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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

Taiping Old Street 太平老街

Baroque revival architecture on the streets of Douliu, the capital of Yunlin.

Taiping Old Street 太平老街 is an unusually long stretch of Japanese colonial era shophouses in central Dǒuliù 斗六, the administrative seat of Yúnlín 雲林, Taiwan 台灣. Located not far from the train station, this old street is remarkable for its length (600 meters long), consistent architectural style (almost entirely Baroque Revival), and relatively good state of preservation. Despite this, it is not a huge attraction, which is just as well if you’re not a big fan of mass tourism in Taiwan 台灣.

One thing you will notice about Taiping Old Street is that it isn’t unlike any other shopping street you’ll find in a similarly-sized city in Taiwan 台灣. Indeed, despite its historic nature, most shops are the usual mix of cheap clothing stores, tea shops, open kitchen restaurants, and other small businesses. Modern signboards protrude from most blocks but family names adorned with European-style flourishes can still be seen on many facades, some of which date back more than a century.

I haven’t seen much other writing about Taiping Old Street in English but you’ll find more on Chinese language blogs here, here, here, and here. If you’re interested in the history of specific buildings—or in the famous food that is no doubt found in the area—Chinese language blogs are where you’ll need to look.

For more of my adventures in Dǒuliù 斗六 that same day have a look at my posts about the abandoned Douliumen Building 斗六門大樓 and the surprisingly awesome Douliu Night Market 斗六夜市. If you’d like to explore more old streets in central and south Taiwan check out my posts about Yánpíng Old Street 延平老街 in nearby Xīluó 西螺 and especially Xīnhuà Old Street 新化老街 down in Tainan 台南.

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