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March 2009

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Wanhua District in Taipei

Wanhua District, also known as Bangka, is Taipei City's oldest district.

The area is also the site of Taipei's former "red light district". The place has been largely cleaned up since prostitution was outlawed in the 1990s, though prostitutes can still be readily found.

Ximending (Hsimenting), another main attraction of Wanhua, serves as a counter-culture, trendy shopping center and as Taipei's main movie theater district.

The Taipei City (Underground) Mall located just north of the Taipei Main Station in the Datong District.

The name Wanhua is derived from the Mandarin pronunciation of the Japanese kanji 萬華 (banka), which were coined for their phonetic resemblance to the Taiwanese name báng-kah (艋舺). In turn báng-kah is thought to be derived from an even older Austronesian word bangca (bangka), meaning canoe.



Near the Longshan Temple is the Huaxi (Huahsi) Street Tourist Night Market (a.k.a. Snake Alley). The market once served snake and turtle delicacies, but changed its focus to seafood upon protest from animal and environmental groups.

Quingshui Temple


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Taiwan Travel Guide

Taiwan Travel Guide

Get your chow on at the food stalls of Taipei's Shilin Night Market, get your chill on at some of East Asia's finest beaches and get your boots on to hike the Walami Trail. With two long-term Taiwan residents at the helm of this guide, you'll be dining, sightseeing and soaking up the natural beauty just the way a local would.

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