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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

Postcards From Changhua City 1 彰化市明信片一號

Floral murals along an alleyway in Changhua City.

I moved to Changhua City 彰化市 in November 2014 to see what’s it like living in another traditional town in middle Taiwan 台灣. I had an interesting time staying in Tainan 台南 for three months so I figured why not give Changhua 彰化 a shot for the wintertime? While Changhua is nowhere near as lively and interesting as Taiwan’s old southern capital it is not without charm. Here I have gathered up some of the more representative images I have captured in my first two months of residency, mostly of the area immediately to the east of the train station, which also happens to be the oldest part of town.

Vintage cleaners south of the station. This place has been in operation for more than 50 years.
In front of Changhua Station. You can see the Qiaoyou Building in the distance. Cross the street and you’ll find the main bicycle rental depot on a traffic island.
Just north and east of the station one will find this block of decaying storefronts.
A unique set of colonial storefronts on Zhongzheng Road.
Wēihuì Temple 威惠宮, a popular place for the elderly to congregate and play board games.
Famous bawan (Taiwanese meatball) shops just south of the station. The store on the corner was featured in a film; the others are copycats.
An old hotel in the heart of Changhua City.
Yongle Street, Changhua City’s main pedestrian shopping street. They call it a night market but it’s mostly clothing vendors.
Kāihuà Temple 開化寺, one of Changhua City’s oldest and most famous. It was originally built as a shrine to Guanyin in 1724.
Candlelight in front of a land god shrine at the back of the historic Dìngguāng Buddhist Temple 定光佛廟 near the train station. The front of this Qing dynasty temple was destroyed in the Japanese colonial era to facilitate a road widening but the back retains its old appearance.
There are many temples in Changhua City’s old downtown core. This old figurine stands inside one of them.
The weird geometric flower in a roundabout just east of the station.
This 24 hour cafe is a popular hang-out for locals. I always see groups of people smoking and drinking late into the night when I ride by.
An old wooden facade on Zhongzheng Road.
Zhen’s Traditional Cake Shop 蓁古早味現烤蛋糕 is always popular. I regularly ride by here and there’s always a line-up. The cakes are actually pretty good: light, fluffy, with various fillings (chocolate, pumpkin, cream, and so on).
A lonesome pink bicycle along an alleyway not far from the station.
The stark outer gate of Changhua City’s famous Confucius Temple 彰化孔子廟.
The elegant simplicity of the Confucius Temple in Changhua City, originally built in 1726.
A traditional farmhouse hidden in the alleyways behind the Confucius Temple. This one is in surprisingly good shape.
Old irrigation canals weave through much of the city unseen.
Storefronts along a busy road in Changhua City.
This police station was built during the Japanese colonial period in 1936 and is still in active use. The tower in the background is a much more recent addition.
The Changhua Roundhouse, the only one of its kind. Truly one of the most unique sights in central Taiwan!
There are entire abandoned neighbourhoods next to the railway line in Changhua City, evidently the target of an urban renewal project.
An artist adding lettering to a wall mural in an alleyway next to the roundhouse.
A small corner lot used to store bamboo scaffolding.
An old wooden house near the southern edge of the old part of town. The city walls used to run along here somewhere.
A fabric shop near the train station.
Vintage star-crossed patterned glass, an ubiquitous sight in the older parts of Taiwan.
The view from the third floor of a building on Sanmin Road.
Broken signs along Sanmin Road not far from the train station.
The ruins of a huge commercial building in downtown Changhua City.
A vintage barber shop near the main highway.
Yongan day market. This place is always busy when the sun is up.
A quirky oyster shack in Changhua City.
Zhōngzhèng Temple 中正宮, a roadside land god shrine south of the station. Apart from its diminutive size there is an unusual number of signs plastered all around the entrance.
The gateway to Baguashan.
The Big Buddha of Baguashan, Changhua City’s most iconic sight.
The gods walk the streets of Changhua City.

If you enjoy these images you may want to browse all my content from Changhua 彰化 (and specifically Changhua City 彰化市) or check out these Flickr albums: here and here.

1 Comment

  1. I lived in Taichung for most of the 90’s. It looks like Changhua hasn’t changed at all.
    Great photos.

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