Daxi Old Street





Chinese name
:
大溪老街

Located at : Taoyuan City


In the past, Daxi was the earliest developed region in Taoyuan. It had advanced waterway transportation. Through merchant vessels from Dahan River (大漢溪) to Tamsui River (淡水河) in northern Taiwan, the trade with China became thriving, and numerous businesspersons and stores enlivened this area.


(Photo credit: Taoyuan City Government)

Other than local enterprise of camphor and tea, many foreign companies were also stationed in Daxi, which was undoubtedly a bustling hub for business. In the era of Japanese rule, due to the government’s urban planning project, some buildings on now Heping Road and Zhongshan Road were torn down. Since 1910, as the road was expanded, traders invested a great deal of money to renovate their shops. Later on, the shopping street lined with an array of Baroque and Minnan buildings was trendy at that time.


(Photo credie: Taoyuan City Government)

On the Daxi Old Street, a private residence was a red-brick house with an uncluttered façade. By contrast, a store had an extravagant Baroque façade with an European-style archway. Although the façades are Baroque, they have their own variations. A lot of curve lines can be seen in the design.

The gable — the highest point in the middle of the façade — has different shapes, including triangles, half circles, and arcs. The top of the “shou tou (收頭)” that is on both sides of the façades is adorned with varied carvings of animals, flowers, or geometric patterns. The architectural mixture of exquisite Baroque and traditional Minnan — Greek pediments, Roman pillars, and Chinese ornaments (carvings of fish or bats symbolizing felicity) — exclusively characterizes the Daxi Old Street.


(Photo credit: Taoyuan City Government)

With the decline of the river transport, the commerce around Daxi diminished in importance. Despite of that, the beauty of the old street still remains. Nowadays, Daxi is transformed into a transfer station, because it is situated at the starting point of Northern Cross-Island Highway (北部橫貫公路) and near Shimen Reservoir (石門水庫).

After the repair of some buildings on the street, local residents promote tourism by combing the history and culture of Daxi, reviving its old-time charm in the district. Nostalgia for the old street is definitely one of the reasons that numerous tourists want to pay a visit.

On the old street, there are many stores offering mouthwatering Taiwanese foods including Daxi dried tofu (大溪豆干), moonlight cakes (月光餅), peanut caramel candies (花生糖), tofu puddings (豆花), salty rice puddings (豆花), and rice dumplings (湯圓) which visitors can hardly resist. For those who are interested in alluring architecture and authentic Taiwanese snacks, the Daxi Old Street is absolutely a highly recommended attraction in Taoyuan.