Here goes the Part 5 of my recent trip to Taiwan: A Glimpse of Old Streets in Modern Taiwan - Danshui Old Street 台湾老街漫步遊, 怀旧 - 淡水老街.
The town calls itself by the English name "Tamsui”, but the Taipei MRT system calls it by its Mandarin Chinese name, transliterated as "Danshui". "Tamsui" probably comes from the town's name in the Taiwanese language.
Danshui is a laid back waterfront town on the northern part of Taipei city. Historically this is a significant place in Taipei history, where it was one of the main settlements for the Spanish in the 1600s. It was also been influenced by the Japanese during the world war era having established its unique 1900s architecture and infrastructure. It's a great place to just stroll around, grab some great food or just soak in the atmosphere. The interesting thing is that the red line is above ground all the way to Dan Shui, so you can see the city passing by, from super packed urban to slightly more pastoral suburban. The ride reminds me a lot of Tokyo, actually.
淡水, 是一个充满历史的小镇. 位处台北盆地淡水河系出口, 扼守北台湾大门, 是台湾北部最早开发的港口, 境内除淡水河口狭小平原外, 泰半为大屯山陵所被覆.
今日的淡水镇, 则是一个总称, 泛指淡水河流域一带, 甚至是整个北台湾.
As the train rolls out beyond the northwest suburbs of Taipei, the tower blocks and freeways give way to paddy fields and small farmsteads and the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper slowly diminishes in scale. At more than 500 meters tall, it’s still visible until shortly before the train pulls into Danshui station, the last stop on the line. Once it has disappeared, though, you know that you have well and truly left the hubbub of the Taiwanese capital behind.
Danshui is where Taiwan meets the water. Danshui used to be an important fishing port, strategically placed at the mouth of the river from which it takes its name. That river has since largely silted up, however, and the people of this pleasant town now make their living primarily off day-trippers from the capital. And while it may get busy at the weekend and on national holidays, a visit on a weekday can be a pleasant escape.
商旅船舶的热络景象虽已不再, 但走在淡水街道上, 一座座洋式, 闽式, 日式的旧建筑, 彷佛都在诉说着小镇的悠悠往事. 游客可搭乘往返淡水, 八里及淡水, 大稻埕间的渡轮, 淡水河风情, 尽收眼底.
一般所说的淡水老街, 可见一些局部保留旧建筑趣味的屋舍, 加上古董艺品店林立, 更显其古风味. 沿街可欣赏精雕细琢的石艺, 木雕作品, 店家细心收藏多年的古董文物, 飘逸优雅的诗词字画, 以及各色装饰艺品. 看河, 观山, 坐船, 古老的游趣一直延伸到现在, 因有淡水河, 渡船头, 渔人码头等景点, 加上捷运的便利, 让淡水老街的媚力无人能挡.
Maybe its the way the township was built along the waterfront, overlooking the mountains, islands and sea. There was something relaxing about this place. The people there are laid back and as much as it is so, it still has vibrancy to it. Whether there are people riding their bikes along the commuter paths along the waterfront, elderly men fishing near the dock, or even young couples just catching the sunset in the nearby Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s a good vibe going on.
The first area people will explore from Danshui station is the waterfront. There is a long coastal road that is lined with various little shops. As you walk from the station you will see the mouth of the river as it begins to open up to the sea. The road is pretty small and only local traffic uses it.
从淡水捷运站走出来右转, 中正路及延伸的重建街, 清水街一带, 就是鼎鼎大名的淡水老街. 街道两旁林立着热闹的商店, 有的带有浓浓古早味, 如米行, 饼舖, 布店, 杂货店等, 有的贩卖新潮流型的服饰, 玩具, 形成古今交融的特殊商圈文化. 老街里可以寻宝, 可以品嚐美食, 还有古蹟可参观, 怎么玩都不会腻, 是游人必去的超人气景点.
One of the distinctive things about Danshui is that the streets still have an old-timey feel to them and stores lining each alley sell toys and treats from an era almost forgotten.
