About Taoyuan City
Located in northwestern Taiwan, Taoyuang City is the country’s fourth biggest metropolitan area primarily focused on manufacturing and technology industries. Over the years, Taoyuan City has seen huge population growth — the fastest of all cities in Taiwan — with a big population of local and foreign migrant workers. This is evident in the number of international restaurants and eateries, particularly South Asian. As it is only about half an hour ride from the capital city of Taipei, commuting to Taoyuan City is easy and fast. Taoyuan was originally inhabited by aborigines before it was colonized by the Dutch and then Spanish conquerors. Taoyuan literally means ‘peach garden’ due to the numerous peach trees that used to grow in the area during the Qing Dynasty, when migrants from Fujian and Guangdong provinces settled and farmed Taoyuan’s agricultural lands, and planted lots of peach trees. Due to the presence of irrigation ponds in the area, Taoyuan easily earned the nickname ‘Thousand-Pond Township’. Today, the city is home to technology companies, numerous shopping malls, and has a large IKEA store. Alongside the city’s contemporary feel, the city also boasts natural attractions including Tigerhead Mountain (Hu Tou Shan) where scenic hiking trails abound.
The Charm of Taoyuan City
1. A Haven for Foodies Far and WideLocal and international foodies will revel in what Taoyuan City has to offer in the grub department. Kids and adults alike vouch for the tasty popcorn chicken, considered a local specialty being sold in the stalls along street corners. Another favorite snack among foodies is the famous scallion pancake, made all the more savory with bacon toppings and drizzled with either soy sauce or chili sauce. The city streets are also peppered with tea shops and popular teas include green and oolong teas. The ritual involving these teas is that customers will be asked if they want sugar and ice, and how much they want, after which the tea will be shaken like a cocktail and placed in a sealed cup. Some creative tea shop owners offer their teas with a choice of additions, ranging from pearls to yogurt and even pudding.
2. A City Promoting Natural Protected ZonesLike other modern cities in Taiwan, Taoyuan City boasts of a blend of modernity and natural preserves that is quite welcome among nature lovers. One of its pride is having a reservoir once considered the ‘largest conservancy project in Southeast Asia’ and is one of the country’s major water reservoir, which provides majority of the water supply in the city. The city also prides itself for its ‘Natural Protection Zones’ planted to thousands of year old sacred trees, some of which predates Confucius, a renowned Chinese philosopher. During cherry blossom season, visitors troop to its many areas to view the beautiful blooms as well as calla lilies, tulips, and plum flowers.
3. Techno and Innovation HubTaoyuan City is considered at par with advanced cities as Melbourne, Stockholm, and Toronto in terms of being a ‘smart and intelligent community’ where residents enjoy good quality of life, job stability, and innovative digital environment. Residents enjoy optimized wireless network services with the city offering free internet hotspots numbering to 921 scattered all throughout the metropolis. Poised to become Taiwan’s business and innovation center, Taoyuan City has numerous logistics companies and is quite proud of being the only airport free trade zone in the country. Its infrastructure system is one of the best in the country with a comprehensive bus network with 261 routes, a high-speed railway station, and the largest international airport in Taiwan. The city is actively aiming for a sustainable future by investing in solar energy, as well as wind power generation.
Taoyuan City Tourist Spots
1. Daxi Old Street: One of Taiwan’s More Famous Old StreetsAlso known as ‘Peace Street’, Daxi Old Street was once a busy center for the tea and camphor trades in the old days. Today, this nostalgic street packs in huge crowds especially during the weekends who want to imbibe some of the country’s history. Walk past the store facades that feature a combination of Baroque, Chinese, and Japanese architectural influences. Among its famous buildings are the Daxi Butokuden, Lee Teng-Fan’s Ancient Residence, and the Daxi Wood Art Eco-Museum. Daxi Bridge is a great spot for sunset viewing and to admire the night lights. Visitors can linger around small shops selling traditional toys and local food fare, such as peanut caramel candy and tofu pudding. Three notable temples, namely, Fu-Ren Temple, Shou-De Zen Buddhist Temple, and Po-Chai Taoist Temple, are worth a visit.
2. Shihmen Reservoir: An Idyllic Escape from City LifeShihmen Reservoir is one of Taiwan’s largest reservoirs, which is a source of electricity and water of the city and neighboring areas. Both domestic and international tourists wanting some peace and quiet flock to the reservoir. Families wanting to spend some quiet bonding time can have a nice stroll in its long and winding path with a spectacular view of the waters and mountains. The more adventurous ones can opt for its nice bike pathways weaving through the whole area. Restaurants serving freshly caught fish from the reservoir are also favorite stopovers. The reservoir is also popular for viewing the blooms from azaleas, peaches, and cherry trees, while autumn and winter showcases colorful maple leaves and plum blossoms.
3. Window on China Theme Park: Fun and Easy TravelingOpening to the public in 1984, the Window on China Theme Park is one of Taiwan’s earliest and oldest theme parks. It is also acknowledged as Asia’s first ever theme park to feature small-scale displays of famous landmarks and buildings from around the world. Today, it is still a popular destination for tourists both young and young at heart. The theme park has three main zones — Mini World, Water Park, and Amusement Park. After going through miniscule replicas of structures from China, North America, Europe, and other parts of Asia, visitors can go on thrilling water and boat rides, as well as have the time of their lives with rollercoaster rides, watching acrobatics performances, marveling at magic tricks, and having selfies with the theme park mascots.