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Simple Travel in Taoyuan

Bike Riding in Old Town Zhongli

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Bike Riding in Old Town Zhongli

Source:Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

With the Taoyuan Airport MRT and city bike rental service (YouBike) combined, it is easy, leisurely and economic to visit great travel spots in Taoyuan. The old town area of Zhougli is one of those spots that you shouldn’t miss. It is rich of local history and culture. Moreover, the night market and food are astonishing.

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Bike Riding in Old Town Zhongli

By Irene Chang, Candy Lin, Tony Huang
Sponsored Content

Historical Japanese-style buildings, Hakka cuisine, riverside scenery, and busy night market. These are some of the sights and experiences awaiting visitors from afar around the Taoyuan Airport MRT A21 Huanbei Station. Enjoy the convenience of the YouBike rental service and a leisurely ride through the old town area of Zhongli.

Image: Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

Japanese History: 80-year-old Domrmitory

Hidden on the campus of Xinjie Elementary School (新街國小) is a Japanese dormitory from colonial era (1895-1945). One would need walking through the entire campus to be able to find it. Entering the old building, you are greeted by the smell of cypress wood. You can also sit outside on the open veranda to enjoy the gentle breeze, breathing in the vibe of classic Japanese houses.

Image: Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

After 50 years of Japanese colonization, Japanese culture and customs have become part of the memories of many people in Taiwan. This 80-year-old historical building has preserved many elements of traditional Japanese-style homes. For example, to the right of the entrance is a parlor for entertaining guests. To the left is the living area. The black and white photographs on the walls are of Taiwan in the 1920s.

Image: Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

Hakka Cuisine: 40 Years of Authentic Savory Tang Yuan

The Renhai Temple (仁海宮), next to Xinjie Elementary School, is one of Zongli’s oldest temples devoted to the deity Mazu (媽祖). Amid the lanes and alleys across from this temple is Xin Jie Long Tang Yuan Shop (新街龍湯圓店). Inside are the antiques and nostalgic items collected from the older residents of the Xinjue Neighborhood. Part of the wall still retains century-old bricks.

Image: Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

This eatery has been in business for more than 40 years. The Hakka owner, Min-Zong Xie, says that savory tang yuan (鹹湯圓, stuffed dumplings made of glutinous rice) are a representative Hakka dish, and that the proportion of glutinous rice in the dumpling wrapper decides the texture. The filling is made from specially selected lean pork mixed with dried shrimps, scallions in oil and additional secret ingredients. The result is tang yuan that are light and tasty. This eatery also serves Hakka-style ban tiao (粄條, a kind of rice noodles), silver needle noodles (米苔目), minced pork with rice and braised side dishes so that foreign visitors can try a variety of authentic Hakka dishes.

Image: Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

After filling your stomach, take a bike ride along the Laojie River (老街溪). This river was once used to irrigate farmland. Today, it is an important recreational area. Following this winding river, enjoy the ecological landscapes, which are unique in Taiwan. After riding for a while, it is possible that you have once again worked up an appetite. Foodies will want to turn onto Zhongzheng Road and visit some of the many Hakka snack stores and eateries, such as Peanut House (張豐盛商行).

Award-winning Night Market Foods

Taiwan’s night markets are not to be missed. The Zhongli Night Market is not far away and features tempting food stalls, many of which are award winners. Er Shi Fu (二師父麻油雞) owner Wei-Guo Cai shows off his quick culinary moves as he prepares stewed chicken drumsticks seasoned with sesame oil.

Image: Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

Walk though this market, eating as you go. Try freshly cooked squid with basil and candied sweet potatoes that are crisp outside and soft inside. Wash this down with ground almond tea or a refreshing wild jelly fig drink (野生愛玉飲). Lastly, top it all off with beautiful traditional Polish cakes that feature a variety of colorful fruits.

Image: Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government

Bring your foreign friends on a leisurely bike ride through Old Town Zhongli for a fun experience of local life and history in Taoyuan City.

Translated by Cheryl Robbins

Edited by Shawn Chou

This content is sponsored by Tourism Bureau of the Taoyuan City Government.


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