Wanhua 萬華

Guiyang Street

Many streets of Wanhua have significant and unique historical origins. For instance, Gui Yang Street (貴陽街) is Taipei’s oldest street and the street that then Monga first prospered. While this street no longer holds the economic significance it once held, it still houses an entire stretch of traditional shop houses which allows one to take a quick glimpse and feel of Wanhua’s current state. During the Japanese Colonial Rule, the street was divided into 2 sections, namely "Wen Wu Ding" and the other comprises places called "Zhu Ding" and "Ru Chuan Ding". Even earlier, Gui Yang Street was shorter as it was divided to about 5 different portions such as Sweet Potato Street (番薯街), each representative of activities carried out in the area. For instance, Sweet Potato Street was named due to massive sweet potato trading in that district. Today, one will be able to find century old outlets selling incense or traditional pastries as well as famous temples Chin Shan Gong (青山宮) and Ching Shui Temple (祖師廟) within its vicinity.

Vendor selling Liang Fen (涼粉)
This is probably the only Liang Fen food stall left in the entire Wanhua. This special snack is cool on the inside and thus extremely enjoyable to savour when the weather is hot.

Liang Fen
Despite the rich historical background of Gui Yang Street, many locals have forgetten it after its decline. This is due to the shift of economic focus from the west to the east of Taipei. Nevertheless, it is heartwarming to know that non-profit organisations in this district remain passionate about promoting the place’s history and culture. This results in events such as free-guided tours around Gui Yang Street for interested parties to gain a deeper understanding of the place.

One of small alleys of Gui Yang Street. In the past, these small alleys hold great significance to the locals’ lives.
A free tour organised by the district’s activists.

Interesting Facts

Fun Fact 1
In the past when Tamsui River was clear, there were a lot of performances such as "Hua Ren" and "Kong Jing". A myriad of fishes and clamps could also be found in the water. However, this water pathway is now almost gone due to massive sand disposition and reduced water flow. Ships can no longer enter the river and this halted the development of Gui Yang Street.

Fun Fact 2 
Traditional performances known as "Ge Zai Xi", or "Nagaxi" were popular during the Japanese Colonial Rule at this old street. In the past, this area happens to be a gathering location for mafia and there would be public fight for new territories. While the situation in this street was dangerous and sketchy, Gui Yang Street today is much quieter and peaceful.