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New Taipei City Travel

Exploring Tamsui Womenet s Road: Hearing the voice of women voice in the Red Castle

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Category :
Nostalgic tour of the old street & Secret attractions
Travel days :
1 day
適合對象 :
Public & Family & Couples & The aged




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      Let's embark on a deep travel led by women in Tamsui. Begin by walking from the alleys near Tamsui Mazu up to Chongjian Street to uncover the romantic tale of the painter Lin Yu-chu and the writer Wang Chang-hsiung. Then, explore the century-old Red Castle to witness women's dedication to heritage and create your own thread-bound book. Finally, delight in the performance of Peking Opera at the Tamsui Customs Wharf against the backdrop of a sunset. Guided by an elegant female guide, let's embark on a cultural journey through Tamsui and listen to the stories of women in this area.

      Visiting Tamsui Mazu and the two old streets
      Commencing the journey from the old alley adjacent to Fuyou Palace to visit Tamsui's four major temples – Fuyou Palace and Yinshan Temple dedicated to the worship of Mazu, Longshan Temple, and Qingshui Temple. Mazu, symbolizing the fortitude and compassion of women in the past time, is the goddess most familiar to the Taiwanese people and serves as the guardian of Tamsui's maritime activities. Fuyou Palace holds numerous legendary tales. According to accounts, during the Sino-French Battle of Tamsui and World War II, Tamsui Mazu manifested miracles and successfully safeguarded the safety of the Tamsui region. Furthermore, Fuyou Palace sits at the crossroads of two historic streets in Tamsui – Chongjian Street and Zhongzhen Road – bearing witness to the area's development over the past 200 years.

      Painter Lin Yu-chu’sromance of Chongjian Street
      Ascending the stairs that wind along the mountain slope, you will arrive at Tamsui's Chongjian Street, the original commercial street. Today, in contrast to the bustling Zhongzheng, Chongjian Street exudes a more serene ambiance. However, it remains the authentic Tamsui Old Street and is home to many political and economic figures of Tamsui. From the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, this area was the most prosperous district in Tamsui. Gazing back at Chongjian Street offers a panoramic view of the picturesque Tamsui River landscape. It also holds significance as the romantic backdrop for Painter Lin Yu-chu and Writer Wang Chang-hsiung.
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      Lin Yu-chu was born on Qingshui Street near Chongjian Street. Qingshui Street, previously known as the "rice market street", was the primary location where rice vendors congregated in Tamsui a hundred years ago. Lin's family, for example, was involved in the rice-selling business. While studying at Tamsui Girls' School, Lin Yu-chu encountered her respected teacher, Chen Jing-hui. Chen Jing-hui, the grandson of Canadian missionary Mackay, had previously received a comprehensive arts education at the Kyoto City Specialized School of Art. Under Chen Jing-hui's careful guidance and through her dedication to learning, Lin Yu-chu began to shine in the field of painting.
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      With the encouragement of her teacher, Lin Yu-chu participated in Taiwan's grand annual art event – the Taiwan Fine Art Exhibition. In 1936, Lin Yu-chu's Nihonga artwork titled "Lighthouse at the Estuary" and Chen Jing-hui's "Aftertaste" were both selected for the 10th Taiwan Fine Art Exhibition. The outstanding accomplishment of a 17-year-old girl within Taiwan's art community during that era significantly heightened the radiance of Tamsui.
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      “If you open the door within your heart, you will witness the vibrant spring scenery.
      Though spring may not endure, it has the power to alleviate my distress for the moment.”

      With its lyrics penned by the physician and writer Wang Chang-hsiung, the song 'If I Open My Heart’s Door' has already become a classic Taiwanese song known to all Taiwanese people. Lin Yu-chu and Wang Chang-hsiung met through her teacher Chen Jing-hui. During their courtship, the two frequently rendezvoused on Chongjian Street, leaving behind their footprints, which have now transformed into a notable spot on Chongjian Street today – The Alley of Love, a place that exudes warmth and romance.

