Hsinchu (Chinese: 新竹)
is the 5th largest city in Taiwan, which is
located between Taipei (the
capital and also the largest) and Taichung (the 3rd largest), as
shown in the following map (see Figure (a)). Hsinchu
becomes notable to the world after Hsinchu Science Park (a.k.a., Taiwan
Silicon Valley, see Figure (b)) was established in 1980. The park has been
very successful, and its 400 high-tech companies accounted for 10% of
Taiwan's GDP in 2007. It is home to the world's top two semiconductor
foundries, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United
Microelectronics Corporation (UMC).
The Hsinchu Science Park
video can be viewed from: [video]
The previous name of Hsinchu
is "Bamboo Moat", originated from an aboriginal resident tribe of
the bamboo moat society in the past. After the first year of Emperor Yong
Zheng (1723), the name became "Fresh Water Hall". After Taipei
built its government office in the first year of Emperor Guang Xu (1875), the "Fresh Water Hall" was
modified to "Hsinchu County". "Hsinchu" means "New Bamboo" in Chinese,
which may refer to the new county built in the bamboo moat, or the compound
of a word taken from "Bamboo Moat" and a wish that is made for
the advance every new day.
Hsinchu is the closest point in
Taiwan to the southeast coast of mainland China. The major part of its population are Hakkas.
Its frequent strong breezes have led it to be named the "windy
city," and its favorable climate has facilitated its development of
the famous Hsinchu vermicelli (see Figure (c)) and persimmon cake
(see Figure (d)).
Some Related Links:
Online map (Hsinchu,
Taiwan): Online map URL
The Cultural Affairs Bureau, Hsinchu
Hsinchu City Government site: http://en.hccg.gov.tw/
National Chiao Tung
University history: http://www.nctu.edu.tw/english/history.htm
Attractions near Hsinchu :
Hsinchu City has a history of
almost 400 years, it is one of the oldest city in
is trail of cultural places that symbolises its colourful history:
main attractions near Hsinchu are introduced as
There are cold springs
in Beipu Township, Hsinchu
County, which produce weakly alkaline carbonic acid water at temperatures
of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. The clear waters of the Daping
River in Waiping Village of Beipu
Township flow through green hilly country that offers a rich variety of
beautiful scenery, with water plunging over dams adding a special
attraction to the area.
Visiting Taiwan –
Experiencing Hakka Culture in Beipu
Beipu is located in the
foothills of Eastern Hsinchu County and is the
major Hakka town in the north of the island (Meinong,
in Kaohsiung county being the southern town) and has a population of around
97% Hakka. The Hakka people first moved out to Beipu
about 150 years ago as they were pushed away from the coastline as the
villages became over-populated.
In addition to the many
tea houses that line the streets of Beipu there
are also countless Hakka restaurants, too.
They do vary in quality from inedible to incredible so be careful
when choosing somewhere
bikeway” connects a lot of local beauty spots of Hsinchu
in series on the way, and lets visitors engaged in a variety of different
recreational activities. For example, in the "Nanliao
fishing port" visitors can enjoy delicious seafood; "Sports
Park" consists of recreation area and picnic area that are planned to
enjoy leisure with families; "Nursery" allows to admire the
beauty of flowers; "Sea Area" allows to watch the sea and listen
to the sea; "Mangrove Forest" has a sand carving field and a
rock-climbing area; "Coastal Zone" allows to watch crabs and
flying a kite.
Hsinchu fishery harbor was
built in 1981, located in the seashore of the northwest suburb of Hsinchu city. It was originally fishery harbor where
fisherman made a living. With depletion of fishing source, it has been
transformed into leisure-oriented harbor.
Hsinchu City God Temple (Chenghuang Temple; 城隍廟) is regarded as the
highest-ranking of all City God temples in Taiwan, due to the superior
spiritual power of its City God in protecting the town. In front of the
temple is a market with a lot of small stalls selling delicious
Taiwanese snacks, including rice noodles, meat balls, thick cuttlefish
broth, and Zhuqian Biscuit (Zhuqian
is the original name of Hsinchu).
Hsinchu is famous for a number of
specialty foods, especially Hsinchu rice noodles (Hsinchu
vermicelli; 新竹米粉), which are produced in Nanshr Village, Hsinchu City.
Another famous product of Hsinchu is face powder (香粉), a traditional cosmetic
powder which was used by women throughout Taiwan before the arrival of
foreign-style cosmetic products. The powder is also used in offerings to Qiniangma, the guardian spirit of children. Only one
store, run by the Tsai Family in Julian Street, still produces this powder.
Although there are many stalls from which Hsinchu meatballs (新竹肉圓) can be purchased, many
are concentrated around the Chenghuang Temple.
The famous Peanut Butter
(福源花生醬) is sold mainly along Dongda Road, and if you want to try Zhuqian Biscuits (竹塹餅), you should go to the Hsin Fu Jean Cake Shop (新復珍) at No.26 Beimen Street.
An introduction to the
temple can be found as follows:
The museum was renovated
from the autonomy house built in 1936 as a guesthouse and banquet hall to
the Japanese royal family and high ranking officers. The landscape and
interior design had an atmosphere of leisure residency and matched the
subtle character of glass art. After Taiwan’s restoration, the building was
occupied by the Takeover Committee, American army consultant allegation,
and military police station, consequently. Since the function of the
building was changing according to the needs of the residents, the interior
compartment had changed dramatically. The two stories concrete building
annex to the north eastern corner of the main building had evolved from the
horizontal court building of European style to the vertical development
official building. Nevertheless, this museum still maintains European style
with contemporary Oriental architecture by the brick wall erected on the
south western side and the classic image of the lobby.
18 Peaks mountain park
is known as the second Yang Ming Shan in northern Taiwan. The park can be
entered from a noisy road of the Hsinchu city.
Under the planning of the municipal government, the park contains green
tree-covered walkways, which are stone brick roads and well-ordered on the
ground. Refined street lamps hang down and shine on the side. It looks like
an entrance to the gateway paradise. In addition to the beautiful natural
landscapes, the right side of the entrance has a row of air-raid shelters,
which are the trenches of preparedness gallery during the Japanese ruling
This lake has been
opened for quite some time now and is part of a reservoir which stores
water from the Yaker River. Although small in
size, the lake is the oldest scenic spot in Hsinchu
and fringed by centuries old temples amid lush greenery.
Qingcao Lake used to be a
mini-sized lake hundreds of years ago, which was also used as a dam. After
the end of the Japanese colonial period in Taiwan, the first magistrate of Hsinchu County ordered to reconstruct the dam,
resulting in a 30 square kilometer area for storing water. It was the first
large-scaled construction in Hsinchu since the
establishment of the local government.
Although it has been
one of the eight greatest scenic places in Taiwan, Qingcao
Lake lost its irrigating function due to the sedimentation of soil. The
sedimentation also affected the views. Fortunately, in the past few years
the Hsinchu City Government has been continuously
renovating the lake and restoring its original views.
City Governament is now actively constructing
public facilities in coordination of the natural features of Qingcao Lake, including gardens, bridges,
bird-observing track, lake-encircling track, and resting places. These
features provide relaxing places to the visitors so they may truly
appreciate the views.