Bali Old Street (aka Bali Ferry Dock Old Street 八里渡輪頭老街) is a shopping area near Bali Wharf, connecting with Tamui Old Street via ferry and bicycle route. It is one of the oldest ports in Taiwan, with a long history of businesses and great seafood nearby.
Bali district has been inhabited for at least 5,000 years; first by a large group of Taiwan aborigines and then later by Chinese settlers.
Bali's port opened to international trade along with Tamsui after the second opium war in 1860, but it was used less often because Bali suffered from strong northwestern winds, and Tamsui had a deeper harbor.
Recently, Bali has become a major tourist destination in New Taipei, known for its laid back atmosphere and attractions such as the Tamsui River bike-way, Bali Old Street and ferry, and the Shihsanhang Archaeology Museum.
Roughly 9 AM to 10 PM, each store has different hours.
Free (35 NT ferry ride from Tamsui)
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 15 north to Bali, the old street is right next to the ferry dock. There is some paid parking near the old street, and free scooter parking.
By Ferry: You can take the ferry from Tamsui Old Street (35 NT, 7-10 minutes). The last ferry leaves at about 8 PM.
Please see below:
I have been to Bali Old street twice, both on a wet and cold afternoons. Below are some photos of the place and some of my experience. I have gone there by both scooter and car. Scooter parking was free, but car parking was off the wall expensive (like 60 NT per hour on weekends).
I first tried Songji Pepper Buns, which is right at the entrance of the old street.
This one was one of the stores open that day. About half were closed due to rain, or because it was too early, or both.
It was only 40 NT (now 45NT), cheaper than the one atRaohe Street, but to be honest it did not taste as good.
Some senior citizens had just gotten off the ferry and began their tour of the street.
Hot dogs, sausage, and shishkabab for sale.
Some clothes for sale.
A lady cooking up Lingjiao, or water chestnuts on the street.
A fruit stand as well as stinky tofu on a stick.
The next place we tried was Fuzhou Liangxianghao (福州兩相好).
I tried their signature double doughnut thingy, called Liangxianghao. It was pretty good, but there was no sugar added.
There were at least two fried squid shops open when I was there, which seemed to be the major delicacy, similar to Tamsui Old Street.
Fude Temple, the main temple of the old street.
Fried oyster omelette buns for sale; these are pretty good but I did not buy any this time.
Fish balls and shrimp sausage on a stick. These are probably the least expensive snacks here, one is about 12 NT.
This Oyster restaurant was also open.
From the edge of the old street, you can take the ferry to Tamsui, which is 34 NT one way.
There were quite a few people getting on board to go across when we were there that rainy day.
Here there are also lots of fishing boats parked on shore.
View of the dock to the south.
View looking back at Bali old street. There were a lot of people riding bikes here, there is a very popular bike path along the shore.
View of the old street and bike path as it goes west along the Tamsui River.
A small snack shop along the shoreline.
A fried tofu and duck blood rice cakes stand.
The old fort I think is this one, now covered in Banyan trees.
Bike rental shop open for those people that just came via ferry.
We also had some A-gei, fish soup, and oil rice cake, all local dishes.
A-gei is just rice noodles inside Tofu. It's a Tamsui delicacy that you can also find at Tamsui Old Street andFisherman's Wharf.
The oil rice cake was also amazing (called Migao 米糕 in Chinese).
One of the many nostalgia toy shops along the north side of the old street.
There is lots of random toys, souvenirs, and candy in these shops, but my favorite is the fake rock chocolate candy.
The ferris wheel, which is like the main attraction here. 80 NT per person.
Another view of the far side of the old street.
There is also a small sandy beach here, which seemed pretty clean when I was there. Much more suitable for a sunny day.
Tea, seafood, ice, pancake, and pizza stalls.
The Ferris wheel next to the bike path.
Looking across the river to Tamsui.
Another view of the ferry dock and beach.
Looking down the bike path toward the old street.
There is a place to wash off after playing in the sand...
There is also an abandoned ROC watchtower you can walk up.
View from the top of the tower.
"Great Changes on the Bali Plain"
"Five samples were drilled on the Bali Plain to give us a more detailed understanding of geological changes that have taken place in the area over the last 10,000 years. From approximately 120,000-10,000 years ago the Bali Plain was all land. Beginning around 10,000 years ago sea levels rose, submerging the Shisanhang Site, Hung Hsi and areas around Wazihwei, gradually rising to the water level of Peitzutou. Perhaps as a result of the sand dune topography at the river mouth or coast, the Bali beach and Liao Tien-ting Temple area, that is the position of the Tapenkeng and Hsuntangpu Sites, remained relatively elevated, becmoing land and thereby providing residents with an area in which to live."
A small bunker near the tower.
Ice and seafood stalls near the seaside.
Typical night market games.
This guy making a million sausages.
Here is a photo of a blurred one. I recall they were 4 for 100 NT. Too many to eat in one sitting.
Giant claw machine! I think this might have been a human claw machine.
Stinky tofu, crab, fries, sweet potato balls, and tea.
More stalls such as beef and BBQ, all under a tree with Christmas decor.
One last place I will mention is this Pepper Bun Place across the street from the old street; it is supposed to be really good.
Last view over the water from near the old street.
Just a short bike ride away is the Shihsanhang Archaeology Museum. For our full blog on the museum, click here.
For our full guide on the best things to see and do in the Tamsui Area, click here.
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