June 22, 2011
We start our exploration of Tamshui at Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a very scenic spot at the western tip of Tamsui District in New Taipei City. It’s known for a beautiful sunset and fresh seafood restaurants. Despite it’s tourist attraction, it still functions as a harbor for many fishing boats.
Next to Fisherman’s Wharf is the Fullon Hotel, a luxury hotel that features a unique tower ride that gives you a birdseye view of the wharf and all of Danshui. Lover’s Tower is a 100-metre tall observatory tower that you ride up to the top to enjoy panoramic views of the entire coastline.
Danshui used to be called Huwei. It is a derivation from the ancient tongue Hoba. It means the river outlet. Danshui is located in northwest of Taipei basin. Danshui is surrounded by mountains and rivers and the scenery is beautiful.
In the distance we can see the Lover’s Bridge of Tamshui, a cable stayed pedestrian bridge that got it’s name from the date on which construction began, Valentines Day 2003. The bridge is approximately 196 meters long, and the walk across takes about 3 minutes.
We hop on board a small commuter boat that will take us from Tamshui down the coastline to downtown Danshui. As we leave fisherman’s wharf, we can see Lover’s bridge in the distance. To our left we catch a glimpse of the Fullon Hotel and Lover’s tower that we rode to the top in. Our short boat ride is almost over as we near the dock at Danshui.
We get off the boat in front of Danshui Old Street, a bustling street of restaurants and cafes in the heart of Danshui. At the end of one of the tiny streets lined with shops and cafes is a 106-step stairway up the hill to the historic Red Castle. The Red Castle of Danshui was built in 1899 when Taiwan was a colony of Japan. Today, it’s a cafe, restaurant and coffee house on the top floor. From the top floor of the Red Castle, you can enjoy great views of Danshui and neighboring Bali in the warm summer sunshine.
We conclude our visit with a leisurely walk down Danshui Old Street. The street was renovated and broadened in 2000 and a number of unique sculptures representing life and the sea in Danshui were added.