Dihua New Year Market (迪化街年貨大街攻略)

A young Taiwanese girl browsing a candy vendor's stall

Lunar New Year is quickly approaching and in preparation for the week-long festivities, markets across the country are opening specializing in the sale of special items that Taiwanese people like to enjoy during the holidays. A lot of these items include various types of food, snacks, various kinds of nuts, traditional candy, tea, red envelopes, Chinese medicine, etc. 

在過幾週農曆新年就要到了,全台的市場都開始在賣年貨,包括食物、點心、很多種類的堅果類、傳統的糖果、紅包、茶葉、中藥材等等。

Shoppers on the first day of business on Dihua Street's Lunar New Year Market

The busiest of all the Lunar New Year Markets in Taiwan is at Taipei’s Dihua Street (迪化街) in one of the oldest districts of the city where it is estimated that almost a million people visit the street in the two weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year festivities. The news has reported this year that rent for the season vendors setting up shop on Dihua street this year has risen to extreme proportions forcing vendors to spend at least $300,000NT ($9000USD) to secure their spot for the two weeks of business. You would think that this insane amount would deter people from setting up shop at Dihua street, but it seems exactly the opposite. 

台北的迪化街是全台最為忙碌的年貨市場,在這兩個禮拜內會將近有一百萬人到這邊採買年貨。新聞還有報導說今年迪化街攤販的租金大概要30萬元(整個檔期),你一定會覺得說這麼高的嚇人的租金會讓各家攤販卻步,但事實是相反的。

The street employs beautiful girls to entice you into trying their snack and ultimately buying them! 

Dihua street itself has a history dating back to the 1850s where it was part of an important centre for commerce in Taipei especially for Taiwanese tea, Chinese medicine, fabrics, etc. The street today still remains one of the most commercial active areas in Taipei and has been preserved to show its historical roots.

迪化街的歷史可追朔到1850年代,19世紀末以來,一直是台北市重要的南北貨、茶葉、中藥材及布匹的集散中心,至今仍是維持相同的批發商業功能。 

Peanuts and Pistachios are among some of the most popular New Year snacks! 

I decided that because of the wealth of information about Dihua street already on the internets that instead of writing a lot of information that I’d let the pictures do the talking - I will defer you to a couple of blogs that explain Dihua Street as well as the historic Dadaocheng area (大稻埕) of Taipei in greater detail and should give your a better idea of the area. 

其實我覺得網路上已經有蠻多人PO關迪化街的故事~我的重點是攝影,所以這次我不太想寫太多內容~我覺得不管你看英文或中文,照片都可以講一些故事~ 

A Taiwanese celebrity leading children through a market with a camera following them. 名人:小蝦, 左左, 右右

The market opened up earlier this week and will run for two weeks leading up to Lunar New Year. Shopping Dihua Street is a really cool experience. There are massive crowds, vendors yelling, customers bartering for better deals and even more important is that you'll get to try a lot of foods for free! Make sure to check out the market if you have time in the next two weeks! 

年貨大街從現在開始維持約兩個禮拜的時間,逛迪化街會是一個非常特別的經驗,會有非常多的人、各家攤販的叫賣、客人會與賣家討價還價,甚至會有很多可以試吃的食物喔!在這兩週內有時間的話不妨去看看吧~

Getting to Dihua Street is easy - Take the Taipei MRT to Datouqiao MRT station (捷運大橋頭站) and take exit one (1號出口) - There will be maps in the MRT station and on the street that will guide you on your short walk to the street from the station. 

去迪化街很簡單,搭台北捷運至大橋頭站1號出口,捷運站外會有地圖指示,只需要走一了段路就到了。

大眾運輸

1.公車

  • 自台北車站搭39號、272號公車至大稻埕下車。或搭乘9、206、255、274、302、304號公車於南京西路口站下車。

2.捷運

  • 大橋頭站(1號出口):至民權西路延平北路口,可選擇沿著迪化街往南步行,或搭公車206兩站至民生西路口。
  • 雙連站(2號出口):再轉搭公車518,可至民生西路延平北路口下車。
  • 中山站(2號出口):沿南京西路步行至迪化街,或搭公車1站至圓環,或3站至民生重慶路口再步行至迪化街。

Taking a break 

Dihua Street is often full of older people preparing for their family to return for the holidays. The older generation is the generation that is the best at cooking and food is one of the most important parts of the holiday. In this shot you see a woman taking a break from shopping. 

Peanuts, Peanuts and more Peanuts! 

Taiwan has several varieties and flavours of peanuts. Sometimes its hard to choose which kind you want to buy, luckily you can always try some before you buy them! My personal favourites are the garlic peanuts, and of course the spicy Siuchuan peanuts (麻辣花生)

台灣有賣很多種口味的花生,有時候很難去決定到底要買甚麼口味,很幸運的在迪化街你可以先試吃看每種口味再去決定!我自己最喜歡的口味是蒜味花生與麻辣花生!

 It wouldn't be Taiwan if there wasn't a protest - this one is for the brutal shark fin industry.

It wouldn't be Taiwan if there wasn't a protest - this one is for the brutal shark fin industry.

One of the unfortunate aspects of Lunar New Year in the Chinese-speaking world is that people still partake of Shark Fin Soup. The industry is one of the worlds worst in terms of animal abuse. This year at the major entrances of Dihua street you will see young people holding signs protesting the sales of Shark Fin within the market. I gave them the thumbs up as I walked past. Its a cruel industry that involves catching a shark, removing its fin and throwing it back in the water to die. A complete waste of such a majestic animal and an industry that is causing a mass reduction of the world's remaining shark population. 

Door and Wall decorations

Lunar New Year is a busy time in Taiwan, I'll be quite busy as usual. We have a week off from work and I'll be taking part in the festivities with friends. I'm also going to try to get in a pretty awesome hike that I've been planning on doing for a while as well as travelling down south to shoot one of my favourite lunar new year activities. More to come soon! 

Happy Lunar New Year to everyone in Taiwan! 

大家,新年快樂~ 恭喜發財


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