A fun day in the city of Hsinchu, visiting a few interesting places, such as the city gate and small railway stations close to the coast.
00:50 New Tile House Hakka Cultural District 新瓦屋客家文化保存區
03:30 Yingxi Gate 迎曦門
05:25 Hsinchu Art Gallery and Reclamation Hall
05:45 Old Hsinchu Prefectural Hall 新竹州廳
06:50 Hsinchu City Fire Museum 消防博物館
07:45 Shi Family Fish Balls 石家魚丸
08:30 Zhulian Temple 竹蓮寺
09:35 Qiding 崎頂
10:15 Landscape Platform 觀景台
12:25 Zimu Tunnel 子母隧道
15:40 Xiangshan 香山
16:25 Xiangshan Tianhou Temple 香山天后宮
18:00 Xiangshan Wetland 香山濕地
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From Travel in Taiwan magazine 2018-7-8:
New Tile House Hakka Cultural District
The New Tile House Hakka Cultural District is neither new, nor a single house, but rather a cluster of single-story buildings made of bricks (some fired, some mud) and tiles. Not much happens here on weekdays, but visit on a weekend and you might see cultural groups presenting music or dance performances.
Add: No. 123, Sec. 1, Wenxing Rd., Zhubei City, Hsinchu County
Old Hsinchu Prefectural Hall
Unlike similar official buildings in Tainan and Taichung, the Old Hsinchu Prefectural Hall continues to play a key role in local government, and is where the city’s mayor has his office.
Add: No. 120, Zhongzheng Rd., Hsinchu City (新竹市中正路120號)
Hsinchu City Fire Museum
The museum, inside a functioning fire station, contains bilingual displays that cover both the history of the local firefighting service and how best to survive a conflagration.
Add: No. 4, Zhongshan Road, Hsinchu City (新竹市中山路4號)
Shi Family Fish Balls
Located southwest of Hsinchu Railway Station, this restaurant has been praised by hundreds of netizens. It's an old-school eatery: There’s no English sign or menu, and not one dollar has been wasted on fancying up the décor.
Add: No. 27, Xingxue St., Hsinchu City (新竹市興學街27號)
Website: sfishball.com.tw (Chinese)
This hall of worship is at the Buddhist end of the theological spectrum, but you’ll also see traditional folk practices. One is the casting of pairs of crescent-shaped wood blocks known to Taiwanese-speakers as poe.
Add: No. 100, Zhulian St., Hsinchu City (新竹市竹蓮街100號)
There's no staff at this station, nor vending machines from which you can buy tickets. Hsinchu to Qiding is NT$21.
It takes just a few minutes to get from the station to the platform. Gazing out over the Taiwan Strait, as the wind turbines that dot this stretch of coast slowly rotated and the occasional express train rumbled past, was a soothing experience.
When this railway line was double-tracked in the early 1970s, it was moved slightly closer to the sea because the tunnels (there are actually two) were too narrow. Exemplars of the solid infrastructure built during the 1895-1945 Japanese colonial period, they're now preserved as part of a walkway/bike trail. The first tunnel is 67m long, the second nearly double that. No flashlights are needed; there's enough natural light for you to see where you're walking.
The lovingly maintained station building in Xiangshan is an attraction in its own right. Dating from 1928, it’s the only remaining Japanese-era railway stop in Taiwan that was built using cypress from the Alishan area in the central mountains.
Xiangshan Tianhou Temple
The current building dates from the 1920s, but there’s been a shrine on this site since sometime in the late 17th century, when Han Chinese from Fujian (the mainland China province closest to Taiwan) began to settle on the coast here. Like the majority of Taiwan’s folk shrines, this temple houses effigies of several deities, but the principal object of veneration is Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea.
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