Hukou Old Street, Revisited

Photos by MJ Klein

Blogger Andres and his lovely wife Karen visited us recently, bringing along superbaby Olivia of course.  Since they had never been to the Hukou Old Street area before, we decided to show them around.

Hukou Old Street

This is the main drag, and believe it or not, this crowd is light compared to most weekends.

Hukou Old Street

We’re walking past a temple at the far end of the Old Street.

Hukou Old Street

Olivia is quite well behaved.  She hardly ever fusses or gets upset.

Hukou Old Street

This shot shows some of the architecture that the Old Street is known for.

Hukou Old Street

Notice the light underneath.  Every building has lights and the whole place is lit up at night.

Hukou Old Street

Further towards the west end of the street, it gets a bit less “touristy” as there are regular residences here in addition to the historical residences.

Hukou Old Street

I like the archways between buildings.

Hukou Old Street

This guy was dry-roasting peanuts in a big wok.  Naturally I bought a bag of them.  They were good!

Hukou Old Street

The Hukou Old street is full of vendors selling anything and everything – with the exception of anything historical or of significance to the location.  Here we see bags of sweet potatoes on a piece of carpet on the street.  We found some of the vegetables to be quite reasonable here.

Hukou Old Street

This is our parting shot.  Taken at 90 degrees to the Old Street, we see no tourists or vendors here at all.  Next time I’ll head down this street and show you what it looks like.  This is more like the “old Taiwan” that I know and love.  This article is geotagged where I took this photo.

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    1. at least Japanese era, and many even Ching, Fili. there are remnants of an old Japanese era railroad station on that street (David Reid and i saw it together last time). i too wish they would limit what you can do on those historical streets.

    1. Todd, yes it really is amazing how quiet that the street is. every time i go there i wonder how the residents put up with being prisoners in their own homes due to the throng of tourists blocking them inside every weekend! it’s way better there during the week. a lot more reasonable.

  1. Kind of reminds me of walking along the narrow streets of the North End in Boston and past all of hte produce vendors over by Haymarket. Howver… the streets there are probably cleaner 🙂

    Nothing like getting some FRESH dry-roasted peanuts. Well… maybe some fresh kettle popcorn 🙂

    1. Mike, where are the streets cleaner, Boston or Laohukou? i remember being near Haymarket one day and getting freshly shucked oysters from a guy on a truck. man they were good! some places here are rather like Boston’s North End for sure.

      1. Well… I said the streets “there”. From your pics… I don’t see discarded water bottles… soda bottles and cans… or other debris that you would see in the streets here. I know you’ve done a blog in the past of how people don’t use trash cans and so on in places.

    1. yes, Craig, we all agree on that. plus i think there should be a limit on the vendor type and number. Dasi is a great place with an excellent old street but it’s filled with the aroma of stinky tofu. i think that the general public can get along without stinky tofu in that place.

  2. Thanks for the re-visit, I was able to see this street in December en route to somewhere else and hope to get back for a slower look in the future. As it was a weekday, it was pretty quiet (probably less so than those photos) but I sort of like a few more people around sometimes because it’s more atmospheric. In some ways, the street felt very sanitised by all the reconstruction, but I still enjoyed it. Are there are other historic bits near this street that would be good to visit at the same time? Funnily enough, I really like your picture of the sweet potatoes. The candy stripe of the bags stand out well against the green sidewalk – lots of beauty hidden in Taiwan in the strangest places 🙂

    1. MEK, thanks for your comments. Hukou is divided into 2 sections “old” and “new.” “New” Hukou is where the train station was built, as the new section sprang up around the train station that was built in the 50s. although not “historic” per se, the new Hukou area is very interesting and worth a walk around.

      if you are interested in historical areas, i recommend Dasi in Taoyuan county. here is an article we wrote about Dasi some time ago:

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