[This post will be updated if new information about places around the station comes available. 🙂 ]
Bangka Longshan Temple (艋舺龍山寺)
With a history of almost 300 years, this temple is a 2nd grade municipal heritage site in which important gods from Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism are enshrined. The main sacrificial deities here are Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy; Wenchang Dijun, who blesses examinees; Old Man Under the Moon, the Chinese Cupid; and Zhu Sheng Niang Niang, a fertility deity. These and over a hundred other deities attract countless worshippers. The temple’s Sanchuan Hall has Taiwan’s only pair of copper-cast dragon pillars, and its outside walls feature numerous works of calligraphy and stone carving. Throughout the complex, exquisite craftsmanship artistry is on glorious display.
Add: No. 211, Guangzhou St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2302-5162
Bangka Old Street (艋舺舊街)
Located on what is today Section 1, Xiyuan Road, this street once comprised Jiu Street (Guiyan St. to Guilin Rd.) and Xindiantou Street (Guilin Rd. to Guangzhou St.), and was a prosperous business district in the Qing Dynasty. As in the past, today many history-rich traditional old shops continue to thrive, among them sellers of Buddhist implements, embroidery, paper and pastes, and regional specialty goods.
Longshan Temple Underground Shopping Bazaar
This is Taipei’s first two-level underground shopping bazaar. The distinctive shops here offer both tradition and innovation. The B2 level is a cultural-creative base, providing an exchange platform for art lovers, live performances, and exhibits. Beyond lingering over fine coffee and premium Taiwan tea, enjoy artworks that tell the story of Bangka, Sun Tsui-feng Chinese opera costumes, cultural-creative goods, the creations of fashion designer Wu Liangi, winner of a gold medal at a prestigious Paris fashion-design competition, and painted porcelain ware, pottery, jewelry, and decorative adornments by local artists and designers.
Add: B1 & 2, 145, Sec. 1, Xiyuan Rd., Taipei City
Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market
All kinds of mountain produce, seafood, wild flavors, and Taiwanese snacks can be sampled at Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market, which was Taiwan’s first tourist night market. As it is near Bangka Longshan Temple, it has also become one of the city’s most popular attractions among both Taiwanese and foreign tourists. Neighboring Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market are Guangzhou Street, Wuzhou Street, and Xichang Street night markets, together creating an interlinked web of nightlife spots and turning Bangka into a culinary paradise with distinctive flavors. Established in 1975, the traditional dishes of Huaxi Street’s Hsiao Wang Steamed Minced Pork with Pickles in Broth have won it a place in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand. The vendor’s minced pork with pickled cucumbers in broth is served with a bowl of braised minced pork over rice, with or without mushrooms, to offer a satisfying meal.
Hsiao Wang Steamed Minced Pork with Pickles in Broth
Established in 1975, the signature dish of this old restaurant is Steamed Minced Pork with Pickles in Broth. The broth created by the restaurant is made with pickled cucumber and house-made pork balls. Paired with a bowl of braised minced pork over rice this a very satisfying dish with a simple, old-time flavor.
[BIB GOURMAND SELECTION]
Add: No. 17-4, Huaxi St., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2370-7118
This upscale Taiwanese seafood restaurant on Huaxi Street has been in business for more than half a century. The restaurant has an ornate and elegant décor and uses only fine European tableware. Diners can enjoy authentic danzai noodles (al dente noodles topped with a special minced pork sauce, prawn, mung bean sprouts, and scallion), which is a renowned traditional dish of Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan. At Tainan Tantsumien you can enjoy a sumptuous seafood feast in a refined setting.
Add: No. 31, Huaxi St., Taipei City (台北市華西街31號)
Tel: (02) 2308-1123
Bo-Pi Liao Historic Block (剝皮寮歷史街區)
During the Qing Dynasty, this was originally a place where Chinese fir tree bark was peeled, and in order to meet the needs of the workers who peeled the bark, gradually it turned into a block which retains the merged styles on Minnan (South Fujian) and Baroque architecture. These days, the Qing Dynasty street layout and traditional shops of Bo-Pi Liao Historic Block have been preserved, making it not only witness to the development of Bangka, but also one of the few century-old city blocks to have been preserved in Taipei. Different exhibition spaces have been set up in the Historic Block, holding exhibitions on various themes. It also has the Heritage and Culture Education Center of Taipei, which promotes local cultural education.
