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A cycling tour of New Taipei City: Enjoy the waterfront of a twin city

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Post date:2013-12-20

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Travel days
1-Day Tour
Themed Itineraries
New Taipei Classic

Introduction

*Historic Stores on Dihua St. (1 hour)→ Taipei Xiahai City God Temple (1 hour)→ Dadaocheng Wharf→
(a) Zhongxiao Wharf → Joyful Waterfront Park (1 hour)→ Shuhong Lotus Park (1 hour)→ Luzhou Li’s Family Home (1.5 hours)→ Yonglian Temple (0.5 hour)
(b) Huajiang Wharf → MRT Banqiao Station → BanQiao 435 Art Zone (1 hour)→ The Lin’s Family Mansion and Garden (1.5 hours)→ Nanya Night Market (1.5 hours)
 
Working in concerted effort to create a waterfront city, Zhongxiao and Huajiang Wharves were built on the stretches alongin mid- and upper Tamsui River, extending the Blue Highway to where Tamsui and Xindian Rivers meet. The ferry operator recently launched a new schedule for a ride (Huajiang Wharf à Zhongxiao Wharf à Dadaocheng Wharf) at a discounted price, treating passengers to a pleasant combination of water fun, wetlands, leisure cycling and cultural/historic sites. Through the ferryboat service that links a metropolis to urban streams, we are able to see Tamsui River from a whole-new angle, while at the same time enjoying the sights and sounds along Greater Taipei’s relaxing riverside.

(a) Zhongxiao Wharf →

Joyful Waterfront Park
幸福水漾公園
The multifaceted scenery of Joyful Waterfront Park is enhanced with crisscrossing streams, various flowers and colorful installation arts that manifest joy. The park is a perfect postcard-ready spot with cerulean skies, white, cottony clouds and luscious lawn on a sunny day; it is even more fascinating when it is set ablaze by the nighttime city lights.
Shuhong Lotus Park
疏洪荷花公園
Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit the park’s striking lotus pond, popular with shutterbugs for its “sea of flowers.” It also is a good idea to take a summer cycling trip to the park and observe how lotus blossoms stay pearly-white despite the mud from which they grow out of.
Li’s Family Home (Luzhou)
蘆洲李宅
Occupying an area of some 3,960 square meters in Greater Taipei’s Luzhou area, the large, well-structured Li’s Family Home integrates the qualities of both a local dignitary’s mansion and a sturdy, unostentatious farmhouse into a typically auspicious homestead in Chinese Feng-shui theory. Locally known as “Li’s Ancestor House” because of its previous owner, General Li You-bang who fought in the first Sino-Japanese War, this 3rd-class national historic site is a cultural heritage dating back more than a century (Note: it was built by Li You-bang’s son, Li Qing-shui, in 1857 and celebrated its 155th anniversary in 2012). After a joint renovation effort by the seven branches of the Li family in the 29th year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign, the house became widelyacclaimed for its relatively colorful, awe-inspiring roofed quadrangle courtyard, which is a rarity in Taiwan. It was categorized as a 3rd-class historic site due to the historically significant floor plan, interior layout, architectural style and post-renovation appearance; in 2006, it opened to the public as “Li’s Family Home: General Li You-Bang Memorial Hall.” Undaunted by the defeat in Sino-Japanese War, the Li’s expanded the house to architecturally demonstrate their family’s long-standing cultural ties with mainland China. It took nearly nine years to renovate the homestead and its immediate surrounding area, making it a landmark in erstwhile Luzhou. With an antique “eight-legged” bed, a dresser, a stone mortar and a stove displayed indoors exactly as they were a century ago, the quaint structure of Li’s Family Home quietly bears witness to Taiwan’s history.
Yonglian Temple
湧蓮寺
The Yonglian Temple received its name because it is situated at the intersection of Luzhou’s Desheng St. and Chenggong Rd., an auspicious “lotus cave” according to Chinese Feng-shui theorists. Luzhou was also known as “Monk’s House” (He-Shang-Cuo) for monks had controlled land properties in the area. The Yonglian Temple is Luzhou’s religious center that enshrines “Guanyin of the Southern Ocean” in the main hall alongside several secondary deities: Little Boy Shan-cai, Dragon Maid, Wei-duo and Guardian Jialan.
(b) Huajiang Wharf
BanQiao 435 Art Zone
板橋435藝文特區
Banqiao’s old-meets-new, East-meets-West aesthetics is embodied by the 435 Art Zone in its west end and the more than 150-year old Lin’s Family Mansion and Garden a distance away. In the 435 Art Zone, visitors can admire the fountain on a white-pebble trail, browse masterful artworks in galleries of varied sizes, or enjoy theater performances, taking in amazement at either the nighttime illumination or morning verdancy. A palpable fusion of poetic gems and rock-and-roll chicness, the 435 Art Zone is a landmark to Banqiao as much as Alishan is to Taiwan:“1-2-3 to Taiwan, where there is the Alishan” suggests, how about “4-5-6 to Banqiao, where there is the 435”? It is a surprise-packed wonderland, in the same spirit of London’s Hyde Park, NYC’s Central Park or Tokyo’s Ueno Park.
The Lin’s Family Mansion and Garden
林本源園邸
Already a household name, the Lin’s Family Mansion and Garden in Banqiao is a well-preserved luxury home completed in the Qing dynasty. Thanks to a series of renovation efforts, its beauty has been largely restored despite war damages over a long period of time. Befitting a wealthy family, this sprawling estate is landscaped in the South Chinese style with delicate pagodas and lushly diverse plantations. Visitors are advised to take some time to appreciate the exquisite ornaments that are luxurious, timeless masterpieces. In particular, the latticed windows are designed in many different ways, adding to the scenic diversity while serving as good-luck symbols.
The Nanya Night Market
湳雅夜市
The Nanya Night Market (a.k.a. “Banqiao Night Market”) on Nanya E. Rd. lies immediately next to Banqiao’s old train station and, therefore, is always sardine-packed with gourmands seeking the famous oyster dishes, herbal catfish stew, stinky tofu pots or sesame oil chicken. These delicious snacks help drive the neighborhood’s economy by drawing crowds to all of the nearby stores.

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