Exploring Jinshan Old Street in Taiwan: 10 Things to Do
At first glance, Jinshan Old Street looks like an ordinary open-air street market. The usual stalls selling snacks and souvenirs are there, but I did not know that the place has a rich history worth exploring. And so, I researched and learned something interesting about Jinshan Old Street in New Taipei City.
Jinshan Old Street, also known as Jinbaoli Old Street, is not your ordinary shopping alley. It was originally the settlement of the Taiwanese aboriginal tribe Jinbaolishe. This three-hundred-meter-long narrow street is known to be the only old street preserved from the Qing Dynasty, which was the final imperial dynasty of China. It dates back more than 300 years when JinBaoli residents came to gather and trade farm and fishery products in the narrow street.
Though there are many other traditional markets around the area, Jinshan stands out, particularly because it attracts tourists who want to see this historic landmark in Taiwan. But aside from being iconic, it became a go-to place for cultural immersion, souvenir shopping, and hunting for yummy snacks. The must-try snacks are fried pork, oyster crisps, taro cake, sweet potato cheesecake, sweet potato soft-served ice cream, and roasted red heart sweet potato.
Want to find out what other interesting things you can do in and around Jinshan Old Street? Here’s what we enjoyed:
Visit Guang An Temple
This beautiful temple is one of the oldest temples in Jinshan. You can explore the ornately decorated temple itself and go to the nearby duck meat shop that people line up for. Apparently, it’s famous in Taiwan, so if you’re a foodie, you can’t miss this.
Sample delicacies: hei tang Gao and Chinese sausage
Hei tang gao is a traditional brown sugar rice cake that’s popular in town. You can also try yams if you like sweet snacks. If you want to bring home local snacks, buy some cookies and sweet potato chips that are also popular among locals.
Want something savory? Try Chinese sausage sold in some stalls along Jinshan Old Street. It’s ideal for snacking.
Try scallion pancakes
Scallion pancakes are traditional breakfast food here. It’s cheap but filling, so if you’re looking for affordable snacks, this one’s a must-try.
Go souvenir hunting
Support local businesses and shop for souvenir items while you explore Jinshan. From tasty snacks and pastries to little trinkets, you can get gifts here to buy for your family and friends. You can also shop for beachwear, footwear, and other fashion accessories you might want to wear.
Eat and shop for sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are abundant in Taiwan. As you roam around the stalls, sample yummy roasted red heart sweet potatoes that are slightly sweet and chewy. Aside from being tasty, these are also nutritious. There’s also a festival dedicated to sweet potatoes called Jinshan Sweet Potato Festival.
Visit Juming Museum
After exploring Old Street, why not see the largest outdoor art museum in Taiwan? Appreciate various artistic sculptures by Ju Ming, such as the Tai Chi series, wood carvings, and pottery works. Discover the huge museum in all its scenic glory!
See the Jinshan Cihu Temple
The Jinshan Cihu Temple is known to be the largest temple in the district. It is said to honor the Mazu sea goddess. Its intricate details and exquisite ornamental carvings, and dragon pillars make it a sight to behold in the area. You’ll also see some traditional houses that showcase a mix of Fujian and Western architectural styles.
Check out the old herbal medicine store.
Get the chance to look at one of the decades-old medicine shops situated right next to a rice store in Jinshan. This medicine shop still houses antique furniture and preserves medicine jars that have been around since the Qing Dynasty.
Have your desserts at Jinshan Hong Cheesecake Pastry shop
You can never have too much food while strolling along Old Street. Don’t forget to have cheesecakes and try their best selling sweet potato ice cream for dessert.
Go on a quick stroll along Jinshan Shitoushan Park.
Want a breath of fresh air? Take a quick walk along the trails of Jinshan Shitoushan Park, where you can get beautiful views of the beach, pristine forest, and the harbor. Come here by sunrise or sunset for dramatic scenery.
How to go to Jinshan Old Street
Take THSR or TRA to Taipei Station and transfer to a bus bound for Jinshan (Kuo-Kuang Bus 1815). Get off at the Jinshan District Office stop.
There are so many ways to learn about the history of a place. Not many people fancy museums or historical tours, but if you prefer a leisurely stroll along traditional markets and local go-to’s, you’d be surprised to know how historic such places are. Like the Jinshan Old Street, you can do so many interesting experiences without breaking your budget–just walk, check out old stalls, try local dishes, and do as the locals do!
Nat’l Hwy 3 -> Exit at the Keejing Interchange -> Prov. Hwy 2
- Take THSR (or TRA) to Taipei Station, and transfer Kuo-Kuang Bus 1815 (bound for Jinshan) to the Jinshan District Office stop.
- Take THSR (or TRA) to Taipei Station, transfer to Taipei MRT Tamsui Station, and transfer to Crown Northern Coast Shuttle Bus 716 to Jinshan District Office (Old Street) stop.
- Take THSR (or TRA) to Taipei Station, transfer to Taipei MRT Tamsui Station and transfer to Crown Northern Coast Shuttle Bus 716 (Some buses are low-floor) to Jiatouli (Hot Spring Area) stop.
- Take TRA to Keelung Station and transfer Tamshui / Keelung 862 bus (All low-floor buses) to Jiatouli stop.
Fly to Taipei via Starlux
Taipei-based Starlux Airlines offers flights from Manila to Taipei and vice versa via NAIA Terminal 1. Starlux Airlines was founded in May 2018 in Taipei. The airline flies to Macau, Penang, Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, and Manila. All their flights are operated using its Airbus 321neo fleet.
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