Add: No. 101, Guangzhou St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2311-9380
Moungar Traces of Books Second-Hand Bookstore
This used-book store, located down a side lane near Bangka Longshan Temple, is in a century-old residence with a traditional south Fujian-style interior, the beam work and plaques most conspicuous. Not just old books are for sale – there are also vintage photos, artworks, earlier-period daily-use commodities, and other treasures. The yesteryear-Taiwan ambience here is palpable. The shop also has a snack bar with coffees and Taiwanese cakes and pastries.
Add: No. 4, Ln. 152, Guangzhou St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2336-2717
Bangka Clothing Trading Area
Due to the fact that in the early days Dali Street was situated near Wanhua Railway Station, the convenient and favorable location gave rise to Taiwan’s first wholesale clothes market. After the railway was moved underground, Western Trunk Line express trains no longer called at Wanhua Railway Station, and the wholesale clothes market began a gradual decline. In recent years, Dali Street has been made the center of renewal planning for the clothing district, bringing a brand-new look.
Location: Nearby Dali St., Xiyuan Rd., Heping W. Rd., Kangding Rd., Taipei City
Fashion Institute of Taipei
At the Fashion Institute of Taipei, located on Xiyuan Road, cutting-edge Taiwanese designers and top-notch textile brands have set up workshops. In addition to the sale of Taiwan home-crafted textile products, the institute also stages a wide range of apparel shows and new-creation unveilings, and offers dedicated guided tours.
Add: No. 9, Sec. 2, Xiyuan Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2336-7599 (closed on national holidays)
Tangbu Cultural Park
The grounds of the Taipei Sugar Manufacturing Co., established in 1909, were redeveloped to create the Tangbu Cultural Park; the site has been listed as a municipal heritage site. The site retains three original storehouses, all built in red brick with arched doorways, trapezoid pillars, and sweeping framework, split into areas where Taiwan’s sugar industry and culture are exhibited, along with a rehearsal space, storage space, and set for Ming Hwa Yuan Park Arts & Cultural Group. Nearby are an old railway platform, train engine, and small railway line. Next to the park, a sugar cane plantation has also been cultivated, which allows the visiting public to take a trip down back in time to a sugar refinery with sugar cane overflowing.
Add: No. 132-7, Dali St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2302-2335 (closed on Monday)
Xinfu Market, also known as Dongsanshui Street Market, was built in the 1920s. It is one of Taipei’s few traditional markets from the Japanese era still existed and preserved. You can sample many kinds of traditional culinary treats here, such as Jinhe sushi, Ah Po Oily Glutinous Rice, and handmade rice cakes. This is the place to taste the old times beloved by local Taipei folk.
Ah Po Oily Glutinous Rice
Ancestral tastes have been faithfully preserved here, with soy-stewed mushrooms and dried shrimp for added tasted stir-fried with crispy lard, shallots, glutinous rice, and pork shreds, creating a sweet/savory medley that is then steamed, the result a dense, chewy oil rice. The more you chew the more aromatic it becomes. This is one of Xinfu Market’s most popular buys.
Add: No. 70, Sanshui St., Taipei City
(Stand 18 at Xinfu Market; closed on Monday)
It has been more than half a century since Zhouji’s Congee opened its doors and, in the minds of many Bangka locals, it brings back the purest and most beautiful of memories. With a perfect level of saltiness, soft but chewy rice is paired with pork bone soup. A dish of red-yeast pork, flaky on the outside and soft in the middle, makes a perfect accompaniment.
Add: No. 104, Guangzhou St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2302-5588
36 Tangyuan Shop
The 36 Tangyuan Shop is near Bangka Park. It is famous for its red tortoise cakes, made with adzuki bean paste. They are made fresh each day, soft, tender, and very delicious. In addition, there are herbal rice cakes made of mugwort. Their skin is aromatic and their filling is plentiful. During winter, come for a piping-hot bowl of tangyuan soup, adzuki bean soup, or classic peanut soup with fried bread sticks. This is the taste that is well-liked by old Taipei people.
Add: No. 92, Sanshui St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2306-3765
This market building, constructed in the late Japanese era, was originally called the “Xinfuding Food Market.” From architecture to function, this is a prime example of the era’s public markets, notably its distinctive horseshoe shape. After 80 years of ups and downs, in 2006 the facility was designated an official city heritage site. After a period of space renovation and heritage site reactivation work, it was reopened as the all-new U-mkt in 2017, in tandem serving as a space honoring its market history and as a multifunctional space for dietary education, art exhibits, district cultural-history exhibits, and café enjoyment.
