I was craving a good hamburger because it was the 4th of July weekend. As we have only McDonalds and Mos Burger restaurant chains near us in Neihu, we went looking for a good hamburger in the Shilin section of Taipei. We ended up at the ATT for Fun mall next to Taipei 101 in a restaurant called The Diner. They had very good hamburgers!
It is really hot in Taipei in July. It is 92-99 degrees F every day, with a heat index reading at 102-118 degrees Fahrenheit. We tried to walk around after lunch, but I was too hot, so we went into the convention center next to Taipei 101 to cool off in the air conditioning. There was a Korea Information Fair taking place in the convention center.
It was really crowded, and since we had been to South Korea less than a year ago, we did not need to get any travel information. So we left and went to the Taipei City Hall building to cool down in their air conditioning. The Taipei City Hall building is enormous, large both inside and outside!
The Discovery Center of Taipei is an educational center located inside of the Taipei City Hall. The center was established in December 2002 to help residents and visitors understand the history of Taipei City. The center has exhibit halls on four floors, but two of them, the special exhibit hall on the second floor and the Taipei Impression hall on the third floor were closed when we visited. The first floor City Discovery Hall had some kind of activity for students was taking place.
This large interior space still felt quite warm, even with the air conditioning.running.
We went up to the fourth floor, to the Taipei history exhibit hall.
Three hundred years ago, there was a small lake in the area that is now Taipei city. The Kedagalan people lived there, fishing and hunting. In the 18th century, the Ming and Yue people came to the Taipei Basin and developed Sanshi Street along the Danshui River. They built Taipei City in 1875.
Taipei city was surrounded by a wall with five gates. The five gates were the biggest in Taiwan. The walls and the gates have been taken down as the city expanded. There is only one original gate remaining from the former Taipei city wall.
Every great city is formed alongside a river. The Dahan, Xindian, and Keelung Rivers converge to form the Danshui (also now spelled Tamsui) River, which is the big river of Taipei. As a result of river transportation, commercial ports such as Mengjia and Dadaocheng were established here. Products such as rice, cane sugar, tea and camphor have been delivered to the rest of the world via the Danshui river.
The past prosperity of Mengjia is still seen in the Longshan Temple in Taipei.
Taipei is a city of multiple immigrants including the Dutch, the Han Chinese, the Japanese and other nationalities. Taipei has integrated many different groups and cultures during its history.
The Taipei Discovery Center inside of Taipei City hall building was a good place to spend an hour and cool off. But with most of the exhibit floors closed, and not enough signs in English, I did not learn much about the history of Taipei City.