamsui’s delicious cuisine, A-gei. The word “A-gei” originated from the Japanese word for oily tofu, "Abura-age." To the foreigners’ surprise, the packaging for takeaway A-gei was initially wrapped in newspapers to withstand the wet and cold weather in Tamsui during winter.Handmade thread-bound booksThe old name of Chongjian Street is Nine Valley Street, which refers to the nine stores that first opened here, making it the one and only Tamsui Old Street. Before the development of the shopping district in Tamsui’s Zhongzheng Road, Tamsui Old Street was the busiest place in Tamsui, with some of the old houses leading up into the hills still standing today. In the age of the Internet, where information is abundant, this place returned to the time of original paper books, bound one stitch at a time, carefully creating a world of books.The line “The beauty of Guanyin Mountain enters my view, a reflected painting of the morning sun” is from a poem by a female poet from Tamsui, Wang Li Ruyue. As you walk down Chongjian Street toward the MRT station, you can see Guanyin Mountain and the Samsui river in front of you, and experience the same feelings this poet felt. Tamsui, when looking from a female perspective, is the cradle of women’s education in Taiwan, which has fostered countless outstanding women before us. The first step from Tamsui then became a big step in the social change of Taiwan.
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Top Choice for People with Mediocre Incomes- The Shuidui Park
Does it bore you to find a restaurant to dine every time you go on a date with your loved one? Does the unchanged schedule make the both of you lose the feeling of freshness? It is time to make some changes! Find your partner to experience different holiday activities and make some sweet memories that will increase the affection. The Shuidui Park is located in the suburban area of Taipei City therefore it is convenient for people to get to the Park. The reason we strongly recommend you to come is the design of the Park is one of a kind. The Park goes up "level by level" , and the view on the platform on the top is amazing. You are able to see the whole New Taipei City on the platform. Besides, the night view there won't be less than the view on the top of Taipei 101. Simply bring your brewed coffee and handmade food here and you can have a special and romantic meal. The Shuidui Park has become a landmark for affectional bonding!The area of the Shuidui Park is 10.50 hectare, including a healthy hiking trail, biking trail, jogging trail and 3 other trails. Trees are planted along the trails for people to enjoy the shades while hiking on the trails in summer time. Moreover, there are 7 named pavilions at the Park. People visiting the Park can enjoy the phytoncide before enjoying the amazing view!The most special thing about the Shuidui Park is that the Park is constructed beside the mountains. Centered on the mountain peak and the Park is built into a fan-shape layout. The closer you are to the mountain peak, the narrower the stair you step on is. Another special design is the slope design. On the slope you will find 10 levels with a large numbered installation art on each level. The joy of collecting the number of the installation art will help you forget the exhaustion of hiking! Besides, a pavilion is constructed on each level. The Park is suitable for children and elders to walk around at ease.Surprisingly, the 6th level has the best view at the Park. The platform on this level is spacious. The exercise equipment is established on the platform, and the creative letter chair of "SDWUGU" that Internet celebrities love is also established. The armrest table in the front is where you can take a sip of coffee and have some snacks. (Remember to bring the trash with you when you leave!)Check-in on Instagram Together! Taking a Romantic Photo Here Is a Must for Couples.The Taipei 101 has the world-famous view and New Taipei City has the view too! When hiking along on trail to meet the amazing view at the destination, you will find dense trees covering both sides of the trail. People without exercising habits such as elders and children can still hike on the trails easily. Walking around and sweating a little bit to take in some phytoncide is the cheapest way to release stress and the best way to increase affection. To wait from day to night for the amazing night view is totally worth a while!Nearby Places to Go North Coast & Guanyinshan National Scenic Area -->Yinghan Peak and Yinghan Trail
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小客帶路