Hsinchu's Beimen Street is the oldest merchant street in Hsinchu, dating back to the Kindom of Tungming. Due to the completion of the railway and urban planning in the Japanese area, this street lost its importance, but many historical buildings here are still intact. It is one of the most impressive historical sites in Hsinchu and is worth a visit for anyone in the area.
After the settlement of the area by Han Chinese farmers in about 1711 during the Kingdom of Tungming, what was then known as Zhuqianshe became the most important economic area in northern Taiwan. By 1723, a walled city was built here out of bamboo, because brick walls were forbidden for fear of a revolt against the Qing authorities. The name Zhuqiancheng (竹塹城) literally means bamboo moat city. The bamboo-walled city had four gates and its perimeter was about 1.4 KM long. In 1806, the city was upgraded with earthen walls.
Beimen Street literally means North Gate Street, because it used to lead out to the north gate of the city, toward Bangka (modern Taipei), along the main road linking northern Taiwan. It was the most important economic area in Hsinchu until the end of the Qing Dynasty. Goods were brought from the old harbor to this street, where they were then distributed to other places nearby.
Unfortunately, a fire took place here in 1901 which destroyed much of the original old wooden structures. After Japan took control of Taiwan, they created a new urban plan for the city. which moved the city center about 500 meters to the south around the East Gate. This along with the new Hsinchu TRA station meant that Beimen Street would gradually lose its economic importance.
However many rich families still based their livelihood on this street, including the Beimen Gentry. There was also an incident during WWII when allied bombers attacked a mansion on the street, mistaking it for the Japanese governor's mansion.
24/7, but I recommend visiting at night when the night market it open.
You can find more tours and activities in Hsinchu such as You can find more tours and activities in Hsinchu such as river tracing, wild hot springs, white water kayaking, backpack rafting, Little Ding Dong Theme Park, Leofoo Village Theme Park, Window on China Theme Park, glamping, camping, stone spa, horse riding, Yukids Island, Tom and Bei Bei Parent Child Paradise, bee keeping experience, cycling, dried persimmons experience, Jump Wave Trampoline Park and more on Klook here or KKday here.
Where to stay:
Most of the accommodation you will find is near the city center. If you will only visit downtown, you can consider a day trip from Taipei.
We have stayed at and recommend the Golden Motel a high quality motel near Green Grass Lake (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, Hotels.com here, Expedia here, or Trip.com here), and CD Motel, another high quality motel in downtown Hsinchu (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, or Trip.com here). Unfortunately I cannot recommend any further hotels that I have stayed at in Hsinchu because usually we stay at my wife's uncle's house.
You can find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan here.
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How to get there:
The old street is within walking distance of Hsinchu TRA station. You can book tickets to travel to Hsinchu via inter-city bus on Klook here. You can book tickets to Hsinchu via high speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here. Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
By Bicycle: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can search on KKday here and Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here.
If you are looking for car rentals in Hsinchu, you can also search Qeeq here, Klook here, or KKDay here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
Looking for scooter rental in Hsinchu? You can search Klook here or KKday here to look for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
Please see below:
I have been past Beimen Old Street a few times. It is not the most commercialized of old streets in Taiwan. When passing by, you might think it was just any regular street in Taiwan. There are lots of colorful signs that cover most of the buildings here.
View of the arched walkways on the street.
Closer view of the shops on the street.
Nearby you can visit the Chenghuang Temple.
And you can also check out Chenghuang Temple Night Market.
You can also visit the East Gate.
And you can check out the Hsinchu Train Station.
You can find more tours and activities in Hsinchu such as river tracing, wild hot springs, white water kayaking, backpack rafting, Little Ding Dong Theme Park, Leofoo Village Theme Park, Window on China Theme Park, glamping, camping, stone spa, horse riding, and more on Klook here or KKday here.
You can check out our full guide to Hsinchu here.
You can also check out our full travel guide to Taiwan here.
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.