Taiwan : Neiwan Old Street

January 2014.

Sponsor : Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Neiwan old street is located in Hsinchu county, surrounded by hills and water. It is rich with natural resources such as timber and water. Neiwan is mostly populated with Hakka people. This nostalgic town was once a busy township during the height of Taiwan’s timber logging era.



From Atayal, we traveled down hill and crossed several stone and suspension bridges to get to Neiwan old town. According to my driver and guide, this bridge was built during the Japanese colonization of Taiwan. The bricks were “stuck” together using glutinous rice. It’s amazing it is still standing today after over 60 years or more.


Lime stone hills formation caused by tectonic movement. Taiwan sits on the earth quake zone where each year hundreds of tremors occurs. Usually these lime stone plates get pushed upwards slowly by colliding tectonic plates. But in this county, major quakes occurred few years back and those lime stone plates got pushed upwards in a surprisingly short period of time. Notice the lines on the hills. They were once horizontal, now they are all stacked up like layered cakes on their sides. This whole area was hit by a major earth quake where the entire valley suffered a devastating flood. Villages were badly affected. Roads and modern bridges were destroyed, leaving only some of the old stone bridges built with bricks and glutinous rice still standing. The major highways were destroyed, leaving the rescue and supply convoy stranded and unable to reach the villages. The Taiwanese government decided to design and build a whole new highway that will not be effected by floods after that major incident. Elevated highways connecting the villages and towns were equipped with earth quake dampers and were built along the river.


 I wonder who that is.


Neiwan old streets sits on top of a hill. From the parking lot, I had to climb these steep stairs to get to the streets. I think the fat croc pictured below is taking a short cut.


 Actually from this angle it looks more like this fat croc is falling rather than climbing up.


The Neiwan theatre. This is the first stop we made. It’s time for lunch!


 During the timber logging height of Hsinchu county, the boss of the timber company built this theatre for his staff. This was the only form of entertainment back then.


 This theatre is like a museum.


 As you walk through the corridors, you feel like you stepped back in time and the scent of timber lingers in the air.


 A farmer’s coat made out of hay hanging on display at the end of a corridor.


 As I walked through the corridor I noticed some old photos hanging on the wall. This seems to be a screen cap from some old Japanese adult movie that was once shown in this theatre.


 Touching breast alley. I wonder where that is.


 “The Tattoo Woman” movie poster hanging right above the urinal in the toilet. Great, so you can stare at the actress’ round tattooed ass as you pee.


 Vintage items in the display cabinet.




A framed up 1967 year calender by National.





 The theatre has been converted into a restaurant. However, old movies are still being shown there. Diners can enjoy their meals while watching the old movies.


Our lunch.



 This place is very well maintained.


Movie theatre projectors.


 Movie film rolls.


 Movie posters, record players, movie projectors and film rolls.



Record player. You actually have to wind it before it can function.


 Movie film roll canister with film.


 Diners enjoying their lunch while watching a movie.


 Life size statue of Old Master Q, also known as Lau Foo Tze. I used to read this comic when I was a small. Especially while I was waiting for my mom to finish her hair do in the salon.


This is an interesting old phone. I wonder how it works actually.


 An old Coca Cola metal tray.




This place will definitely takes you on a nostalgic journey. For me, I certainly recognized a lot of the items on display. I remember seeing them when I was small in my grandparents’ house.









 If anyone knows what the legs of this table is made of, it means you’re a 70’s child.

The “legs” are part of an old sewing machine. The user will have to work the pedal with his/her feet to operate the sewing machine.



 The Neiwan theatre, once a prominent entertainment centre, is now a prominent landmark.


 After lunch, I hit the streets. Dried ground nuts is one of the local produce of Hsinchu county.


 Neiwan old street is famous for their Hakka mochi.


 Among some of the famous local delicacies are Hakka preserved vegetables.


This is a very old street but surprisingly most the visitors here are young people.


 The locals seems to have likings for statues. First there was the fat croc hanging near the stairs. Now there’s king kong and then Spiderman.



 Majority of the shops here are selling local snacks.


 And local produce.


 And local farm milk.


 Neiwan old street was the main passage way to the forest in the past.


 This place is also famous for it’s Hakka dumplings aka bak zhang.


 A Chinese calligraphy brush smith at work.


 I would love to get my hands on the biggest one they have. But it’s gonna cost a bomb.



An old lady keeping watch of her shop with her doggie.


Decorative dumplings.


A cute local girl with her scooter gang.


Back in the day, the timber workers as well local farmers would cross Neiwan street to get to this this bridge every day on their way to work. The moment I got to this small town, I took the path the timber workers once took. It’s time for me to cross the bridge.


 It is a must to walk across this suspension bridge this if you come to Neiwan. Just like all these young visitors.


 Even the doggies crossed it.


 The doggie was actually more shy than the SYT.


 Siaw Huang, my driver and guide. Siaw Huang translated into English literally means “small yellow”.


 Definitely city slickers.



 For some visitors they would just walk across the suspension bridge to the other side and walk back.


Another bunch of teenage kids visiting the old streets.




 Unlike those kids, I crossed over to the other side via the old suspension bridge but went back using the new bridge.


 I noticed that there are more girls visiting this streets than guys.


 A friendly uncle selling sweet potato chips.


 She doesn’t look like she belongs here. The way she dress and her look. A chick like this taking care of a small stall by the road side?


 School children on their field trip to Neiwan old street waiting for their bus.


 The main mode of transportation for the locals are still scooters.


 Writer Jocelyn with her travel dairy. She brings it with her wherever she travels.


Cute little girl from a noodle shop.


 She stood outside her mom’s stall observing passerby with her curious eyes.


 University students from Taipei.


Some photos for IG and FB is a ritual these days.


 One for me too!! They added me in their FB. But I can’t remember their names. LOL. How am I going to tag them in the photos like I promised? =o(


 One last shot before I leave the old town of Neiwan.


 Leaving the old to the new. After this the drive took over 3 hours up north to Taipei.

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