Old Taipei Districts

I’m really interested in the old districts of Taipei (by which I mean the ‘qu’

i know wanhua used to be called shuangyuan, with xiyuan around the road of the same name and dongyuan around wanda road.

def. more than 8 years by the way, the current names were in use 13 years ago when i came over.

I found a partial answer here:
Looks like there were 16 districts and it was reorganised in 1990. The disticts were (using this paper’s weird romanisation) Songshan, Da An Guting, Shuang Yuan, Longshan, Cheng Zhong, Jian Cheng, Yan Ping, Da Tong, Zhong Shan, Neihu, Nangang, Mu Zha, Jingmei, Sulim, Patau. I’m assuming Sulim is Shi Lin right? And Patau must be Beitou. Shuang Yuan must be the part of Wanhua that Daltongang referred to. Would Longshan be near Longshan temple (Xi Men Ding?). Is Yan Ping, Yen Ping N Rd? I’ve no idea for Jian Cheng and Cheng Zhong.

What I really want is a map. I’ll even buy one if someone has an old map from the 80s.

Also, where did the other area names come from? I mean like Xin Beitou, Donghu, Gong Guan, Shi Pai, Tian Mu, Xi Men Ding, etc Other older districts? Official subdistricts (wards/boroughs)? Or just popular usage?

Cranky, I thought you might have an answer here.


It’s an interesting question, but I don’t know much about it.

Right on both counts. Those spellings are part of a now largely abandoned plan of trying to boost the use of Taiwanese by romanizing some things in using Taiwanese rather than Mandarin. This is also why the MRT has “Tamshui” for Danshui, though the correct historical spelling reflective of Taiwanese pronunciation is Tamsui. Standard sloppiness.

[quote=“Sir Donald Bradman”]…I’ve no idea for Jian Cheng and Cheng Zhong.

Also, where did the other area names come from? I mean like Xin Beitou, Donghu, Gong Guan, Shi Pai, Tian Mu, Xi Men Ding, etc Other older districts? Official subdistricts (wards/boroughs)? Or just popular usage?


Longshan is around the temple as you say. Chengzhong must have been around the train station, with Yanping being the area north of it, I’m guessing Jiancheng was around Zhongxiao east of Zhongshan.

Names like Gongguan etc are mostly left over from the old days when they were independent villages. Ximending was outside the West city gate, hence the name…

The most interesting are the maps I see occasionally from the Japanese era. It’s fun to see how things have changed–and stayed the same–even though the perspective on the old maps can be difficult to figure out. A lot of the Taipei basin was crisscrossed by rivers, the marks of them are leftover on strange slanty streets like Xizang Rd, Anho Rd extending across Tunhua and Zhongxiao, cutting behind Sogo and across Fuxing, and the alley crossing Zhongxiao west of Guangfu, to name a few. They used to have one on display in the top of that tall building across from the Taipei train station, that was a few years back though, don’t know if they still do.

A good place to go is the Discovery Center of Taipei located inside the Taipei City Hall. Went there about a month ago. The exhibit shows not only the old administrative districts, but goes further back in history to the walled city of Taipei in imperial times, complete with replicas of all five city gates. The crisscrossed rivers Daltongang mentioned (actually a man-made irrigation canal system called the Liu Gong Ditch) are on display to. There’s also a good selection of maps vis-a-vis different periods in Taipei’s history–and lots more. A must-see for a history buff.

I know that a quick Google search could probably answer this question, but does anyone know (of the top of your heads) if the Discovery Center of Taipei is open on the weekends? If so, what are the hours?

Unfortunately, I only get the weekends to explore areas of Taipei. But I am a history-buff and I am very interested in seeing this exhibiton.

Discovery Center of Taipei
1 Shifu Rd., Taipei. (1F to 4F, Lower Building, West Side, City Hall)
(02) 2725-8630
Open Hours: Tue-Sun: 9 am-5 pm. Closed on Mon and national holidays.
(from Taiwan Fun magazine)

Guess I can’t get there on the weekend…

Nice stuff. Just the sort of thing I was after. Karma coming your way.


I’ve finally gotten around to posting a few of my favorite Japanese era postcards of Taipei online. I gottta get a sedan chair! community.webshots.com/user/jungli101

Thanks, Sir Don.

When you get to the Discovery Center, you can get a self-guided audio tour. If you go with a group, they’ll even arrange a tour guide for you. What I did was I just tagged along a tour group and listened in. Very informative. One of the things I learned was that of the five ancient city gates, four are still standing. But of the four, only one is a true historic relic from the Qing Dynasty (the salmon-colored north gate across from the main post office). The other three all had a face-lift in the '50s so as to conform with northern Chinese architectural style. (Chiang Kai-shek was pro-north Chinese culture and was disdainful of the southern style.)

Something I should have asked the tour guide but forgot was about the other ancient gate located at the corner of RenAi and LinSen S. Rd. It was situated outside of the perimeter of the walled city. What’s the story behind that? Maybe you can ask about it when you go.

Nice stuff. Just the sort of thing I was after. Karma coming your way.


Ditto to that! Thanks guys.