Huwei Tianhou Temple, Huwei Township, Yunlin County, Taiwán 

The oldest district in the modern metropolis of Taipei goes by many names – To some it is “Bangka” (Báng-kah khu) or “Monga”  and to others it is “Wanhua”. Whatever you prefer to call the district, it is one of the most important districts in the city and is steeped in history, culture and religion.

Once one of the most prosperous districts in the city due to its proximity to the Xindian River, the district served as a centre of commerce for over three hundred years. The area was originally settled by the Pinpu Kaitakela tribe, then Hokkien  immigrants from Fujian Province and most recently by Chinese refugees of the civil war.

The district has suffered from a period of decline over the past few decades, yet efforts are being made by the local government to spruce things up, reinvent its image and make Bangka a cool place to visit for people of all ages!

The district is well-known for its treasure trove of historic sites which notably include Longshan Temple and the recently refurbished Bopiliao Historic Street.

On the other hand, Bangka is also home to the popular Ximending Shopping District , Taipei’s answer to the hip and modern Shibuya shopping district in Tokyo where all of the latest fashion, technology and cuisine meet to offer a great shopping experience for those who visit.

Epic Taiwan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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