Love, Dadaocheng is a labor of love
Its purpose is threefold:
- to help visitors and foreign residents to better understand the history and culture of a rather underappreciated corner of Taipei
- to highlight the shops, sights, and people that make Dadaocheng what it is today
- to encourage others to explore this beautiful neighborhood themselves and spend a few leisurely afternoons discovering its hidden treasures
The Problem with Dadaocheng
Although it is mentioned in many guidebooks and tourism websites (usually consisting of a recommendation to visit Dihua Street (迪化街) during the Lunar New Year Market (年貨大街)), visitors to Dadaocheng frequently arrive without quite knowing what they should be looking for. Strolling down the bustling commercial street looking at unidentifiable ingredients for Chinese medicine or glancing up to examine the architecture of the buildings is interesting for a brief while, but unless one can understand Mandarin or Taiwanese, digging deeper can be a challenge.
As many local shopkeepers can attest, what this means is that many visitors work their way in a straight line north from Nanjing West Road (南京西路), take a few pictures, perhaps stop at one of the handful of cafes on Dihua Street, reach the intersection at Guisui Street (歸綏街), then turn back.
With this site, we hope to fill in some of the gaps that could make a trip to Dadaocheng more satisfying, as well as encourage readers to jump in and interact more with the neighborhood and its residents.
While we consult numerous print and online resources about Dadaocheng in English and Chinese, and link to these sources wherever possible, most of the information on Love, Dadaocheng has been obtained via personal interviews with local residents, business owners, and historians. This means a few things:
- Since nearly all interviews are conducted in Chinese with notes taken in both Chinese and English, translation errors are possible, particularly regarding highly specialized information about Chinese medicine or religious traditions.
- First-person accounts by longtime Dadaocheng residents can sometimes be historically inaccurate or colored by personal perspectives, and therefore may at times conflict with thoroughly researched materials by qualified historians.
In the future, this site will contain a comprehensive list of resources, so thanks for your patience as we pull this together.
We've tried to include Chinese characters and accurate English translations wherever possible. In some cases, where no standard or suitably descriptive English translation exists, we have used pinyin (羅馬拼音). We don't aim to be a language resource, but do feel free to leave a comment or send us a message if you're a language learner who wants to clarify something.
And because we probably have to mention it:
All images and text at Love, Dadaocheng are original work. While you're free to ask nicely (and we'll probably be totally cool about it when you do), no part of this site may be reproduced without prior consent. For inquiries, contact us here.