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One Day Bike Tour of Tamsui River Shores in Greater Taipei Cities

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Post date:2013-12-20

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Travel days
1-Day Tour
Themed Itineraries
New Taipei Classic

Introduction

*Dadaocheng Wharf → Historic Stores on Dihua St. → Beitou Incinerator Observatory → Guandu Temple → Guandu Nature Park → Bali Old Street → Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology → Bali Ferry
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The riverside bikeways in Taipei City and New Taipei City were already connected from points to lines, woven into a beautiful travel canvas. You can enjoy the refreshing scenery, attractive natural landscape, as well as the wonderful humanistic touch. With the nostalgia of olden times, you can start your trip from Dadaocheng, pedaling along the Dadaocheng Wharf bikeway and letting the river breeze gently finger through your hair. Unconsciously, you may enter Dadaocheng’s past and present life. Then riding against the wind through the secret territory of Shilin and Beitou, you’ll see the green stretch of Guandu Plain. Crossing the river and turning onto Bali, here you can savor the elegance of the Left Bank. This one day little tour will open your eyes to the beauty and the splendor of life.
 
09:00 Dadaocheng Wharf, highlighting the eternal spirit of the Tamsui River
Let’s start the One Day Bike Tour from the bike-rental station in Dadaocheng. After the opening of Tamsui Port in early times, the trading activities in tea and textiles thrived during the Dadaocheng area. Today, we can still see many time-honored shops located in the area. While biking in this place, you can vaguely feel its former glorious days. Time flies by, the only unchangeable part is the sunny landscape beyond the wharf. Standing on the riverside looking far out, you will feel the reminiscent and airy atmosphere and be fully refreshed.

Dadaocheng Dadaocheng

09:30 Dihua Old Street, like back to the olden times
Dihua Old Street
Exiting from the Dadaocheng Water Gate, you will see the Dihua Old Street with traditional architectures along two sides, just a dozen meters away. All these historic and esthetic old buildings, mostly in western style decorations, also consist of rows of arcades, in Chinese classical beauty, for accommodating the rainy weather in Taiwan. This shows a unique creativity of blending Chinese and western styles. Relishing the retrospective atmosphere, you will be amazed by the life esthetics inspired among the ancestors by their historical backgrounds. Biking along the streets and alleys, the scenes in Master Koeh Soat-ou’s famous painting ‘Festival on South Street’ may spring to mind. One spot is the renowned Xiahai City God Temple, located between the South Street and Middle Street. This temple inherited the ‘City God Welcoming’ folk activity in the middle of the 19th century. As this saying goes: ‘crowd staring at crowd on the 13th day of the fifth lunar month’, the annual celebration brings in huge crowds of people to witness the religious parade. Dihua Old Street is a vibrant old street, lined with old houses and livelybusiness activities. Better than a flying visit in the museum, a slow ride in Dihua Old Street will take you back to ancient times! 

Dihua Old Street

10:15 Observatory Deck of the Painted Chimney Tower, overlooking the landscape of downtown Taipei.
Observatory Deck of the Painted Chimney Tower
Leaving Dihua Street, the open Tamsui River scenic beauty attracts travelers’ hearts. The soft flowers and cosmos in Yanping Riverside Park swing in the seasonal wind will definitely catch your eyes. Biking along the right bank of Tamsui River in Taipei City, you will feel fit as a fiddle as never before. Passing Shilin and then the Keelung River under Zhoumei Bridge, you will arrive at the Zhoumei Community, a quiet and secluded place worth a visit. Passing Zhoumei Elementary School and turning into a small lane, you will come out into an open field. When the weather is fine, you’ll find superb scenery, comparable to that of the Jiuzhai Valley in China, at places such as Wufengang and Jiufengou. Shortly thereafter, you will see the Beitou Incinerator’s lofty painted chimney tower ahead. This place is worth a rest. You can enter the Incinerator’s painted chimney tower and overlook the landscape of Taipei downtown on the observatory deck at 116 meters. The observatory offers a 360-degree panoramic view via floor-to-ceiling windows. From this place, you can see the mountain ranges of Yaming, Guanyin and Datun, as well as the Shezidao located between Tamsui and Keelung Rivers. Looking downwards is a vast expanse of hills, waters and the green Guandu Plain. Here you can get a full view of the Guanyin Mountain sunset in the evening and the illuminated city at night. It is hence a famous scenic view spot in Taipei City. 。
11:00 Guandu Temple, every brick and tile full of historical relish
Guandu Temple
Continue to head north. In spring, the fragrance of Chinaberry blossom wafts across the dyke and the tips of Kandelia candels. When you see Guandu Bridge, you are already close to the Guandu Temple. You can drop in at the Temple for blessings. Guandu Temple is the most ancient temple worshipping Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, in northern Taiwan. The temple founder, Monk Shixing, brought with him a statue of the Goddess from Fujian to Taiwan in a mission to convert people. The temple at that time was called Tianfei Temple. Being renovated numerous times during the Qianlong, Daoguang and Guangxu periods of the Qing Dynasty, the temple underwent its 5th extensive renovation, and was moved and rebuilt at the present location. 340 years have passed since Monk Shixing’s coming in Taiwan. Guandu Temple’s major celebration is the birthday of Mazu on the 23rd day of the third lunar month every year. The Lantern Festival and the Zhongyuan Universal Salvation during the Ghost Festival are the annual centerpieces as well. There is always a stream of visitors from around the island coming here to pray and worship. Moreover, the architecture of Guandu Temple features exquisite decorations with very fine and skillful handiworks. Every brick and tile is full of historical relish. Stop your bike be this splendid temple, put your palms together and pray for your wishes to be fulfilled. 
11:30 Guandu Nature Park, the most beautiful bike route in Taipei City
Guandu Nature Park
The Guandu Temple is surrounded by the Guandu Nature Reserve. Here you will discover a broad wetland landscape and an abundance of intertidal ecology, which consists of the greeneries formed by Kandelia mangrove, waterfowls and fiddler crabs. The junction of Tamsui and Keelung Rivers is a major stopover site for migrating birds since ancient times. Thanks to the efforts of a dozen years by environmental activists of all areas, the Guandu Nature Park was founded in 1996. The Park’s main purpose is to preserve the wetland environment, restore the wetland landscape and revive the wetland’s original inhabitants. Meanwhile, it helps to educate the public about the Guandu wetland. The bikeway passes through the Nature Park. In view of the beautiful natural scenery in the surroundings, this section of the bikeway is deemed the most beautiful one in Taipei City.
 