      After visiting the distinctive shops along Chongjian Street such as "Vanilla Street House" and "Nine Valley 28", you will veer into an inconspicuous alley. This alley serves as a time tunnel leading to the Tamsui Red Castle.
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      Grandma of the Red Castle, Hung Hsu-feng, preserves the Red Castle for Tamsui.
      The brick arched corridor leads to the Tamsui Red Castle, standing proudly on the slope of the old street. This red-brick Western-style building is a century-old landmark in Tamsui and has been featured in numerous paintings depicting this region. Constructed in 1899 by the wealthy businessman Li Yi-he, it was later acquired by Tamsui Street's chief, Hung Yi-nan, in 1913 and became a gathering place for local literati and scholars, attracting many prominent figures. In the 1960s, it was further purchased by Hung Hsu-feng, the owner of Te Yu Taiwan Fish Crackers.

      "When Taiwan's economy started to take off, a construction company once approached Hung about rebuilding the Tamsui Red Castle, but Hung Hsu-feng steadfastly refused to sell it. The reason is that the Red Castle is not only a shared memory among the people of Tamsui but also holds a significant meaning symbolizing family unity and blessings. By steadfastly preserving the Tamsui Red Castle, it now functions not solely as a restaurant but also partners with Tamsui Community College to promote vegetarian cooking and participates in cooperative endeavors with 'Vanilla Street House' on Chongjian Street. These collaborative efforts actively safeguard the heritage of old Tamsui through ongoing initiatives.

      Visitors can savor a cup of traditional tea within the Red Castle's century-old splendor; don traditional Hanfu attire; and, under the guidance of Li-hsin, a representative possessing national treasure-level female expertise, craft their own thread-bound book at a leisurely pace. This allows visitors to momentarily detach from the digital age's information bombardment and immerse themselves in ancient craftsmanship predating the industrial era, facilitating a serene and mindful experience for the body and soul.

      The days of sea lights – Wang Jing's Road towards Peking Opera
      Situated on the banks of the Tamsui River, the Tamsui Customs Wharf plays a significant role in Taiwan’s international trade history. After Taiwan opened the port in 1860, Tamsui welcomed its most splendid era. The wharf, constructed from stones such as Guanyin stone or Kiligan rock, stands as a testament to Tamsui's history as an international trading port. However, as a result of river channel siltation, the functions of the Tamsui port gradually declined, causing it to lose its former prominence.

      Afterward, the clamor of wharf workers was replaced by the voices of women. In 1975, the Navy Art Work Brigade relocated from Zuoying in Kaohsiung to Tamsui Customs Wharf. The Haiguang Peking Opera Team and Haiguang Peking Opera Training Class, embodying the strength and aspirations of women, also found their new home by the Tamsui River. The former port warehouse was then repurposed as a dedicated space for training Peking opera skills. Over time, talents like Wang Ching, known as the “sea light”, were drawn here and eventually illuminated the Peking Opera stage with their brilliance.

      In the old warehouse of Tamsui Customs Wharf, several renowned Peking Opera performers such as Wei Hai-min, Wang Hai-bo, and Shen Hai-jung were nurtured. These performers gracefully dance on stage, narrating stories through their art. They also challenge traditional gender roles, where women are not just supporters behind the scenes but also prominent figures on stage. Rooted in local culture, Tamsui Women’s Road will persist in uncovering stories of women in Tamsui and scripting a future of gender equality.
      Banqiao Rainbow Umbrella + Social media check-in at Little Prince mural. Take a shot of beautiful 8 at Crescent Bridge.
      Banqiao is truly filled with bloggers’ photo hot spots! Guangzheng Street near Banqiao Train Station is also known as “brunch street”, which offers many popular brunch places that are not only all distinctive, delicious, and great photo spots, but are also fully packed every weekend. After enjoying some delectable afternoon tea, head to Banqiao 435 Art Zone, where the rainbow umbrella installation art is a popular social media check-in spot widely known among bloggers; and now there is a newly open secret check-in spot nearby! Nanzigou Pumping Station located at Huanhe West Road has been partially rebuilt and transformed into a biker rest stop. An adorable Little Prince and the little fox are drawn on the wall; hold up the one and only rose and take a picture with it– it will be as fantastical as landing on planet B612! Then, come to Crescent Bridge where you can take more beautifully dreamy picture. You think you got good photo-taking skills?! Then come and take a shot of beautiful reflected 8! For the last stop, let’s end with a great meal – Xinzhuang Temple Street Night Market that is approximately 5-minute walk from Crescent Bridge is a historical night market that you should not miss! The area had once been a bustling gathering place for business people, so there are many historic temple sites and eateries nearby – Taiwanese spring roll, starchy meat soup, and pork blood soup are all reasonably priced with big portions, so you will definitely be full and satisfied!
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