Add: No. 70, Sanshui St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2308-1092 (closed on Monday)
Bangka Qingshan Temple
The main deity enshrined here is the Ling An Zun Wang, a protector of health, commonly known as the King of Qingshan. Also enshrined are such deities handling oversight of good and evil as the Military and Scholar Recording Officers, Generals Xie and Fan, and Generals Jia and Suo. This three-portal temple, made with wood and stone, was built in 1856. It is today a 3rd grade municipal heritage site. The beautiful complex has gone through numerous renovations. There are stone dragon pillars on either side of the temple’s Sanchuan Hall, and on the inside are stone-carving wall art and verse, bright and intricately colorful eight-trigram plafonds and painted civil/military door gods on the main and side portals, simple-line stone lions, etc. The workmanship is exquisite and the carving meticulous, deserving slow, unhurried appreciation.
Add: No. 218, Sec. 2, Guiyang St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2382-2296
Bangka Qingshui Temple
Built in 1787 (the 52nd year of Qing Emperor Qianlong), Bangka Qingshui Temple is a 3rd grade municipal heritage site. The plaque bearing the inscription “Gong zi zheng ji” (功資拯濟), which hangs above the main hall, was presented to the temple by the Guangxu Emperor, and is also one of the few Imperial plaques to be seen in Taipei City. The gable walls on the two sides have brick carving dating from the late 1800s to early 1900s. The temple enshrines primarily Qingshui Zushi, a protector god of Fujianese migrants. It is said that, before every disaster, the Zushi’s nose will fall off as a warning, so it is also known as the “Nose-dropping Zushi”.
Add: No. 81, Kangding Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2371-1517
Traditional Cakes and Pastries
Bangka’s traditional cakes and pastries have a treasured place in the hearts of many travelers. The unique-taste curry soy-braised pork cakes at Double Harmony are slightly spicy with a light sweet/sour medley. The original-flavor “baked cheesecake” at TaiHo Traditional Biscuit have a golden and crispy surface, soft-texture interior. Also well worth a try at two old shops are Taiwanese rice crispies, fried-flour candy sticks, pineapple cakes, mung-bean pastries, and egg-yolk puffs.
TaiHo Traditional Biscuit
Add: No. 300, Kangding Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2306-9629
Add: No. 308, Kangding Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2306-1234
Herbal Teas & Health Tea Drinks
When visiting Bangka Longshan Temple, a visit to adjacent Herb Lane for a cup of herbal or bitter tea is recommended. Each open-front shop along the narrow artery bursts with myriad medicinal herbs, a photo buff’s delight. In recent years the old shops have been made more aesthetically modern, with brighter and simpler lines. Available now are delicately packaged medicinal-herb teabags for brewing and boiling. In addition to sampling the various health tea drinks at the shop, you can also enjoy experience sessions with hand-brewed tea drinks and making fragrance sachets.
Location: Lane 224, Xichang St., Taipei City
Add: No. 84, Xichang St., Taipei City
Tel: (02)2314-1878 (closed on Sunday and Monday)
Longdu Iced Fruit Store
Longdu Iced Fruit Store, located near Bangka Longshan Temple, was established in 1920. Continuing to the present day, it is an old ice store of choice for people living in Bangka. The Eight Treasures Ice is a store-favorite dessert. It is packed with various ingredients which glitter like jewels to delight the eye. All products are made daily ensuring freshness. Hot products are also on offer. When in Bangka, be sure to visit this store and get a taste of good old flavors.
Add: No. 168, Guangzhou St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2308-3223
A Tsai Ma’s Sweet Soup
In winter, a bowl of warming peanut soup is a favorite. Here, premium peanuts are used, bringing dense silkiness. Pure rice is used in the handmade tangyuan, along with adzuki beans, lightly sweet without oiliness. The mere fragrance causes knowing foodies passing by to hurry in. In summer, the cold rock sugar with white fungus soup and mung-bean soup, served without ice cubes, are must-have cooling treats. From first taste to last the sweetness is consistent, making them foodie favorites.
Add: No. 3, Huaxi St., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2361-8697 (closed on Thursday)
Further reading on other sites
Spiritual Travels by Nick Kembel: 30 Jaw-Dropping Temples in Taipei and New Taipei City