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Minutes away from Gongguan and the Treasure Hill Artist Village & Treasure Hill Temple I came across a recently opened attraction in Taipei – the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Centre. You can tell it’s still fresh – exhibitions are brand new with some floors and buildings still under construction, so the entire complex is still very much work in progress with me being the only person visiting there.
This place still doesn’t get much tourism promotion, so it’s understandable that the volunteers at the entrance were quite surprised to see a foreigner come in for a visit.
What’s this about? the official website writes :
Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park is located at the intersection of Dingzhou Road and Shida Road in close proximity to Taipei Water Park and Treasure Hill Artist Village on one side and the historic Guting Village on the other. Walking down Shida Road, one passes by Longquan Market, which is frequented mainly by Hakka consumers, and a Hakka community on Taishun Street.
Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park is extremely important to the Taipei City Government, which views the park as a place where the public can experience daily life in a Hakka village and where Hakka descendants can relive happy childhood memories. A connection platform also links the park to the neighboring Riverside Park. In short, the park’s promotion of Hakka culture creates interest in Hakka villages, which in turn is economically beneficial to Hakka villages around the island.
Basically, it’s a place to remember and practice Hakka culture. Having lived in Tainan before, I visited Hakka country Meinong a number of times (see "Touring Kaohsiung County : Meinong Hakka folk village" and "Visiting Moon World and Hakka Culture with Meinong Folk Village". I can’t say that I was very impressed with what I saw back there so I’m happy to see the Taipei government took this more seriously with a less commercial approach.
There’s more. Aside from the lovely museum, there’s also a new park area they built next to the culture center – the Riverside Park with a cross platform taking you from the center to the impressive Danshui River not too far away. If only Taipei would leverage this river to live up to its potential, a bit like they did with the love river in Kaohsiung, then it could truly be a magnificent sight and site.
A lovely little place. Even if you’re not that interested in Hakka culture, it’s worth the few minutes walk from Shida and Gongguan. Culture and river views await…