Bopiliao Old Street (aka Bopiliao Historical District/Street 剝皮寮歷史街區) is a historical street in Taipei, made almost completely of one or two story brick buildings, many dating over 200 years ago and was one of the earliest commercial districts in northern Taiwan. Here you can find museums, shops, food options, and art exhibitions. It is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Taipei.
The land that Popiliao Old Street stands on was once part of Basay tribal land. The Basay people had lived on the land for thousands of years before the first Chinese settlers.
Sections of the area indicate that there was settlements here during the Dutch rule in the 1600s.
The name Bopliao come from the fact that timber and animal skins were transported here, and the bark or skins of animals was also peeled here (Bopi 剝皮 means literally to peel skin).
The first recorded Chinese settlement of Bopiliao was in1763 during the Early Qing Dynasty. At the time it was a small cluster of houses near the larger settlement at Bangka (Mengjia 艋舺).
Important products that were sold here include coal, tea, as well as various other goods. It was among the most prosperous area in Taipei.
During the Japanese era, Taipei City underwent new urban planning, which meant that Pobiliao was not longer an important intersection for trade. It slowly lost importance and fell into disrepair.
In 2006 the Taipei City government underwent a renovation project for Bopiliao Old Street, including renovation of buildings and creating museums. Now there are many historical and art exhibits here, and it is a popular place for visitors on the weekends.
9 AM to 9 PM
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Taipei Main Station, go south on Zhonghua Road until you reach Nanning Street and take a right. Take another slight right on Gungzhou street until you reach the old street. There is paid parking near the street and free scooter parking.
By MRT: Take the blue line to Longshan Temple, then walk north one block to the old street.
Please see below:
I have been to Bopiliao Old Street once. I didn't know it existed until I searched which old streets are in Taipei. Besides Bopiliao Old Street, there is also Mengjia (Bangka) Old Street and Dihua Street nearby, making them the only three official old streets in Taipei. I went by scooter on a Saturday afternoon, and there was a fair amount of people.
The following is just a simple walk through the old street. I will not go into every historical detail of every building. However if you go in person, the histories of the buildings are clearly written in English on the first floor of each building.
View of the main corner of the old street coming from the west.
Flyer explaining the old street.
More explanations and maps of the old street.
Shop under construction.
Shops along Guangzhou Street.
The main courtyard in front of the old street.
Ad for a concert.
Museum at the front of the old street.
An old lady selling treats near the old street.
Main view of the old street.
Inside one of the museums.
People enjoying historical exhibitions.
Another house in a alleyway near the old street.
Related films playing continuously in the museum.
Instagrammers posing with the historical buildings.
I'm guessing they encourage local artists to draw on these walls.
Looking down another alley.
More views down the old street.
The front door of the "tallest building" on the street.
Another historical doorway.
A small courtyard leading to an art display inside.
Restored wooden doorway.
Historical brick face of one of the buildings.
Skylight coming from above.
"About the Bo-Pi-Liao Historic Street Renovation"
"Known today as Lane 173 Kangding Road, Bo-Pi-Lioa Street in Magka District is a well-preserved Qing Dynasty street which used to be a major passage between Magka District and Guting District. In the Japanese Colonial Period, under new urban planning, Bo-Pi-Liao Street was displaced by the current Guangzhou Street as the major passage, relegating the old street to a back alley.
Entering the old street, one is transported back into the past. Its history lives on in the landscape kept alive by local residents' memories. As the old Streets are renovated and their culture is restored, community relations improve and the story of Bangka is preserved for all residents of Taipei to know and cherish.
Restoring Bo-Pi-Liao Historic Street took the combined efforts of local residents, preservation groups, and the Taipei City Government. In 2002, Yu-chien Shu Architecture Firm was appointed to plan and oversee construction, which was carried out in two phases. The first phase ran from July 2003 to February 2006, undertaken by Chin-Ren Construction Co., Ltd. The second phase began in 2006 and ended in June 2009, conducted by Chin-Liun Construction Co., Ltd. The deterioration and disrepair of the original buildings along the old street necessitated teh great care in their restoration. This project was made possible by the various branches of the city government, as well as Laosong Elementary School, community leaders, experts, and scholars. Thanks are due to all the many dedicated people involved.
Besides offering a glimpse of Taipei's storied past, Bo-Pi-Lioa Historic Street also symbolizes the city's dedication to the ongoing redevelopment of historic Wanhua District and the restoration of its former glory."
View from the back of the street.
View of the side of the street along Guangzhou Street.
Looking back from the same spot.
People taking photos of the old street.
An old movie poster on the old street.
A Weiling Altar, which has existed for over five generations.
View of the Xiuying Teahouse which was closed that day.
Exhibition of social work in Taiwan.
Era bricks in the road.
View of the "tallest house" from the back.
Looking up the tallest house.
Another view of the tallest house.
More art exhibitions inside.
View from Guangzhou Street.
View looking the other way.
Same art exhibition from the front.
Explanation of how the main road switched from Bopiliao Street to Guangzhou Street during the Japanese era.
A dubious looking beam.
A hipster shop along Guangzhou Street.
Another hipster shop.
Another hipster shop selling records.
Another view of the main square.
Right across from the main square is a vegetable market, which looked pretty popular.
A long line of houses along Guangzhou Street.
Closeup on the houses showing decorative motifs.
Another view of the old street from a different angle.
Another second storey house.
Outline of the top of the old street.
Also be sure to check out the nearby Bangka Old Street and Dihua Street on your trip to Taipei.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs about Taipei!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.