Rediscovering Wan Hua: Bopiliao Historic Block
When I first arrived in Taipei, Wan Hua was somewhere to go when you wanted to visit Longshan Temple and Snake Alley. It was old, rundown, and a bit dirty. It certainly wasn't known as an historically-significant cultural area that you would take your young children to. Luckily, times have changed, and our children can learn about the deep historical significance of the area themselves.
Located on the East Bank of the Danshui River, Bopiliao dates back to 1799. The buildings are well-preserved. Once the center of business and trade in Taipei, a number of different businesses lined the streets. For a more detailed history, you read this page of the Taiwan Review. There is also quite a bit of information posted by various sources if you search online.
The architecture of the street is interesting to adults, and the open space appeals to young children. Children can run in and out of the old stores and see artifacts from yesteryear.
My children fell absolutely in love with the Heritage and Culture Education Center (HCEC). Admission is free. No food or drink can be consumed inside the area.
When you first enter, there is an outdoor area with a number of traditional toys for children to try.
Enter into the various rooms to use the interactive materials that help children learn about the history of the Danshui River, trade and industry, and education.
A fair bit of thought has gone into the setup. For example, when you pick up the teapot in this set, it plays a tune! Check out the radio.
We stayed in the HCEC for at least two hours. My daughter cried when we finally had to leave. The whole area is well-worth a walk around and exploration. There is no entry fee for any of the areas.
On the way to or from Wan Hua Station, stop by this bookstore.
Address: 10852 台北市萬華區 廣州街101號 Guang Zhou Street No. 101.
Directions: It's a short walk from Wan Hua Station.