Like Dasi Old Street in Taoyuan, Minquan Old Street in Sanxia was born in the early part of the 20th century. Like Daxi, it came out of being strategically located on a commercially-trafficked river. Unlike Dasi, as roads and rails replaced the rivers used to transport goods and reduced the commercial importance of such market hubs, Minquan Old Street didn’t really re-invent itself in any manner. It’s buildings and shops still appear as they would have decades ago in the time of our grand-and-great-grandparents.
This doesn’t mean that everything is decayed and falling apart, though. Far from it, in fact. The local government knows the cultural and tourist value of this short, ~1/5 kilometer section of Minquan road in the Sanxia District of New Taipei City. Not only do they continually refurbish and protect the traditional wood & brick facades but they have also ‘touristed-up’ the area with map and informational plaques in English as well as Chinese. For anyone visiting Taipei and and with an afternoon to kill, the Minquan Old Street is relatively easy to access and visiting it like landing a TARDIS in Taiwan in the 1920s…if you ignore the occasional delivery truck.
And there is the occasional delivery truck because the shops that make up this short section of street sell everything from the tourist shlock that you’d expect to more traditional foods and goods.
Here’s an interesting gentleman. I first noticed him pushing a wheelbarrow full of vegetables down the street, perhaps from a local plot where he had grown them to a nearby shop for sale. I next noticed him sitting on the side of the road, taking a smoke break. Then, to my pleasant surprise, he reached into his wheelbarrow and out from amongst the veggies he pulled out a musical instrument, an Erhu, and started playing.
He might have shopped this same street as a small child with his mother.
Here are a few more photos of Minquan Old Street in
She had very, very good peanuts.
I wonder if she was selling snacks in this same shop when she was a girl?