TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The annual South Taipei Fun Carnival arrives on April 4 and features a wealth of activities over the course of three days to introduce tourists to and reacquaint residents with the wonders of Taipei City’s cultural heritage.
The Carnival is hosted by The General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC), Taiwan’s oldest and most influential cultural organization.
Between April 4 and 7 there will be an exhibition to celebrate 100 years of the Presidential Office Building, a book and table game convention, film screenings and many more events to commemorate Taipei’s cultural history.
Taiwan News was invited to preview one of the Carnival’s most popular annual events: “Taking a Stroll in South Taipei."
A map of the tour stops during Taking a Stroll in South Taipei (Image provided by the GACC)
“Taking a Stroll” is a walking tour, available in multiple languages, which aims to enlighten attendees on the history behind some of southern Taipei’s heritage sites.
The tour convenes at Xiaonanmen MRT station (小南門站), which the guide explained was the southern entrance to Taipei City during the Qing Dynasty, when its square perimeter was shielded by a brick wall.
Tour-goers are led through the Taipei Botanical Garden, throughout which they are acquainted with the story behind its transformation from a humble plant nursery under Japanese occupation to the “museum of plants” it has become today. The guides also offer up the intriguing historical context behind some of the Garden’s key features.
The tour then progresses through the National Museum of History, the Cultural and Creative Gift Center, the National 228 Memorial Museum and Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School—all the while guides divulge the chronicle of events that led to the establishment of the sites, and the contingent processes that brought about their current incarnations.
Tour-goers are led to the National Taiwan Museum Nanmen Branch—the former site of a camphor industrial plant—where they are given a chance to shop around an outdoor cultural market before the tour finally concludes at Nanmen Market.
The GACC says the tour is designed to familiarize sightseers with Taiwanese history between the periods of Japanese occupation and Republic of China rule. While light on political context, the tour is bound to impart even long-term residents with new information about some of the city’s lesser-known heritage sites.
Taipei Walking Tour offers several different routes and tours can be booked on the company’s official website.