Wanhua 萬華

Hong Bao Chang

Hong Bao Chang (紅包場) is a form of Taiwanese Cabaret (i.e. karaoke) popular among the Taiwanese older generations. 

It started in the 1960s, with performances usually targeted at the army soldiers from Mainland China for entertainment purposes. In Wanhua, this form of past time was commonly held along San Sui Street (三水街). However, as Wanhua undergoes development and revamp, these karaoke sessions have been shifted to places such as the basement floors of Long Shan Temple Station (龍山寺站) and within shop houses along Ximending Walking Street (西門町).

Today, these sessions involve singers performing to famous Taiwanese or Hong Kong pop songs from the 1970s, such as “Unforgettable” (意難忘) and “The Moon Represents My Heart” (月亮代表我的心).  In addition, friendly interactions such as cracking jokes between the audience and the performer are usually carried out to build a stronger rapport between both parties. In return, many of these singers receive red packets during their performance as a form of appreciation for their talent.

While these sessions may not be as commonly seen as before, it remains representative as one of the favourite past times carried out by the older generations in Wanhua. After all, Wanhua, being the oldest district of Taipei is heavily populated with the aged.