[quote=“WorkingVaca”]Do Taipei’s 12 districts and various neighborhoods have any distinguishing characteristics from each other? Are Beitou, Shilin, Neihu, Nankang (Nangang) and Wenshan like suburbs where everybody needs a car, or does public transpo reach those places? Can you walk out the front door and have access to markets, restaurants, MRT, busses, laundry services, etc.?
Are Tatung and Wanhua districts considered “downtown”? What are the Zhongshan, Chungcheng, Da’an, Sungshan (Songshan) and Xinyi districts like?
Are there neighborhoods known for their specialty as tourist ghettos, shopping centers or business/commerce districts? Are there neighborhoods known for violent crime, poverty/theft, drugs or X-rated seediness? Or is this stuff just all over the place in a sprawling chaotic jumble?
Thanks for any insight. :?[/quote]
Wanhua is the oldest part of Taipei, where it was a busy port before the Japanese came over and the river silted. So it is the most historic area of Taipei (although nothing historic is really left…). Some parts are run down, but by no means is the entire district a dump as some proposed. In actuality some parts are nice to live because of close proximity to large recreational area, like riverside park and Youth Park.
Like what Rascal said, 中山區 (Zhongshan) is one of the seedier part of Taipei with the bars, KTV, and sauna places (you know it’s seedy when the proprietor covers the license plates of his customers’ parked S class Mercedes!) that caters to foreigners, especially Japanese. This area in the 70’s was where the U.S. soldiers stayed, hence all the bars. However all these activities are limited to the area around Xuancheng St. (雙城街) and Linsen N. Rd. Taipei’s most exclusive “love motel” is in that area. If you were heading east on MinSheng E. Rd., once you cross XingSheng N. Rd. everything’s gone.