Founded in 1738 by Han immigrants from Fujian, this temple has served as a municipal, guild and self-defence centre, as well as a house of worship. These days it is one of the city's top religious sites, and a prime venue for exploring both Taiwan's vibrant folk faith and its unique temple arts and architecture. The temple can get very congested with tourists, try coming early in the morning (before 8am) or late in the evening (after 8pm) to avoid the crush.
The best times to visit Longshan are around 6am, 8am and 5pm, when crowds of worshippers gather and engage in hypnotic chanting. Or try Guanyin's birthday on the 19th day of the second lunar month, or the weeks before and during Lunar New Year.
Bopiliao Old Street
The city’s most visited old street and one that has be restored to its former glory, Bopiliao Old Street offers visitors a chance to step back in time and see what life was like in Taipei in bygone days. Here in the old buildings, you can see items from the past and sit in an old schoolroom. You can also play some traditional children’s games in the courtyard of the museum.
Herb Alley is a street that celebrates the tradition of Chinese herbal medicine in the Taiwanese culture. Originally carts would sell their herbs in front of Longshan Temple, but as Western medicine spread in popularity the carts moved to a street directly to the right of the temple and the shops remain there today. It goes without saying that the street itself smells amazing, and it is such an authentic little gem that should not be missed.
Red House Theater
Red House Theater is something of an icon in Taipei. This impressive building was built back in 1908 when the island was under Japanese rule. Originally a market and then a playhouse, it is now a cultural center where visitors can take in a show or check out local art. They also host the Red Magic Workshop, which gives visitors the unique opportunity to create their own souvenir under the instruction of a local craftsperson.
In addition to being an incredibly rich historical district, Wanhua is also home to some pretty good night markets and one of the best shopping districts in Taipei. The night market closest to Duckstay is the Huaxi Night Market, also known as Snake Alley. The area itself used to be Taipei’s Redlight District until the 1960’s, but some of the stalls in the market still cling to old times by selling an array of pornographic videos.