Past topics

A Nostalgic Stroll Through Neihu Old and New From Xihu to Wende

Date of publication:2015-12-22

Text/ Chun-hui Liu 
Photos/ Ying-ju Li 
Illustrations/ Mia Wu

Old Guo Family Residence

Old Guo Family Residence

With its mountains and rivers, Neihu been something akin to Taipei City’s back garden. In the wake of the city’s development and renewal, Neihu’s fusion of old and new has shown itself all the more remarkable. Just two lanes away from the Neihu Technology Park stands a secluded residential area, drawing clear boundaries between leisure and bustle.

Painting at Xihu Market, Contemplate the Many Forms of Change

Painting at Xihu Market

Painting at Xihu Market

In the wake of the development of the Wenhu Line, Xihu Station became Taiwan’s first instance of an MRT station being built together with a traditional market. Public art has been painted on the rear walls of the left building. Its name, Crossing • Transforming, refers to Xihu’s hope of renovation. As well as using optical illusions that enich the viewing experience from many perspectives, in the painting the assembly of lines of the people running to and fro, children holding umbrellas fluttering in the wind, and cars depict the character and subtleties of Neihu; there are also ceramic riddles by the same group of artists left on the ground. Before or after you wander around the market and sample fine cuisine, stroll over here and you’re sure to discover something different.

Neihu Qing Dynasty Quarry, Wonder at the Brilliance of Our Forebears

Neihu Qing Dynasty Quarry

Neihu Qing Dynasty Quarry

Follow Lane 285 on Neihu Road towards Huanshan Road, and the municipal heritage site the “Neihu Qing Dynasty Quarry” will be found at the end of Lane 136. Passing through a tranquil residential area, the channel cut for moving stone begins at the same place as the Jinmianshan Hiking Trail. Boulders till remain on the scene and, with the quarry closed for many years, the original quarry is completely overgrown, but it is not hard to imagine the valley with its verdant woodland was where colossal blocks of stone were excavated in the quarry’s heyday. As can be seen on the map of the Jinmianshan Hiking Trail, virtually all of it follows branch lines of the quarry when it was in operation.

As well as being rich in high-quality natural stone, Neihu Qing Dynasty Quarry was also noted for its advantageous geographic position, which meant that quarried stone could be sent to ports or harbors on the Keelung River, reducing the difficulty of transporting it. Our forebears’ development of the natural world is testament to their wisdom.

As Anshan sandstone is easily-weathered, white powders similar to sand on the beach can occasionally be seen by the trail, and as a result of the stone’s high quartz content, it glistens in the sun. It is this for which Jinmianshan (Goldside Mountain) is named. Follow the trail up the mountain for around ten minutes, and you will find that there are still carved stones at the “Quarry Ruins”, lines of stone gathering and then dispersing. Many holes remain on the cliffs, and on the other side of the trail, you can look down on the scenery of Neihu District, the twisting cable of Dazhi Bridge spanning both sides of the Keelung River, and Taipei 101 seems merely a stone’s throw away.

Old Guo Family Residence a Small and Tranquil Residence

Guo Ziyi Memorial Hall

Guo Ziyi Memorial Hall

Not far from Wende Station Exit No. 1, you can see the sign for the entrance to the “Guo Ziyi Memorial Hall”. Take the tree-shaded iron staircase up, and you will find the renovated Memorial Hall hidden amidst the greenery.

The Old Residence was built by Guo Hua-Xi, borough chief of Neihu village during the Taishō Emperor’s reign, in the style popular at the time, red brick and stone; it is 2-storey ‘Taishō building’ in southern Chinese style accompanied by baroque style. A half-size statue of the famous Tang-Dynasty general Guo Ziyi can be seen in the hall on the first floor, with hands held as if mediating, a slight smile like the land god on his expressive face. Many artefacts commemorating the deeds of Guo Ziyi are displayed in the house, the decoration implying his success in the military. There is also a collection of his calligraphy, although are reproductions, they do not reduce the respect of Guo’s descendants for their forebear. The second floor is dedicated to a collection of photographs and records of his family, as if the origins of history were casting a light on this majestic residence.

The Old Guo Family Residence is Neihu’s most historic red brick building, and fascinating plantains grow on the slopes behind the house. When the noon sun shines on the colored glass on both sides of the front of the building, the shifting light and shadow makes one think of when the house was built. It is as if, below the sound of the MRT on Wende Road, the red bricks, lanterns and window frames are relating stories of the home’s previous occupants.

Lane 737 Night Market, Where Beauty Can Be Found in Old Taste and New Food Alike

Lane 737 Night Market

Lane 737 Night Market

As the sky darkens, the night market in Lane 737 begins at around 5 o’clock, stalls and kiosks opening in succession. In the same way that Xihu Market meets the needs of nearby workers, Lane 737 is also popular with nearby students and locals. Eat a bowl of classic vinegar noodles at the Da Chen Ji Noodle Store, or try a fresh serving of spicy 3-color wonton soup, in Neihu, new and old always meet like this, allowing one to experience both warmth of the heart and that of a full stomach in the steam and heat of the night market.

Xihu Market
Address: No.285, Sec. 1, Neihu Rd., Taipei City
Traffic: MRT Xihu Station Exit No.1

Address: No.285, Sec. 1, Neihu Rd., Taipei City Traffic: MRT Xihu Station Exit No.1
Address: End of Ln. 136, Sec. 1, Huanshan Rd., Taipei City
Traffic: Approximately a 12-minute walk from MRT Xihu Station Exit No.1

Guo Ziyi Memorial Hall
Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-12:00; 14:00-17:00
Tel: 02-2659-8787
Address: No.19, Ln. 267, Wende Rd., Taipei City
Traffic: Approximately a 6-minute walk from MRT Wende Station Exit No.1

Lane 737 Night Market
Address: Ln. 737, Sec. 1, Neihu Rd., Taipei City
Traffic: Approximately a 8-minute walk from MRT Gangqian Station Exit No.1

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