One of the first areas to be settled in Taipei, Datong District sprawls on the eastern shore of the Tamsui River. Datong’s commercial centre has since shifted south-east, but Datong has retained much of its elegant Japanese and Qing period architecture from its years as Taipei’s major trade and business hub.
Things to do in Datong District
Bustling Dihua Street is famed for its street market, which sells a large range of dried fruits and nuts, as well as dried meats, seafood and medicinal herbs. Coffee houses, handicraft boutiques and art galleries now occupy its historic three-story row houses, which were initially designed to house the merchant’s family above.
Sample Taiwan’s famous high-altitude oolong tea at one of the many tea houses or shop for traditional clay teapots, then wander through the network of streets that are lined with Japanese colonial buildings. The architecture was influenced by a European baroque style favoured during the period, with Datong boasting the highest density left in Taipei today.
Learn about traditional Taiwanese puppetry at the Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum where you can operate a puppet of your very own. For a more modern artistic experience, stop by the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art that features works by Taiwanese painters, sculptors, architects and multimedia designers.
Want to sample authentic Taiwanese cuisine? Head to the Ningxia Night Market once the sun goes down, with steaming bowls of noodles and pineapple cake among the specialties.
Getting around Datong District
Datong District is about 40 minutes’drive from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. It’s serviced by three Taipei Metro train lines and has the city’s largest bus terminal, Taipei Bus Station. Many of the Datong’s sights are within an easy walking distance of one another and buses frequently run throughout the district.