A Day Trip to Danshui

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So Danshui (or Tamsui) is a "seaside district" in New Taipei City, named after the Tamsui River. Before I go any further, I'd like to file a complaint with the place-naming bureau of Taiwan, please. The romanization of Taiwanese/Mandarin is terribly inconsistent in Taiwan. Mainland China uses the Hanyu pinyin system, which I was taught in college when I took Mandarin. Prior to that, I'd always learned Mandarin the Taiwanese way, which (prior to 2002ish, according to Wikipedia) was through Taiwan's own phonetic symbol system, BoPoMoFo (or BuhPuhMuhFuh).

But apparently between 2002 and 2009, Taiwan adopted a form of pinyin that was all their own, called Tongyong pinyin ... are ya confused yet? That is why something that is clearly (at least to me, in Mandarin ... not sure about Taiwanese) pronounced "Tai Zhong" becomes "Tai Chung" on signs in Taiwan. And something that sounds, to my ears, like "Dan shui" becomes "Tam sui." (I believe that's the Taiwanese pronunciation.)

Rant over!

I don't know very much about it except for the fact that it's widely thought of as a day trip getaway from Taipei, because of the nice views and waterfront areas. You can take a ferry across the river to a town they call "Bali" (another word of contention with me, as both Bali in Indonesia and Paris, France are pronounced "Bali" in Mandarin). Further down, you can take a ferry to the Fisherman's Wharf, or walk. We didn't have the time to check out the Wharf, but maybe it's worth checking out.

I mentioned earlier that the Danshui stop is at the end of the Red line of Taipei's MRT (subway system), so it's an easy and smooth commute, about 20-25 minutes from Taipei Main Station at the heart of Taipei.

Here are some photos ...

A lonely bubble floating towards the Tamsui River

A father making bubbles for his daughter

The Old Street, where snacks and knick knacks can be found

Carvings in the door of a temple

Yes, a Fish Ball Museum ...

A statue of a man hailing from Canada named Mackay. I think he
set up schools for girls here and helped bring Christianity to Taiwan.
He looks Asian to me here ... wonder if it's an accurate portrayal!

This vendor sold ice cream of frightening proportions ... the small size is a little taller than a normal cone, at just $0.33, but the large size is 21.5 inches long and costs only $0.66. I saw many people walking around with this enormous cone in various colors and so wanted to buy one just to take a photo of its enormity, but I'd just eaten some really good (I can guarantee that this vendor's ice cream would have been icy at best and perhaps even powdery-icy) imported ice cream.

Look at all the dragonflies!

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