Qiaotou Old Street (aka Xiaodianzai Street 小店仔街) is a historical street in Qiaotou District of Kaohsiung City. Originally a major industrial hub for sugar cane, now it is a quiet agricultural town in rural Kaohsiung in the shadow of the nearby Qiaotou Sugar Factory. It is not a super touristy old street, but has some well preserved historical buildings nearby.
The first Han Chinese settlers to Qiaotou came during the late Ming Dynasty, along with Koxinga. The original name of Qiaotou District was was Xiaodianzai (小店仔), a name given because in the olden days there was a few shops near a the Yungui Bridge (允龜橋). Later during the Qing Dynasty, the row of shops became a long street known as Xiaodianzai Street (小店仔街). The Yunchong Bridge crossed a small ditch near the old street, and after a while people referred to the street as Qiaotou Street (literally the street at the head of the bridge). The ditch was later filled in with earth and the bridge was torn down, but it stood near the current stinky tofu stand.
In 1901, during the Japanese era, the first sugar factory in Taiwan was built in Qiaotou. In 1999, the sugar factory stopped producing sugar, and in 2006 it was converted into a museum.
Currently the old street is not so popular as a tourist old street, but is more of a vegetable market for locals. Also, you can tell that the buildings here have mostly all been renovated to look modern, which has taken away from the old town feel.
Still there are many people who visit here, mostly as a side stop along the way to or from the Qiaotou Sugar Factory.
Qiaotou is still mostly a rural area, with the main agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables. On the old street some popular local delicacies are spring rolls. rice cakes, stinky tofu, and pork buns.
All day, hours differ between shops.
When to go:
Anytime, it never gets really crowded here.
We have stayed at and recommend Chao She Hotel (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, Hotels.com here, or Expedia here) IHI Sanduo Travel Hotel (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, Hotels.com here, or Expedia here), and Mingli Hotel (you can book on Agoda here, Klook here, or Hotels.com here) which are three inexpensive and high quality choices in downtown Kaohsiung. I also have stayed at and recommend Kaohsiung Meinong Rabbit Paul Homestay B&B (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, or Trip.com here), a quiet B&B in rural Meinong, and Chengching Lakeside Resort (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com or Trip.com here)and the Grand Hotel Kaohsiung (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, Hotels.com here, or Expedia here) which both offer breakfast buffet and free entrance into Chenqing Lake Park. I have also stayed at the 85 sky tower which offers great views of the city; you can search for rooms in the 85 sky tower on Agoda here, Booking.com here, Hotels.com here, Expedia here, or Trip.com here).
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You can find more tours and activities in Kaohsiung such as Pier 2, Meinong Hakka Museum, Hamasen Railway Museum, Suzuka Circuit Park, i-Ride Kaohsiung Visual 5D Flying Theater, National Science and Technology Museum , Senya Village Restaruant, Austin Land, Ski School Indoor Ski Slope, and many more on Klook here or KKday here.
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How to get there:
By Scooter/Car: From central Kaohsiung, take provincial highway 1 north (scooters) or national freeway 1 (cars) until you reach Qiatou. The old street is just one block south of the train station. Looking for scooter rental in Kaohsiung? You can check out Klook here or KKday here to search for options. You can check also out our scooter rental guide here.
If you are looking for car rentals, you can search Qeeq here, KKday here, or Klook here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
By MRT/TRA: Take the MRT or TRA to Qiaotou Train Station stop. The old street is just one block south of the train station. You can book tickets to travel to Kaohsiung via inter-city bus on Klook here.
You can book tickets to Kaohsiung via high speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here.
Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
You can also book a Kaohsiung Travel pass here.
Please see below:
I have been to Qiaotou Old Street twice, both on the way to Qiaotou Sugar Factory. It is a nice stop for food, but besides the theatre there is not much historical about this old street. It is more like the normal main street of a town than an old street.
Some faded murals along the train tracks.
The railroad crossing leading to Qiaotou Sugar Factory.
The front of the old street. You can see from here uniform green signed and modern store fronts. Not much of an old street feel except for the brick sign.
The old street is mainly composed of restaurants and fruit stands.
The Qiaotou Old Theater (橋頭舊戲院), which thankfully looks like it is undergoing renovations. Once it is complete, it can really help to spice up this old street. It is seriously the most interesting historical building on this street. Sadly this theater has not been covered by Alexander Synaptic. The theater was built in about 1944 and closed in about 1989. In 2009 it was converted into a restaurant, but it looks like now it is being restored to its former glory.
Clothing store and rice cake shop.
Pharmacy, fish balls, and other small restaurants.
Skin care shop, ice shop, and persimmon shop.
Scooter repair shop and fruit stands. You can tell this is more like the main street of town and not a tourist street.
Fruit stand next to the scooter shop.
Papaya, carrots, custard apples, and dragon fruit for sale.
At the end of the street you will find the Fengqiao Temple, which is the religious center of the town. The main deity worshipped here is Mazu. The temple dates back to 1725 during the Qing Dynasty and was renovated in 2010.
Of course if you have time, go check out the Qiaotou Sugar Factory, which is probably the main reason you came to Qiaotou in the first place. For our full blog on this place, click here.
You can find more tours and activities in Kaohsiung such as wake boarding, water skiing, SUP paddle boarding, Pier 2, i-Ride Kaohsiung Visual 5D Flying Theater, Ski School Indoor Ski Slope, and more on Klook here or KKday here.
You can check out our full travel guide to Kaohsiung here.
You can also check out our full travel guide to Taiwan here.
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