Danshui (also known as Danshuei, Tamshui, or Tamsui) is a laid back waterfront town on the northern part of Taipei city. Historically this is a significant place in Taipei history, where it was one of the main settlements for the Spanish in the 1600’s. It was also been influenced by the Japanese during the world war era having established its unique 1900’s architecture and infrastructure. Its a great place to just stroll around, grab some great food, and just soak in the atmosphere. Ever since I first stepped foot at Danshui, there was something about it that left a lasting impression on me. Here are some of the reasons why I love Danshui so much.
Maybe its the way the township was built along the waterfront, overlooking the mountains, islands and sea. There was something relaxing about this place. The people there are laid back, and as much as it is so, it still has come vibrancy to it. Whether there’s people riding their bikes along the commuter paths along the waterfront, elderly men fishing near the dock, or even young couples just catching the sunset in the nearby Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s a good vibe going on. This is definitely one the places I would love to retire at.
The waterfront views, with mountains in the background…my type of place to be!
As with popular Taiwan culture, a great ingredient to a pleasant time out is not complete without awesome street food. And Danshui has its fair share of unique snacks all lined up through the streets. Here are some of the things I saw there and tried.
Danshui Tall Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone
One of the craziest things I saw was the super tall soft serve ice cream cone. It was unbelievable. The ice cream itself was twirled up so high on the cone that it was taller than my entire face. It was as if you were holding up a sword. It was cheap and good.
Look at the line of people buying the ice cream from this stall. And this is why there was a long line up…
Wait for a minute, while this lady make our cone…you’ll see why it was so popular.
Voila! Look how tall that ice cream is! Just for reference, you see its taller than my wife!
Look’s like a ice cream sword!
That’s me posing with the ice cream sword!
And that’s me eating it!
Danshui Famous Iron Eggs
Another Danshui specialty we found was the deviously sounding “Iron Eggs”. These were actually just either chicken or quail eggs braised in a vat of soy sauce and spice mix and then air dried. The result is the egg whites being tough and rubbery on the outside giving its name “Iron Eggs”. One of the reasons I found out why the eggs were done like this was simply a way to preserve the eggs for the many fisherman who were out at sea for long periods of time, since Danshui was once a very busy fishing port. Although it sounded strange, it was actually quite tasty.
The Danshui Iron Eggs – 1 quail egg for only 10 Taiwan dollars (only about 30 cents US)!
Here’s what the iron eggs look like inside. Its just like a normal hard boil egg, but more rubbery!
You can even buy the iron eggs to bring home in a vacuum sealed pack!
Other Random Goodness at Danshui
There’s just a lot of things to eat at Danshui…here’s a few more random things we saw:
Some random snack stall selling “Pineapple Shrimp”
How about some fried / grilled squid goodness?
I had no idea what this was, but it was good.
Fresh guava fruit on sale.
Some interesting juice drinks with tapioca pearls.
Street Market Full of Life
As mentioned in my previous posts, Taiwan is well known for its street markets where it is always full of energy and life. One the coolest things I found about Danshui is the markets along the ‘old street’ that stretches along the coast on Zhongzheng Road. It is called ‘old street’ for the fact that many old Japanese colonial style buildings from the 1900’s still stand nicely preserved along the street. For me this was one of my main highlights during my visit to Taipei. When you mix the laid back sea side atmosphere with a typical Taiwan street market, there is always something good going on.
Entrance to the Danshui street market.
Random people just strolling around the markets.
Sponge Bob for sale.
I have no idea what these were suppose to be.
Wallets for sale.
Flip flops and pantyhose anyone?
Bag stall…now thats alot of bags on sale!
Whole bunch of motorcycles and scooters parked along ‘old street’.
‘Old Street’…well some parts were pretty new due to some recent renovations.
Here’s you’ll see some stretches for 1900’s style buildings.
Danshui – I will miss you, but I will be back!
Definitely my first taste of Danshui will not be my last. My next trip back to Taiwan will have a spot reserved Danshui. I guess a true definition of why I love the place so much is hard to describe, but its just one of those hidden charms that grows on you over time. Visit Danshui for yourself and you’ll see what I mean…
Visitor’s Information to Danshui Old Street:
Nearest MRT subway: Danshui MRT station
Location map of Danshui old street – highlighted in red.
Have you been to Danshui before? Please share your experiences below! Cheers!