Whether it is shopping in Old Street, admiring historical relics, reminiscing at the pier, tasting unique eats or selecting souvenirs, coming to Danshui Old Street is sure to satisfy all your needs in one go. When in the Danshui area, everything begins from the bustling and happening Old Street.
These old buildings are mostly well preserved. When one walks among these buildings, you would feel that times have turned back. One can enjoy the old streets, the cool breeze, the flower / trees planted by residents and the sense of relaxation. Walking on the old streets along the riverbank, visitors may view the old buildings and may try the tasty local dishes, such as fish dumplings and hard eggs etc.
淡水老街中正路两旁林立着众多鱼丸, 鱼酥店, 其中不乏历史悠久的老店, 如德裕鱼丸, 可口鱼丸, 味香鱼丸, 许义鱼酥等, 耐人寻味的铁蛋则是反覆卤制, 最後蛋白缩成薄薄的黑色韧皮, 气味香醇.
One Danshui specialty i found was the deviously sounding “Iron Eggs”. These were actually just either chicken or quail eggs braised in a vat of soy sauce and spice mix and then air dried. The result is the egg whites being tough and rubbery on the outside giving its name “Iron Eggs”. One of the reasons I found out why the eggs were done like this was simply a way to preserve the eggs for the many fisherman who were out at sea for long periods of time, since Danshui was once a very busy fishing port.
走在淡水老街上, 仍能欣赏悠悠小镇风光, 一座座红色的陈年洋楼, 闽式, 日式的旧建筑, 仿佛都在诉说着小镇的悠悠往事.
A glimpse of the building’s exterior is sure to fill you with nostalgia even if you don’t enter the building.
老街上有着古色古香的老式建筑物, 加上近年不少古董店与艺品店进驻, 更显其典雅风味, 沿街可欣赏立店家细心收藏多年的各色古董文物, 飘逸优雅的诗词字画等, 街上还拥有各式各样具淡水特色的地方美食, 包括阿婆铁蛋, 鱼酥, 奶油酥饼等小吃, 都是淡水的活招牌, 街尾沿岸林立的景观咖啡厅是老街的另一个特色, 各家气氛迷人, 在此用餐可以享受到淡水河岸绮丽的风景, 尽享美景与美食风情.
Danshui is a college town and has a rather youthful feel to it. It has a lot of European influence in the architecture along with a long beach walk.
老街虽然已没了商旅船舶那曾经的热闹景象, 可是一栋栋或西式或中式或东洋风的建筑, 依旧诉说着古老小镇的悠悠往事. 是啊, 就是那份宁静古朴中夹杂着的浓浓历史与文艺气息, 不由得让我沉醉不已.
Danshui is a town filled with history. As you walk the streets of the town you will see many old buildings, in the Western, southern China and Japanese styles. A casual stroll is a good way to appreciate the history of the town, with the ancient flavors of the old streets and the special characteristics of buildings from different periods best manifested.
For those who enjoy the comforts of the old and familiar while enthusiastically embracing the new, Danshui Old Street is surely a local point of interest that deserves to be included into their itineraries, not to mention its being surrounded by many of Taiwan’s cultural, historical, religious and even recreational sites. Residents of Danshui have also one more thing to take pride in, a historic site that helps enrich local culture, enhance tourism and improve the area’s image. With renewed vitality and a brand new appearance, Danshui Old Street heartily welcomes visitors to step back into Taipei’s history.
一样是港口城市, 如今的淡水少了战争烟硝味, 观光产业却是红透半边天, 正以那走过百年的怀旧老街及令人陶醉的异国风情迷倒众生. 淡水这名词, 早在明朝时期便见诸史册, 一度出现的淡水别称---沪尾, 至今仍可在这幽静的小镇里找到有关它的些许踪迹. 看河, 观山, 坐船, 古老的游趣一直延伸到现在, 因有淡水河, 渡船头, 渔人码头等景点, 加上捷运的便利, 让淡水老街的媚力无人能挡.
Part 6 - A Glimpse of Old Streets in Modern Taiwan 台湾老街漫步遊, 怀旧 - To be continued....
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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