Dihua Street 迪化街

journal > 2014 > Dihua Street 迪化街

Asian Glossy Starling 輝椋鳥

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Asian Glossy Starlings 輝椋鳥 (huī liángniǎo)
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Taiwan Barbet 五色鳥 (wǔsè niǎo) Megalaima nuchalis
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in flight
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Asian Glossy Starlings 輝椋鳥 (huī liángniǎo)
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Asian Glossy Starling 輝椋鳥 (huī liángniǎo) Aplonis panayensis
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Common Magpie 喜鵲 (xǐquè) Pica pica
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immature Asian Glossy Starling 輝椋鳥 Aplonis panayensis

Coming out of the Shuanglian MRT metro station 雙連站, we notice a tree full of bird activity. Asian Glossy Starlings 輝椋鳥 (huī liáng niǎo) Aplonis panayensis are feeding in a cluster of fruiting Sea Fig 雀榕 (què róng) Ficus superba. We also see a Taiwan Barbet 黑眉擬啄木鳥 (hēi méi nǐ zhuó mù niǎo) Megalaima nuchalis and Common Magpie 喜鵲 (xǐquè) Pica pica in the trees.

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old facade

Dihua street 迪化街 market

The name "Dihua" was given in 1947 by the Republic of China government, in reference to the city of Dihua (now called Ürümqi) in Xinjiang, and effectively joins a string of older streets in this area of Taipei existing prior to the Chinese Civil War. Locals living in the district refer to the portion of the street north of the Minsheng West Road 民生西路 as Dihua North 北街, and the portion south as Dihua south 南街. Being the oldest street in Taipei (with sections in existence since the rule of Dutch Formosa from 1624–1661), its architecture has been under preservation and conservation efforts by the city. Modern Dihua Street along with its surrounding neighborhood and streets, known as the Dihua Street commercial loop 迪化街商圈, remain one of the most commercially active in Taipei with transactions in excess of 3 billion US dollars.

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Tammy buying sesame snacks
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Black and white sesame snacks. We also bought one with roasted sunflower seeds.
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Dihua Street 迪化街 is in the Dadaocheng area of Datong District 大同區, Taipei, winding from the south of the district toward the north in the old village of Dalongdong 大龍峒. The street, then known as Center Street 中街, was constructed during the 1850s, when many commercial entities belonging to Quanzhou-originating owners moved in from the nearby village of Bangka 艋舺. Since then, and throughout the rest of the 19th century, Dihua Street has been an important center for commerce in Taiwanese products and produce such as Chinese medicinal herbs, fabrics, incense materials, and for the post-processing of Taiwanese tea.

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dried meat and fish
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Tammy buying peanut, sesame, and kumquat cakes.
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market vendor in front of traditional medicine shop

Although a relatively calm street during most times of the year Dihua street bustles with people during the two weeks before Chinese New Year. The residents of Taipei flock to the street during these times to buy necessities for the festivities, while tourists visit for the traditional Fujian decorations, atmosphere, and architecture. The street continues to be a major destination during Chinese New Year festivities, with 750,000 people visiting the street in the two weeks leading up to the holiday.

Xiahai Chenghuang Temple 霞海城隍廟

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Xiahai Chenghuang Temple 霞海城隍廟
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burning incense in front of the temple
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candies and lucky hangings for sale

Xiahai Chenghuang Temple 霞海城隍廟, on Dihua Street, leads a festival to celebrate the birthday of Xiahai Chenghuang 霞海城隍, a city god, on the 13th day of the 5th lunar month every year.

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Taiwan Agricultural Products Company 台灣農產企業公司

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seeds in traditional packaging
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Dadaocheng 大稻埕

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mushroom sellers in front of a traditional Chinese medicine shop
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Tammy buying ginger and red jujube tea

Dadaocheng 大稻埕 "big rice-drying field" spelled Twatutia before Japanese rule, is an historic area in the Datong District of Taipei. It was known as Daitotei by the Japanese and Tataocheng during the Kuomintang era. Dadaocheng was an important trading port in the 19th century. When the export of tea became important in northern Taiwan in the mid-19th century, many businessmen came to Dadaocheng. Dadaocheng was one of the most populous cities in Taiwan. In 1920, it became part of newly incorporated Taipei City. The district is known for local Taiwanese cuisine, the Chien-Cheng Circle 圓環, and also being the center of the 228 Incident.

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Tammy helps a vendor pull her boxes across the road

The hiring of clean-up crews and rental of store-fronts to seasonal merchants during the two weeks is an important source of revenue for many residents.

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Machine and tool shops

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fan shop
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springs shop
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cogs and sprockets
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Keywords: bird, market, tree
People: Dan, Tammy
Locations: Dadaocheng, 大稻埕
Date: 2014:01:27