Once the largest port in Taiwan, and only a 40-minute subway ride from Taipei, Tamsui is the perfect day trip. The area is famous for its historic buildings and beautiful sunsets and offers something rather laid back for those wanting a day out of the city. People come here to stroll along the water's edge and through the old streets, they cycle, have picnics, and then watch the sun go down over the river. Regardless of what you choose to do there, Tamsui offers a variety of activities for the whole family and with plenty to eat, you're guaranteed to have a wonderful day.
The best way to get to Tamsui from Taipei is by MRT, traveling on the red line to its northern end, Tamsui Station.
- Most of the city in Tamsui is easily accessible on foot from the MRT station.
- Turn left as you exit the station and then right along the river.
- Ferries that cross the river to the town of Bali and the Fisherman's Wharf, depart from the Tamsui Ferry Pier.
- The pier is about 10 minutes north of the MRT station by foot ( the ferries are hard to miss).http://www.formosaguide.com/p/tamsui-travel-guide.html
- There are also sightseeing boats, that go along Taiwan's northeast coast and along the Tamsui (Danshui) River, that depart from Fisherman’s wharf.
- Tickets are NT$50 to Bali and NT$100 to Fisherman's Wharf.
- The R26 bus will take you from Tamsui MRT Station to Fort San Domingo or Fisherman's Wharf. You cannot walk here.
Renting a YouBike.
- YouBikes are a large network of bicycle rental kiosks around Taiwan. They are well maintained with headlamps and lights and even have adjustable seats.
- You will need to register online if you plan to use an easy card to hire one, but it is free and easy to do.
- Once you have done this make sure you top up your card with at least 100NT( Any convenience store will help you.)
- Choose a bike
- Tap your EasyCard on the dock to automatically unlock the bike.
- You can also use a credit card instead of an easy card in the same way.
What to see.
The Old Street and waterfront is just 5 minutes walk from the MRT station.
As you exit the station turn left and you will see the river in front of you. You will be able to walk along the river before reaching the old street. Be careful not to miss it, however, there is also a lot to see on the waterfront. Old street is one street up from the waterfront once you begin to see the food stalls.
Like many Old Streets in Taiwan, Tamsui old street has many stores selling souvenirs, handicrafts and lots and lots of food. Danshui has a specialty food called Ah Gei, which is basically tofu stuffed with glass noodles in a spicy sauce, they are worth a try. Fish dumplings, fish ball soup, prawn or fish strips and fried squid too are other favorites as well as iron eggs.
As you walk along you can see a few temples, old houses, and even some churches, but keep an eye out for the street can get really busy.
2. Fisherman’s Wharf and Lovers’ Bridge. You can either take bus 26 (from the MRT station) or a ferry ride (from the pier behind the Old Street) to the Fisherman’s Wharf and Lovers’ Bridge. Both trips will take about 15 minutes.
Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf is located downstream from Tamsui town center and has a boardwalk, coffee shops, and seafood restaurants. Fisherman's Wharf is also a departure point for tourist boats traveling along Taiwan's pretty northeast coast.
"Lovers’ Bridge", is also at fisherman's wharf and is modeled after a sailing ship's mast. It is illuminated after sunset and then changes color, making the area very inviting in the evening.
Fort San Domingo
Fort San Domingo was constructed by the Dutch and also served as the British Consulate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Today it is a museum with beautiful views of the river and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm and costs NT$80.