Danshui is a small city north of Taipei. The city is located where Danshui River opens out to the Taiwan strait.
In 1629, the Spanish settled here (San Domingo). Then the Dutch took over in 1941 and the Dutch built Fort Anthonio (now Hongmao Castle).
After the Dutch departed, Danshui kept growing and became Taiwan’s largest port (19th century). Port operations were forced to move further north to Keelung because of silt build-up in the river.
Now Danshui is a major tourist attraction.
Hongmao Castle (紅毛城), when translated, means castle of the red-haired people. This is a reference to the Dutch people.
How to get here:
We took the MRT and walked through the old street (淡水老街) to Hongmao Castle. You could rent a bike but I don’t like biking on busy streets in Taiwan and also it’s virtually impossible to bike through the old street on weekends.
Wikipedia’s entry for Oxford College.
What is a visit to Danshui without food?
I didn’t know what this was until I had it. Deep-fried tofu stuffed with bean noodle and served with spicy sauce. It was ok. We weren’t too impressed. Maybe because we didn’t have it at the original shop on Zhenli St. (真理街)? 😛 Origin of this: the inventor of A-Gei didn’t want to waste food and ended up creating this famous dish.
Wikipedia entry (in Chinese) about A-Gei.
Danshui Fish Ball – stuffed with meat and garlic. Most people come to Danshui to eat (at least it seemed that way) – the old street was pretty much like a night market.
Another specialty food in Danshui is iron eggs. However, we didn’t get some. I think I scared T off with preserved eggs and these look too much like them.
After Danshui, we got some dessert at Bread Société back in Taipei city (www.thebread.com.tw).