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Hsinchu Travel Guide, Taiwan

Hsinchu, the oldest city in northern Taiwan, is unlike Taipei (the de facto capital of the Republic of China) or the other Taiwanese cities like Keelung, Kaohsiung or Taichung.

Although the scenic coastal and mountainous landscape of the adjacent Hsinchu County has always been a great magnetism, Hsinchu does not boast much of cultural or traditional heritage. Of late, attempts have been undertaken to develop Hsinchu as a garden city but still there is so little to see and do that you can wrap up your tour of Hsinchu in a day’s time.

Considering that you may wish for a short tour of this important northern Taiwanese city in the course of your Taiwan-tour, the Hsinchu travel guide has been planned to give you an overview, an understanding of the city that enjoys a special municipal area status as part of the ROC.

Hsinchu Travel Guide – Statistics

Area: 104.0964 sq km

Population: 404,109

Currency: New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)

Language(s): Hakka Chinese, English

Hsinchu Travel Guide – Architecture

Hsinchu city, as said, is one of Taiwan’s early settled areas but still the city does not boast of many traditional structures except for a very few like the 1748-built City God Temple and the East Gate (or the Yingxi Gate built in the first half of the 19th century under Qing Dynasty’s rule). The basic planning of the present city was done by the Japanese, specifically Japanese army (who had pulled down many of the city’s old buildings and structures after taking over the control of Taiwan from the Qing Dynasty rulers).

The present city is more or less defined as a modern city with many towering structures and wide streets. Educational institutes of Hsinchu, like the National Hsinchu University of Education, National Tsing Hua University and Yuanpei Institute of Science and Technology and the Hsinchu Train Station, etc. are some important buildings of present-day Hsinchu city.

Hsinchu Travel Guide – Economy and Infrastructure

Hsinchu has always enjoyed a special significance as an industrial base of Taiwan – earlier it used to be the center of traditional industries like glass-production but post establishment of the Hsinchu Science and Technology Industrial Park in 1980, the city has become the hub of Taiwan’s high-tech industry. Known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Taiwan’, the Park houses world-renowned high-tech companies/businesses like Epistar, Holtek, Philips and a whole host of other companies; the existence of these companies has not only created high-income employment opportunities for the Hsinchu-people, these have also turned the city into an international R&D/ manufacturing center of hi-tech products.

Hsinchu’s good transportation links is undoubtedly one of the plus points of Hsinchu travel and you can reach Hsinchu from any of the major cities by air, by road or by rail; buses and taxis are available for going around within the city. Hsinchu also promises excellent accommodation facilities.

Hsinchu Travel Guide – People and Culture

Being the center of high-tech businesses and industries in the whole of Taiwan, Hsinchu has become quite a cosmopolitan city – the city has a sizeable ex-pat (people belonging to different nations of the world) population side-by-side its Hakka Chinese people and its small number of aboriginals. This mixed population gives the city a unique charm with its mixed culture dominated by Hakka/Chinese elements – be it in terms of Hsinchu art or architecture, cuisine or festivities, clothing, other life-style matters or just about anything.

Before we end this Hsinchu travel guide, we must add that although a visit during the Lunar New Year can indeed get exciting, not everyone will be able to bear with the ‘chilly’ winter of this ‘Windy City’. But if you choose to visit Hsinchu during the festival, you will have a gala-time. Try Ba wan, rice noodles, pork meatballs and even floral Hakka attires, you will come to like the city and its people. A little knowledge of Chinese will be your added advantage in Hsinchu.

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