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Why Tamsui (Danshui) is special ?
The charming riverside town of Danshui (Tamsui) is one of the most popular tourist spots in Taiwan. Its close location to Taipei City and access to convenient transportation make it a perfect spot for a day trip. In particular, the wide variety of street food and beautiful scenery here are prime reasons so many people visit, especially on weekends.
Danshui is not only a town of nature and leisure, but also one rich in history. You can hop on a bike like a local Taiwanese, enjoy the breeze carried along the Danshui River, and stop for a coffee break at a riverside café. As you walk the streets, you will be surprised by the many delicate handicrafts and artwork shops here - a souvenir shopper’s paradise. Taking a stroll through the town, you will also have a chance to explore its complex history as trading and cultural center as you visit its numerous historic sites.
What to explore at Tamsui (Danshui)?
Hongmao Castle gained its present name in reference to the red-haired Dutch. The compound also served as the British Consulate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It enjoys commanding views over the mouth of the Tamsui (Danshui) River.
Tamsui Old Street and waterfront: Located along the Tamsui (Danshui) River, this pedestrian shopping area offers tourists a wide selection of restaurants, arcades, and stores specializing in traditional handicrafts. Visitors can sample Tamsui's local specialties: A-Gei (crystal noodles stuffed in fried bean curd, served with a mild hot sauce), fish ball soup, and "iron eggs" (eggs which have been stewed in a mix of herbs and spices until pickled).
The Tamsui Ferry Pier are located near the north end of the waterfront area and offer ferries across the river to Bali Township, as well as Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf further north. Tickets run around NT$50 to Bali, and NT$100 to Fisherman's Wharf. When taking the ferry don't stand outside unless you enjoy getting wet! Closed in the event of bad weather.
Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf is a departure point for tourist boats traveling along Taiwan's scenic northeast coast. The "Lover's Bridge", a single slanted tower cable stay pedestrian bridge, that is modeled after a sailing ship's mast and rigging, spans the harbor. The bridge's illumination changes color at night, making this area a favorite with local couples and romantics, and is also a popular site for shooting Taiwanese drama serials. Outdoor concerts are sometimes held in the amphitheater, and some of the restaurants feature live music at times.
Ride the ferry to Bali (八里).
Attend seasonal concerts or festivals at Fisherman's Wharf or the MRT Station Plaza.
Take a walk and visit Maritime Museum on campus of Tamkang University.
Walk along the waterfront.
Watch the sunset.
Iron eggs (鐵蛋) are eggs which have been repeatedly stewed in a mix of spices and air dried. The resulting eggs are dark brown, chewy and, about half its initial size. The famous Iron eggs store is Grandma's Tiedan (阿婆鐵蛋) - 135 Zhongzheng Road (Old Street).
A-Gei (阿給) are deep fried tofu that have been stuff with flavoured crystal noodles and sealed with fish paste (surimi). It is often served with a spicy sauce. Many places serve this, but one of the original A-Gei restaurants is on Zhenli St. (真理街) - the last one on the right as you walk up this steep, narrow street.
Tamsui fish balls (淡水魚丸) are balls of fish paste stuffed with meat and garlic served in a light broth.
Fish crisps (魚酥) are fish snacks that are light crispy with a texture comparible to shrimp crackers. Available in original and hot flavours.
How to get to Tamsui (Danshui)?
Most of the city Tamsui is easily accessible on foot from the MRT station. Turn left as you exit the MRT and then right along the river.
Ferries across the river to the town of Bali and the Fisherman's Wharf depart from the Tamsui Ferry Pier, about 10 minutes north of the MRT station by foot. Sightseeing boats traversing Taiwan's northeast coast and the Tamsui (Danshui) River depart from the Fisherman's Wharf.
The R26 bus will take you from Tamsui MRT Station to Fort San Domingo or Fisherman's Wharf. The latter is beyond casual walking distance from the MRT, so the bus is probably the best choice if you don't want to take a boat or rent a bike.
Rent a bike in one of several shops on the main road north of Tamsui MRT Station. A normal rate might be $300 for the whole day. Or in Bali , hire a bike to ride up and down the riverside. This is very popular and cheap (From NT$30 for a small bike to NT$100 for a tandem per hour). Make sure you look the bike over first as safety standards vary.
- “Great Cycling Destination”
- “Beautiful sunset at Fisherman's wharf”
- “Enjoying stroll while eating”
- “Lots of food and games”
- “Waterfront with good view of port.”
Tamsui District New Taipei City, Taiwan 251
Tips for you
A very nice place to explore as there is so much to see! Didn't know anything about Danshuei 淡水 so once I got off the MRT and headed for the information counter. The staff will give you a map and explain to you that there is an old street and you can view the sunset from a fisherman's pier/wharf 渔人码头. The area to explore is surprisingly huge. There is an old street and also a pier parallel to the old street where you can also view the sunset. Mostly food shops line both the old street and the pier. At the pier, there are ferry rides, some of which will bring you to the fisherman's pier/wharf 渔人码头. It's about 2.3+ km to the fisherman's pier/wharf 渔人码头, so don't make the mistake I made and walk there. Please do consider a bicycle or the bus (260), which I took back to the MRT station. The sunset at the fisherman's pier/wharf 渔人码头 was very beautiful. There is also a lover's tower and a lover's bridge there. Danshuei also has a night market, which you will see as u explore the old street. Also, there is the famous Ah Po Tie Dan 阿婆铁蛋, like a tougher version of the herbal
Me and my baby girl (in stroller) took the metro to Tamsui - about an hour trip - end of the red line.It was a particularly hot day so if u go in summer pack sunscreen, umbrella and loads of water!!!!Loved the markets and restaurant has a very laid back coastal town feel.We then took the ferry boat to Lovers Bridge. I think because we went during the week that might be the reason why it was so quiet. Still a good day out and I will definately recommend!(I can compare the little town to Kalkbaai (Cape Town) but with 4 x the humidity of Durbs)
The food, scenery, the ocean view and especially watching the sun as it sets those are just some of the things I enjoyed in Danshui.
It's a old town by the river mouth. There's abundant restaurants and food stalls. There's plenty for the shopaholics and a night market as well. The sunsets would appeal to the photographer in you....but just strolling along the paths and stopping to grab a quick bite makes this place a must see.
few minutes of short walk to reach tamsui old street (the best place to shop for souvenirs).Due to its name "old street" one can find many nostalgic toys, sweets, decorations, etc. especially from the 50s. the street is filled with good food including the very popular "grandma steel egg" "ah gei fish ball noodles", jiang mu tea, almond tofu in black sesame (cold) etc. after the stretch of few hundreds of stalls, there is a pier for ferry transfer to 2 places: bali and fisherman's wharf. what to do in bali: catching sunset and cycling what to do in fisherman's wharf: sightseeing if you do not have time to go both, it is recommended to go to fisherman's wharf time spent: from lunch till late dinner. what to bring: EMPTY STOMACH, camera, umbrella, cap etc. recommended: do also visit xinbeitou for hotspring from morning till noon. then move to tamsui from beitou station (10-15 mins ride)