Guandu Nature Park
Comprised of mountains, waters, ecology and humanities, this abundant and diverse pedaling experience will prove unprecedented for you. If you deviate a little bit from the bike route, you will find the Baxian Agricultural Area in the Guandu Nature Park in a broader sense. The peaceful feel of the countryside away from the City will return when you look at the green spikes in the rice field and stroll in the present and the past of Tamsui River. By this time, it will be around noon. You can stop for a short rest in downtown Quandu or, a little bit farther, in a snack bar or coffee shop near the Taipei National University of the Arts, readying yourself for the Tamsui left bank trip in the afternoon.。 
14:00 Bali Old Street, enjoying the green land, coffee and snacks
Bali Old Street
After the visit to green Guandu Nature Park in the morning, the left bank trip follows immediately in the afternoon. Riding over the Quandu Bridge, crossing the Tamsui River, you will arrive at the recently renowned Bali left bank in New Taipei City. Bali Port, opened even earlier than Tamsui, was a port conducting trade between Taipei and China in early times. Today with stretches of green land, sidewalk cafes and a uniquely designed museum, Bali has been reshaped into the leisure New Left Bank of New Taipei City. Bali Ferry Old Street is one of the ‘senior’ attractions in Bali. Located right beside the port, many travelers and traders would congregate here; hence the place gradually evolved into a farmer's market. The vendors along the street sell freshly captured fish. The most famous among all is the green mussels. Many people bring a bag of fresh green mussels back home from their visit to Bali. The Old Street landscape differs from the past after the renovation works. The original street in a muddle has become a neat picture after the restoration. The small shops in red tiles and white walls accentuate the peculiar local color of this countryside port in Taiwan. The restaurants and snacks seem to look even more attractive too. Local snacks, such as salted duck eggs, black pepper cakes, Shuangbaotai (fried dough), shrimp rolls, white bait and fried cuttlefish balls, will definitely fill your stomach and satisfy your taste buds! 
15:00 Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology, the cultural exploration in a national historical site
Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology
Riding by the Bali Ferry, first head forward to visit the Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology, the first archeological museum in Taiwan. It was built for the purpose of preserving the 2nd class national historical site ‘the Shihsanhang Site’. The Shihsanhang Culture is an Iron Age culture in northern Taiwan dating back between 500 to 1,800 years ago. Their residents are the only known population having developed iron smelting skills in prehistoric Taiwan. The Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology features the permanent exhibition of all important artifacts excavated at the site, special exhibition hall, and the Discovery Center designed for archeological experience learning. The display introduces, in detail, the historical remains and background of Shihsanhang Culture and Yuansan Culture in prehistoric Taiwan. More than one thousand years ago, the inhabitants on the left bank of Tamsui River lived in stilt houses and used anthropomorphic jars; their daily diet mainly was sourced from the sea, such as fish, shrimps and shellfish. The detailed introduction of Shihsanhang Culture discovered on the site, presented in an interesting way, allows the visitors to obtain rich knowledge in an entertaining fashion. It can definitely attach more historical and humanistic savor to the bike tour. 
17:00 Bali Ferry, a perfect ending in the golden sunset
After visiting the Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology, let’s return to the Bali Ferry, our last scenic spot for today’s tour. Bali has very beautiful waterside scenery. The Bali Ferry is the place for boarding a ferry boat shuttling between Bali and Tamsui. Dusk is the perfect time to watch the sunset pausing on the ferry. At dusk, the golden sunset shines on the river; the waves ripple like loving butterflies. Everyone will be enchanted by this splendid view. Viewed from afar, the Daishui Fisherman’s Wharf at the other side of the river and with the horizon merging sea and sky, you will be overwhelmed by the joy of your own travel. Today’s marvelous One Day Bike Tour of Tamsui River Shores in Greater Taipei reaches a perfect ending here in the golden sunset.
 

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